Started with a wonderful presentation – including drawings – by George O’Connor who has a series, The Olympiads, on the Greek Gods and Goddesses along with many children’s book illustrations. He began with a funny story on how he had upset Poseidon and what the results were and then talked about his research, writing and drawing processes were. A poetry workshop led by Jennifer Barber had a table full of poets writing ambitiously.
The afternoon panel on The Short Form with moderator Kate Burak talking to authors (and she is one too) Jennifer Haigh, Ann Hood and C.B. Anderson focused on the special demands of the short form (essays, short stories, even poems) and it’s benefits and short comings. The authors had some very interesting (and often humorous) comments and shared details of their working styles and read a bit from some of their work.
The day closed with a presentation by Paul Harding talking about his Pulitzer winning novel Tinkers and his new book Enon – which has a similar location and is the story of a grandson of the character from Tinkers. Moderator Rob Mitchell had a number of questions on the Pulitzer experience and the reaction of readers and reviewers to the dark view in both of these books. Paul Harding read from both Tinkers – a very funny piece about a woman who wants the tinker to sell her the soap she has always used (he said that was his Grandmother) and a very touching piece from Enon in which the character is behind the gravestone of his daughter because he feels he has behaved in a way that shames him in front of her.
We are very grateful to the authors who are willing to share not only their writing with us in their books but personal details of how they create these wonderful books.