North Shore Readers and Writers Festival | Day 1: Thursday Nov. 7

View a printable schedule for the full festival (.pdf)

Class | Food Writing: From Fields to Meals to Manuscript

with Beth Dooley
Thursday, November 7 | 1:30 — 4:00 pm

Students will learn about several aspects of food writing, including restaurant reviews, memoir, essay, and cookbook collections. Food writing requires no more than a passion for food and Beth will walk you through how to summon its wonders in words. Whether you are interested in writing about producing, preparing, or covering food politics, justice, health, or the environment, through a variety of writing exercises and techniques students will gain key insights into the craft of writing well.


Class | On Plot: A Narrative Primer

with Sally Franson
Thursday, November 7 | 1:30 — 4:00 pm

“Character is plot, plot is character,” wrote Minnesotan golden boy F. Scott Fitzgerald. In this class, we’ll go beyond F. Scott’s vagaries and open up the proverbial hood on plot. Much like a muscle car, plot relies on solid mechanics; students will learn these mechanics to create lean, mean stories with surprising yet inevitable endings. By reverse-engineering classic works by Shakespeare, Flannery O’Connor, and Graham Greene, students will internalize dramatic structure and practice tools for creating narrative urgency.


Class | Infinite Possibilities: Point of View

with Sheila O’Connor
Thursday, November 7 | 1:30 — 4:00 pm

Point of view is one of the most significant choices in storytelling. In the spirit of exploration, students will work with multiple points of view to discover some of the infinite possibilities available to writers, including single narrator, multiple narrators, first, and third-person positions. Students should come prepared to actively participate in a series of writing exercises designed for deep immersion in point of view.


Author Talk | Black Aperture

with Matt Rasmussen
Thursday, November 7 | 1:30 — 2:15 pm

Matt Rasmussen, National Book Award Finalist and Minnesota Book Award Winner, will read from and discuss his debut poetry book, Black Aperture, which is largely centered on his brother’s suicide. Matt grew up in International Falls, Minnesota, and will discuss the events that lead to the book’s creation and eventual publication.


Author Talk | A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing

with David Mura
Thursday, November 7 | 2:20 — 3:05 pm

David Mura will talk about race and identity and the aesthetics of memoir, central themes in his book A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity & Narrative Craft in Writing (University of Georgia Press, 2018). In 2019 America, the issues of race and identity should be fundamental concerns for all writers if they are going to explore the complexities of modern America. David will discuss why, for white writers and writers of color, an exploration of identity is essential to one’s development as a writer, especially in memoir.


Author Talk | Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)

with Lorna Landvik
Thursday, November 7 | 3:10 — 3:55 pm

Lorna Landvik will talk about her topical but timeless Chronicles of a Radical Hag (With Recipes) (University of Minnesota Press, 2019), which reminds us—sometimes with a subtle touch, sometimes with gobsmacking humor—of the power of words and of silence, as well as the wonder of finding in each other what we never even knew we were missing.


Opening Reception at Grand Marais Art Colony

Thursday, November 7 | 4:30 — 5:30 pm

Gather together with other event participants and presenters to kick off the weekend, peruse the book sales table, and greet the exhibiting book professionals. Drinks and light refreshments provided. This event is free and open to all; no pre-registration is required.


Special Event | Keynote Address

with Leif Enger
Thursday, November 7 | 7:00 — 8:30 pm

Leif Enger is an award-winning, best-selling novelist from Duluth, Minnesota. His most recent book, Virgil Wander (Grove Atlantic, 2018), is set on the North Shore and follows the inhabitants of a hard-luck town in their quest for renewal. Leif will discuss learning to spot great stories everywhere around us, the power of listening, and the renegade kindness of fiction. This event is free and open to all; but pre-registration is required for this event.

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Before you select your tickets: Some events take place at the same time as others so please be mindful when selecting your tickets so that you do not unintentionally become double-booked.

  • North Shore Readers and Writers Festival | Day 1:
    November 7, 2019
    1:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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