Columbia College Chicago

News & Events

Columbia College Chicago Presents 19th Annual Story Week Festival of Writers

Featured guests include Edwidge Danticat, Marlon James, Chris Abani, Mitchell S. Jackson, T. Geronimo Johnson, Audrey Niffenegger, Bernice L. McFadden, playwrights Regina Taylor and Kia Corthron, and more

Featured guests include Edwidge Danticat, Marlon James, Chris Abani, Mitchell S. Jackson, T. Geronimo Johnson, Audrey Niffenegger, Bernice L. McFadden, playwrights Regina Taylor and Kia Corthron, and more

CHICAGO (Feb. 23, 2015) – Columbia College Chicago's Department of Creative Writing presents its 19th annual Story Week Festival of Writers, March 15-21. Co-sponsored by the Chicago Public Library and Metro, the festival features local, national and global writers and is free and open to the public. Readings, panels, workshops and bootcamps will be held at the Harold Washington Library, Chicago Cultural Center, Metro, Martyrs', and Columbia College Chicago.

This year's theme, The Power of Words, celebrates storytelling and its ability to enchant, inspire, and empower. Featuring a diverse group of voices, including works by African, African American and Caribbean writers, this year’s Story Week also focuses on a range of genres—literary fiction, young adult fiction, science fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, personal essays, memoir, and playwriting.

“Words may be used to promote understanding and unity among people of different cultures and experiences,” said Randall Albers, founder of Story Week and chair emeritus of the fiction program at Columbia College Chicago. “Story Week this year will offer important discussions about turning issues into story and about narratives of violence, real and fictional.”Highlights of the festival include:

Featured reading, conversation and signing with EdwidgeDanticat (Claire of the Sea Light), hosted by Donna Seaman,Booklist senior editor. Danticat is the award-winning author of Breath, Eyes, Memory; The Farming of Bones; Krik? Krak!; The Dew Breaker; and others.

Literary Rock & Roll, Story Week's signature event, presents readings by Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings); Chris Abani (The Secret History of Las Vegas); Garnett Kilberg Cohen (Swarm to Glory); and Samantha Irby (Meaty); and a music tribute to Frankie Knuckles (1955-2014), "Godfather of House Music."

Turning Issues Into Story reading, conversation, and signing with Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings); T. Geronimo Johnson (Welcome to Braggsville); and Bernice L. McFadden (LovingDonovan). Hosted by Johnny Temple, Akashic Books publisher.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: The Real Within the Unreal reading, conversation, and signing with Jay Bonansinga (The Walking Dead: Descent); Phyllis Eisenstein (Sorcerer’s Son); C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans); and Audrey Niffenegger (Raven Girl). Hosted by Mort Castle (New Moon on the Water).

Featured Playwrights conversation and reading with Regina Taylor (stop. reset); and Kia Corthron (Breath, Boom). Hosted by Lisa Schlesinger (In the Wake of the Graybow Riots).

Memoir and Fiction reading, conversation and signing with Garnett Kilberg Cohen (Swarm to Glory); Amina Gautier (Now We Will Be Happy); and Megan Stielstra (Once I Was Cool). Hosted by Patricia Ann McNair (Temple of Air).

Young Adult Fiction: Into Darkness and Back Again reading, conversation, and signing featuring Stephanie Kuehn (Complicit); Jessie Ann Foley (The Carnival at Bray); Daniel Kraus (Scowler), Books for Youth Editor, Booklist; and Stephanie Kuehnert (Ballads of Suburbia). Hosted by Laurie Lawlor (This Tender Place: The Story of a Wetland Year).

Chicago Classics with Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune and WGN-AM radio legend, presents guests from the literary community reading works by their favorite Chicago authors, including Willard Motley, recently inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. There is also a pre-event reception and tour of the Chicago Cultural Center’s presentation of the Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist exhibition.

Fighting Violence: The Power of Words reading, conversation, and signing with Audrey Petty, editor (High Rise Stories); Kevin Coval (The BreakBeat Poets), founder, Louder Than A Bomb; Mitchell S. Jackson (The Residue Years). Hosted by Miles Harvey, editor, How Long Will I Cry?

2nd Story, Story Week’s Sunday night kick-off event, features personal narratives performed by storytellers Deb R. Lewis, Eric Hazen, Alexis Pride, and Wyl Villacres, with music and sound by Brakes on the Highway. Hosted by Megan Stielstra and Bobby Biedryzcki.

Story Week will also include a publishing panel, bootcamps with publishing professionals, writing workshops, readings by students and alums from Columbia College Chicago and from Chicago City of Learning Young Author Playlist. For a full listing of events, visit www.colum.edu/storyweek.

Columbia College Chicagois an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts nearly 10,000 students in 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visitwww.colum.edu.

###

Media contact:
Cara Birch, cbirch@colum.edu, 312.369.8695

×