Articles and Q&As

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In celebration of our incredible local literary community, we spoke to local writers Kim Davids Mandar, Candace de Taeye, Wendy Gruner, Lisa Hirmer, Marilyn Kleiber (aka J.M. Tibbott), Jean Mills and C.S. O'Cinneide as well as publisher Jeremy Luke Hill of Gordon Hill Press about their new releases, the inspiration for their work, and what's coming up next for

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"It was my first validation that I could write something interesting to other readers. . . . It convinced me that I had something worthy to say. Afterward, I pushed forward writing my novel. I knew I could do it."

We check in with past EMWF contest winners andrea bennet, Russell Fralich, Dean Gessie, Phyllis L. Humby, Rene Meshake, Marion Reidel and Julia Zarankin, all of whom are now published authors. They share their advice for those starting to submit to contests, how the experience of reading at the festival impacted their trajectory as writers, and what we can expect from their new books.

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"You made it, you crazy bastard!"
-Clifford Jackman on what he would tell his younger writer selff.

Read our exclusive Q&A with the author of The Braver Thing.

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"I don’t understand how we as people became so unwilling to hear or understand each other. Despite everything we were taught generations ago, we seem to now prefer conflict and stubbornness. It’s present in the words we use. Poetry, song, spoken word, and performance all play with that - and we need more of those things if we are to survive." -Tyler Pennock on how this particular point in time has influenced their poetry.

Read our exclusive Q&A with a selection of the poets reading as part of our upcoming poetry showcase "Hot Nights. Cool Poets."

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"I realized that we’re all going to die. That sounds glib, but it’s kind of true. I wanted to write a collection of sudden stories that was unified by a single thematic preoccupation. A big one, something sufficiently mystifying to keep me out of my depth." – John Gould on what sparked the idea for his new book of short, short stories.

Read our exclusive Q&A with the author of The End of Me.

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"Even though it’s inevitable, the end of our own existence or that of anyone we love is barely possible to grasp. A person’s presence, once real, is not easily wiped away. How do you tackle such an intractable contradiction? I have written a book about a dead loved one, and I hardly know."– Anita Lahey, author of The Last Goldfish, on why we avoid talking openly about death.

Inspired by our panel discussion "On Being Alive", we've put together a reading list of four recently released memoirs.

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"In 2017, I spent six weeks alone in the countryside of Norwich, UK, working on my first book. I had almost zero human interaction, and I only conversed with a few cows and a donkey called Button. I attended his 30th birthday celebration. It was bizarre but wonderful." – Lindsay Wong on needing to be alone to write.

Read our exclusive Q&A with "In the Lead" panelists Sheena Kamal, Rob Shapiro and Lindsay Wong.

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"It's a crazy spaghetti twirl, and for the most part, you have to grit it out. Staying power is everything. Also, comparing yourself to others is a nightmare: it's an early mistake to do this, and I've learned to stay in my lane and trust that I'm doing my best." - Roz Nay on common traps for aspiring writers.

Read our exclusive Q&A with Thrill Her panelists Samantha Bailey, Roz Nay and Amy Stuart, who share insights on the writing life, what they're currently reading, and where they get their ideas.

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