Archive for April, 2012

Writers’ Weekend

A highlight for me at the Writers’ Weekend at the Mark Twain House was meeting one of my favorite playwrights, Alfred Uhry, who won a Pultizer and an Academy Award for his play and screenplay for “Driving Miss Daisy.” (I also am a big fan of “The Robber Bridegroom,” for which he wrote the book.)

For highlights of the weekend, visit http://ctarts.blogspot.com/2012/04/reporting-from-writers-weekend-at-mark.html.


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I will be covering the first writers’ weekend at the Mark Twain House beginning tonight with a keynote address by Lewis Lapham, left, editor emeritus of Harper’s and editor of Lapham’s Quarterly.

He is the author of numerous books, including Money and Class in America, Theater of War, Gag Rule, and, most recently, Pretensions to Empire. The New York Times has likened him to H. L. Mencken; Vanity Fair has suggested a strong resemblance to Mark Twain; and Tom Wolfe has compared him to Montaigne. A native of San Francisco, Mr. Lapham was educated at Yale and Cambridge.

Saturday’s kickoff speaker is novelist Jon Clinch, author of Finn and Kings of the Earth.

Fifteen sessions over the course of the day Saturday will explore many aspects of writing, all of which Mark Twain practiced: memoir, fiction, travel writing, and even playwriting and poetry — and though yes, he didn’t blog, he kept a journal which in its breadth and brilliance has a kinship with the best blogs online today.

Topics include the art of memoir, the pleasure of poetry, the craft of mystery writing, preparing synopses for agents or publishers, new ways of storytelling in the Internet age, finding voice in fiction — and finding ways to get your work published, and to get the word out.

A star-studded panel of playwrights winds up the day: Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy), A. R. Gurney (Love Letters), and Donald Margulies (Dinner with Friends).

Follow the coverage on The CT Arts Connection.

For you writers, the faculty is:

The Faculty:

Cindy Brown Austin, a novelist (By the Rivers of Babylon) who also excels at searing non- fiction portraits of urban life, on “Truth-telling in Fiction and Non-Fiction”

Lary Bloom (The Writer Within), author, editor, teacher and a founder of Writing at the Mark Twain House, who brought along a generation of writers as editor of Northeast magazine for two decades, on “The Art of Memoir”

Susan Campbell, whose Hartford Courant work and award-winning memoir Dating Jesus speak truth to power, on “Telling Your Story Without Embellishment”

Wendy Clinch (Fade to White), the author of mysteries set in the world of skiing — who also runs the largest blog for women who ski, www.theskidiva.com — on “The Art of Blogging”

Carole Goldberg, longtime Books Editor and current Writestuff columnist for the Hartford Courant, on “Publicizing Your Book.”

David Handler (The Blood Red Indian Summer), whose 18 mysteries (including an Edgar winner) charm and mystify, on “The Anatomy of a Mystery”

Denis Horgan, newspaper columnist, novelist and short story writer (Ninety-Eight Point Six) — deeply humane with a Twainian edge — on “Old Wine, New Bottles: Storytelling in the Internet Age”

Suzanne Levine, a founder of the Writing in the Mark Twain House program, acclaimed and much-published poet (The Haberdasher’s Daughter) with a deft, quiet and retrospective touch, on “Poetry as Memoir”

Bessy Reyna, (Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover/ Memorias de la amante infiel) Latina poet who writes in Spanish and English with extraordinary grace and passion on “Love, Longing and Laughter: The Gift of Poetry.”

Kate Rothwell (Seducing Miss Dunaway) and Toni Andrews (Cry Mercy), the authors of many successful romance novels, under their own names and, respectively, as Summer Devon and Virginia Reede , on “Writing a Romance Synopsis That Sells.”

Susan Schoenberger, author of the moving, deft and Faulkner-Wisdom award-winning novel A Watershed Year, and a Writing at the Mark Twain House workshop leader, on “Finding an Agent.”

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