What is the Salem Literary Festival?
The Salem Literary Festival was founded by Beth Simpson in 2008 as an extension of the events she created for the now defunct Cornerstone Bookstore. Since then, the Salem Lit Fest has grown to include hundreds of attendees, scores of volunteers, and dozens of authors. In 2014, the festival joined forces with New York Times bestselling author Brunonia Barry and her organization, Readers and Writers, Inc. The LitFest was held at historic venues in and around Salem that unite authors and book lovers.
In 2016, the baton was passed by Bru to longtime LitFest partner, the Salem Athenaeum, which is presenting the 2017 festival.
The Salem Lit Fest aims to inspire and promote literacy and a love of books and reading through programming featuring both contemporary authors and engagement with classic works of literature.
Save the date of Saturday, June 17, 2017 for the next Salem Literary Festival.
Saturday, June 17: 9AM–4PM, First Church in Salem
Opening speaker: Brunonia Barry
Living in the Question: Best-selling author Brunonia Barry opens the Salem Lit Fest speaking about fiction writing asking the big questions in life, and how the collaboration between reader and writer help create empathy.
Crystal King & Louise Miller
Fiction in the Kitchen: Crystal King and Louise Miller speak about food in fiction – a cook in Ancient Rome and a big-city baker transported to a small town, moderated by local Salem Food Tours’ own Karen Scalia.
Laura Harrington & Deborah Cramer
The Nature of Fiction & Nonfiction: Listen to Laura Harrington and Deborah Cramer speak with each other about the differences and similarities of writing nature in fiction and nonfiction.
Lunch with the Authors (ticketed event)
Teen Writing Classes
Building a Better Bad Guy: Writing Sympathetic Villains for Teens – Everybody loves a good bad guy, right? A memorable adversary makes a good YA adventure story even better. But villains need to be more than just a “black hat”–they need to be just as real, well-crafted, and engaging as your protagonists. Discuss what we can learn from popular genre fiction to help create sympathy for the devil and develop fully-realized, complex villains with meaningful motives for your Young Adult, New Adult or genre fiction project with YA author Matthew Phillion.
Poetry Right Now! This workshop will focus on recently published poems and poets. We’ll get familiar with some of the pieces shaping the world of poetry today, and pay attention to how pop culture and current events influence these works. We’ll try at least one writing exercise and share our own work with each other.
Brunonia Barry, Katherine Howe & Kathleen Kent
Relating to Salem: Join Brunonia Barry, Kathleen Kent and Katherine Howe for a lively discussion about writing Salem, the effects of family histories, and recent revelations surrounding Proctor’s Ledge, moderated by Diane Stern, CBS Radio commentator.
Laurie Stolarz & Peter Swanson
Building Suspense: Catch readings by popular thriller writers Laurie Stolarz and Peter Swanson.
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
M. T. Anderson: “Art: A House that Tries to Be Haunted.”
Emily Dickinson once wrote, “Nature is a haunted house — but Art — is a house that tries to be haunted.” National Book Award-winning author M. T. Anderson, writer of both historical fiction and historical non-fiction, will talk about how the past haunts us, and why it’s so important for writing to bring the long-vanished back to life again.
Info from the Salem Literary Festival’s website.
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