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Luther College Writer's Festival

  • Date: Friday, September 27, 2013
  • Time: 4:00 pm
  • Location: Luther College

Award-winning authors Anne Lamott and Mark Salzman are the featured speakers at the 2013 Luther College Writers Festival, September 27-28

Registration begins at 2 p.m. Friday, September 27, in the Valders Hall of Science Concourse.

The festival kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday with a reading and book signing by Salzman and concludes on Saturday evening following a 7:30 p.m. lecture and book signing by Lamott in the Center for Faith and Life.

In addition to these two nationally known writers, the festival will offer workshops, panel discussions on craft, and readings in poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Cost for the festival is $75. For more information, write to [email protected], or go to

Lamott's lecture is sponsored by Luther's Distinguished Lecture Series and is open to the public with no charge for admission. Paid festival attendees will receive preferential seating at the event.

Salzman is best known for his 1986 memoir “Iron and Silk,” in which he describes his experiences living in China as an English teacher in the early 1980s. He has written on a variety of subjects, from a graceful novel about a Carmelite nun’s ecstatic visions and crisis of faith to a compelling memoir about growing up a misfit in a Connecticut suburb. His 1994 novel, “The Soloist,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and tells the story of a world-famous cellist, a one-time child prodigy who has lost his ability to play the instrument on stage. 

In the nonfiction book “True Notebooks: A Writer’s Year at Juvenile Hall” (2003), Salzman recounts his work teaching writing in a correctional facility. Reviewers hailed the book as an eye-opening account of at-risk youths, and noted the graceful way Salzman combined his own memoir of teaching with the voice of the student writers.

His novel “Lying Awake” captures an intensely interior voice of a cloistered nun in contemporary Los Angeles who begins to experience mystical visions, only to discover that they stem from mild epileptic seizures. 

Lamott, a widely acclaimed writer from San Francisco, is the author of several New York Times bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction. In 1994, she published the widely acclaimed “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.” She is also the author of “Operating

Instructions,” a memoir of her son’s first year, as well as “Travelling Mercies,” “Plan B” and “Grace (Eventually),” three books in which she describes in deeply comic and occasionally irreverent essays her journey toward faith. Her most recent book is “Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (2012).”

The Luther College Writers Festival is an outgrowth of the former Lutheran Festival of Writing, held in 2007 and 2010. According to English department chair and Festival director Nancy K. Barry, the festival is intended to encourage greater collaboration between local, regional and national writers whose work has literary, ethical and spiritual depth.

Questions? Contact Nancy K. Barry, 563-387-1591

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