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Marblehead Festival of Arts Hosts Writers' World
Each year, a devoted group of authors, novelists, poets, essayists and journalists gathers for the Marblehead Festival of Arts Writers’ World Workshops. This series of presentations highlight this extraordinary segment of the Festival, to be held June 30-July 4 at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 28 Mugford Street. The workshops promise fascinating presenters and lively conversation, according to co-chairs Betty Dew and Deborah Kearns.
On Saturday, June 30 at 10:00 am, author and teacher Phyllis Karas returns to Writers’ World. Karas teaches writing at Boston University School of Journalism and is the author of nine fiction and non-fiction books, including the 2006 New York Times bestseller, BRUTAL: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob and Where’s Whitey, released just last year. In her workshop, Karas will discuss “Rejecting Rejection: Unraveling the Secrets to Making Lemonade and Getting Published.”
On Saturday at 1:00 pm, Peter Berkrot will conduct a workshop on oral communication. Berkrot has narrated over 100 audiobooks of all genres. He is a stage, screen, and television actor, is also an acting coach and an audiobook reader for the Library of Congress.
Berkrot will draw on his extensive experience to discuss “Strategies for Effective Oral Reading.” When someone gives a presentation, reads aloud in class, reads for children or for a casting director, or just wants to give the brain a workout, there are strategies that everyone can learn to create a powerful speaking experience.
January O’Neil will lead a poetry workshop on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm. O’Neil is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and a professor at Salem State University. She is the author of Underlife (CavanKerry Press 2009) and the forthcoming Misery Islands (CavanKerry Press 2014).
The hardest part of writing poems is getting started. Join O’Neil as she leads a fun and stimulating workshop that will help participants jumpstart their writing. Through prompts and poetry exercises, all will leave this workshop with two to three poem drafts. There will be time at the end for sharing work for those who wish to do so, with supportive feedback from O’Neil. Whether you have never written a poem, or just need help getting started, this is the workshop for you.
Leslie Brunetta will head two workshops on Monday, at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Brunetta is the co-author, with arachnologist and evolutionary biologist Catherine L. Craig, of Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating (Yale University Press), which was long-listed for the Royal Society Winton Prize as the best science book for nonscientists.
Brunetta’s 1:00 pm presentation features a slide show presentation about the publication of Spider Silk. Spider webs didn’t just suddenly appear: they have evolved over hundreds of millions of years. Join science writer Leslie Brunetta to learn about the many different ways spiders use silk and why they can help us understand how evolution really works. Whether you’re a gardener, Charlotte’s Web or Spider-Man fan, or amateur arachnologist of any age, you’ll find much to appreciate in the amazing story of spider silk.
In her 3:00 pm presentation, “Co-Authoring: Getting to the Greater Sum,” Brunetta asks some important questions. Are you a writer looking for an idea you can really sink your teeth into? Or are you an expert who feels that your field is underappreciated because 1) when you and your colleagues speak or write, the general population doesn’t understand, but also 2) popular reporting on your area of expertise is superficial and often misleading?
Find out how co-authoring differs from ghostwriting—and how the friction that inevitably results from a writer and expert working together can spark larger ideas, greater insights and more compelling writing than either writer or expert could produce alone.
On Tuesday, July 3, there will be a Roundtable Discussion about Writers’ Groups at 1:00 pm.
On Wednesday, July 4, at 2:00 pm, the Mugford Street Players will continue a long-established tradition of reading selections from the winning Writers’ World exhibit entries. Please join the Players, along with the authors, to enjoy their contributions to the Festival of the Arts and the art world. Following the readings, a reception for the Mugford Street Players and winning writers will be held in the Literary Arts Café.
The Literary Arts Café, located at Unitarian Universalist Church, is open during Writers’ World exhibit hours: Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00 pm; Monday and Tuesday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm; and Wednesday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Café will offer a comfortable atmosphere in which readers may gather to read submitted works, and writers may gather to discuss their works and to share thoughts and ideas with others.
The Café’s menu will offer a variety of items including coffee and tea, both hot and iced, root beer floats, water, other drinks and a delectable selection of light finger foods and pastries. Visitors are encouraged to settle down for a while, enjoy the food and the literature, and join the discussions that are certain to follow.
For more information, visit www.MarbleheadFestival.org.
More About Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead
Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead began over 280 years ago, when the congregation split from the First Congregational Church, now called "Old North Church." The split happened because Old North selected the more conservative of two candidates being considered for settled minister.
A group of parishioners, who favored the more liberal pastor Rev. Edward Holyoke, invited him to lead a new church across town. Thus was born the Second Congregational Church of Marblehead, which joined the Unitarian movement in 1820 under the auspices of Reverend John Bartlett, who served from 1811 until he died in 1849.
Today, the church offers youth and adult education, and also hosts the me & thee coffeehouse on Friday nights.