2007-03-02 / Community

Literary Arts Festival Set For Fort Tilden

First Such Event On Peninsula April 22

The Rockaway Music and Arts Council (RMAC) will present the first ever Literary Arts Festival on the Rockaway peninsula on April 22 between 10 AM and 5 p.m., the organization's president, Stephen Yaeger has announced.

The festival, to be held in Ft. Tilden, will feature authors and screenwriters from the Greater Metropolitan area and beyond in a series of authors' panel discussions and a screenwriting symposium that will explore the issues and possibilities of the written word in the 21st Century. Admission is free.

Participating writers will include award-winning screenwriter and director Brett Morgen whose recent film "Chicago 10" opened the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and whose "On the Ropes" was an Academy-Award Nominated documentary.

Also participating: Ellis Avery, author of the acclaimed historical novel, " The Teahouse Fire" (Riverhead Press), Michael Drinkard, who wrote "Rebels, Turn Out Your Dead" (Harcourt), and Ellen Meister, author of "Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA" (William Morrow).

J. T. Petty (Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer from Simon & Schuster) and Canadian author Jeff Janoda (Saga: A Novel of Medieval Iceland/Chicago Academy Press) will be featured as well. In all, more than thirty authors and screenwriters are expected to participate in discussions ranging from the macabre to the mundane including suspense and historical fiction, women in literature, children's tales, cooking, and health-related issues.

A number of editors and agents will also be there for a special panel discussion addressing New Paradigms in the Publishing Industry which will look at the impact of modern technology on publishing today and examine its affects on writers and readers. The panel will include representatives from two of the major web-based print-on-demand (POD) publishing services firms: iUniverse and Xlibris.

Members of the panel, representing traditional publishers and a major literary agency, will be available after the discussion to consider book proposals from aspiring authors. Writers interested in presenting proposals must arrange this with Festival organizers in advance.

Participating editors include Marian Lizzi, Editor-in-Chief, Perigee Books and Senior Editor, G.P. Putnam's Sons, the Penguin Group; Stacey Barney, also of Penguin; Michaela Hamilton of Kensington Books; and agent Michael Bourret of the Dystel Literary Agency.

Student winners of a community wide writing contest will be recognized in the afternoon, and film clips from participating screenwriters and filmmakers will be shown during the course of the day.

Authors will sign copies of their books in the Festival bookstore and individual poetry readings, along with music by SquidWorks, will round out the day's offerings.

Food and refreshments will also be available.

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