Preview: Letters Festival a lively weekend showcasing independent writing and publishing

The Letters Festival Logo

The Letters Festival LogoThe third annual Letters Festival will bring a diverse mix of seasoned and up-and-coming writers from around the country to Atlanta Contemporary from November 12 to November 14.

Presented by Lostintheletters, a local literary organization, the three-day event will foster awareness of independent writing and publishing. Its aim is to “bridge the gap between the local and national literary community,” says Scott Daughtridge, executive director of Lostintheletters. “We wanted a diverse and active group of writers, of different genders, ages and backgrounds.”

The event will include notable locals such as poets Nikki Igbo and Phillip B. Williams and national authors such as Denver poet Khadijah Queen, Chicago author and poet Jac Jemc and L.A. novelist Amelia Gray.

Michael Kimball
Michael Kimball

They will participate in readings, workshops and panel discussions. Among them, novelist Michael Kimball will hold the “One-Hour MFA (in fiction)” workshop.

“The workshop will cover the best advice I have ever learned about writing,” he says. “[It] will touch on aspects of writing that include openings, story and plot, language and sentences, narration and voice… and other elements of fiction.”

Queen will offer advice on how to deliver “a robust and engaging performance” in her workshop, “The Art of Live Reading.”

The festival will also include the Book Market, where visitors can purchase literary journals, art magazines and other publications from the likes of New South, Five Points — A Journal of Literature and Art, The Georgia Review and Black Ocean. It will also give visitors the opportunity to learn more about the publishing world from editors and publishers.

Atlanta poet Nikki Igbo
Atlanta poet Nikki Igbo.

Igbo, who will appear at the opening event on Thursday, says the Letters Festival is an opportunity for all writers to connect with one another. “What makes [it] so cool, [is that] no matter where any author is in their writing journey they can get together… and just feed off of each other’s energy.

“You get inspiration and motivation [and get] connected with avenues for publishing and promotion. I don’t know any author, independent, established or otherwise, who wouldn’t benefit from that.”

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