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Festival inspires young writers

Festival inspires young writers
Leslie Leyland Fields reads an excerpt from her book The Spirit of Food.

Leslie Leyland Fields reads an excerpt from her book The Spirit of Food.

Authors from across the country spoke at the annual Writer’s Festival hosted by UMHB’s literary journal, Windhover. The event was held on Feb. 6-8 and featured numerous distinguished writers including Ron Hansen, Leslie Leyland Fields, and Andrea Palpant Dilley.

Hansen was educated in English literature at Creighton University. He is the author of eight novels, including The Assassination of Jesse James. He has been nominated twice for a PEN/Faulkner Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award for his novel Atticus.

Fields is the author and editor of eight creative nonfiction books, including The Spirit of Food, Surviving the Island of Grace: A Life on the Far Edge of America, and Parenting is Your Highest Calling . . . and Eight Other Myths.

Andrea Palpant Dilley  takes audience questions about the events that inspired her memoir, Faith and Other Flat Tires.

Andrea Palpant Dilley takes audience questions about the events that inspired her memoir, Faith and Other Flat Tires.

As a documentary producer, Dilley has had work aired nationally on American Public Television. Her memoir, Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, tells the story of her faith journey.

Senior English major Faith Forester attended several panels and presentations that allowed poets and writers to read their works. She also presented a short non-fiction piece called “Pretense” at Open Mic Night.

“I believe I’m called to be a writer. Attending the Writers Festival and being able to talk to all the authors about their work, and who I am as a young writer, was very inspiring,” she said.

Forester attended writing workshops with Fields and Hansen.

“The workshop with Fields was geared toward writing non-fiction. Writing is like the burden that’s put on you from your experiences. It’s your duty, if you’re a writer, to tell the world your experiences.”

Over 200 students attended the Writer’s Festival. With spiritual memoir workshops, band performances, Open Mic night, and the George Nixon Memorial Lecture, there was something for everyone.

“I think there’s a commonality we can all share when we hear these writers’ work about the human experience,” Forester said. “They are sharing their life through their work. And I think anyone can relate to that.”

-Nicole Johnson ’13