Ernest Hemingway may provide the truest review of Friday night’s inaugural Write Place: Statesboro Writers Festival.
“After you are finished reading [a good book] you feel that all that happened to you,” the famous author said.
Six local authors read from their books, and what happened to the audience inside the Emma Kelly Theater? They stepped inside stories of the sweet life in south Georgia, the apocalypse, life-changing terror, poetic vision, violence in our culture and sleuthing in Atlanta. The Georgia Southern Department of Writing and Linguistics authored the program, which was sponsored by the Averitt Center for the Arts, Statesboro Magazine and the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The authors included Lori Amy, reading from “The Wars We Inherit,” linking the violence in our homes to the violence of our culture. Jenny Lynn Anderson shared her “Room 939: 15 Minutes of Terror, 20 Years of Healing,” the personal story of courage and healing. Kathy Bradley’s award-winning “Breathing and Walking Around” celebrated the simple and profound in everyday living. Will McIntosh, winner of the international Hugo Award for science fiction, read from his “Soft Apocalypse.” Award-winning poet Eric Nelson presented work from “The Twins.” Tina Whittle’s “The Dangerous Edge of Things” invited listeners into a murder mystery.
“There is an enormous amount of writing talent in our community, and it’s an honor to showcase it with The Write Place event,” said Randall McClure, chair of Georgia Southern University’s Department of Writing & Linguistics. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we have the makings of an annual writers festival here that will just continue to grow.”
Jenny Foss, editor of Statesboro Magazine, agreed.
“It was incredibly difficult to choose only six authors for the first Write Place,” she says. “There were more than twenty wonderful books we could have chosen. I can’t wait for next year.”
“The Write Place demonstrates the power of the town-and-gown partnership of the university and the community for Statesboro,” said Heidi Jeffers, executive director of the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau. “These are successes we can build on year after year.”