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Story Week: Festival of Writers 2011
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Story Week: Festival of Writers 2011

Class Acts


March 13-18, 2011

From Sunday, March 13 through Friday, March 18, the Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department presents its 15th Annual Story Week Festival of Writers: Class Acts.

This year's theme will spark discussion among Story Week participants about how issues of class manifest themselves in creative works and the rapidly changing world of publishing. It also reflects the high quality of writing from this year's featured guests.

As it has for the last 15 years, Story Week 2011 will offer six days jam-packed with readings, conversations with authors, panels, performances, and book signings at venues throughout Chicago—all free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored in part by the Chicago Public Library and Metro.

Story Week will once again present a diverse group of headliners who will read from and discuss their works. They are: Scottish-born Irvine Welsh, who grabbed the world's attention with his daring working-class fiction novel Trainspotting; Chicago-born Jennifer Egan, whose most recent book, A Visit from the Goon Squad, was named one of the top 10 books of 2010 by the New York Times; and Karen Tei Yamashita, National Book Award finalist and author of I Hotel, about the Yellow Power movement in 1970s San Francisco. Also lighting up the Story Week stage is Columbia College Chicago professor Audrey Niffenegger, acclaimed author of The Time Traveler's WifeHer Fearful Symmetry, and the serialized graphic novel The Night Bookmobile. Goodman Theatre playwrights Regina Taylor (The Trinity River Plays) and Tanya Saracho (El Nogalar) will explore the collaborative nature of storytelling and the stage.

Highlights: Sunday night, Story Week kicks off with 2nd Story at Martyrs'—a unique showcase of stories, music, and sound. On Monday, Jennifer Egan appears at the Harold Washington Library. Tuesday evening brings readings/conversations with Audrey Niffenegger, Karen Tei Yamashita, and British prizewinning author Gerard Woodward (Nourishment). Wednesday, Story Week features an afternoon panel on The Future of Publishing, and that evening Story Week's capstone "Literary Rock & Roll" event at Metro, with readings and signings by Irvine Welsh (Crime), Preston L. Allen (Jesus Boy) and Gina Frangello (Slut Lullabies), plus short comedy from Stephanie Shaw and music spun by DJs Joe Shanahan, Irvine Welsh, and Don De Grazia. Thursday features playwrights, with a workshop by Regina Taylor at Columbia College in the morning, and a conversation featuring Taylor and Tanya Saracho at the Harold Washington Library in the afternoon. Friday evening, Rick Kogan hosts "Chicago Classics," with members of Chicago's literary community reading works by their favorite Chicago authors at Lincoln Hall.

Finally, Story Week completes its 15th-anniversary celebration with readings by faculty and students, a publishing panel, and staged scenes by student playwrights.

For more information, visit our sidebar links for events, featured writers, and sponsors. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.