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Writers gather in Aspen

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news
Special to the Daily Candace Bushnell, author of "Sex in the City," spoke at the Hotel Jerome ballroom last winter. This summer, Aspen Summer Words 2005, a five-day writers' and readers' festival, moves from the Given Institute to the historic Hotel Jerome.
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ASPEN – The wit of Ireland settles in Aspen for a five days as Aspen Summer Words 2005 hosts some of the Emerald Isle’s most talented and charming authors.For the 29th year, writers and literary lovers gather in the mountains of Aspen. They pour over words, delve into secrets of the publishing industry, share favorite reading lists and take herbal tea and gourmet cookie breaks every afternoon.The Aspen Writers’ Foundation -Colorado’s oldest literary nonprofit – hosts Pulitzer Prize-winning Frank McCourt (“Angela’s Ashes”); Edna O’Brien (“The Country Girls” and “Down By the River”); Irish novelist of the year Colum McCann; acclaimed broadcaster, filmmaker and art critic Polly Devlin; Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award winner Gerard Donovan; and bestselling authors Nuala O’Faolain, Hugo Hamilton and Jamie O’Neill, Sunday, June 26 to Thursday, June 30.”Ireland has a rich tradition of storytelling, and it’s also known for having a good time. We here in Aspen like that combination of good words and a good time,” said Lara Whitley, marketing director.

The festival features author readings and talks, writing workshops, publishing industry panels, professional consultants and social gatherings for both readers and writers.”Aspen Summer Words will be the journey of a lifetime, a chance for book lovers to meet Ireland’s literary all-stars – never before, and perhaps never again assembled in one place,” said Lisa Consiglio, the foundation’s executive director. “This will be the equivalent of a trip to Ireland, except the country is coming to you.”The premier event takes place Wednesday, June 29 at a gala dinner honoring McCourt. Other highlights include McCann’s reading from his new works and a presentation of “Everything in This Country Must,” an Academy Award-nominated short film adapted for the screen from his short story.Since the festival has outgrown the Given Institute, the Hotel Jerome will host participants in its historic ballroom.”It’s wonderful to be housed at a place of such sophistication,” Whitley said.

Panel discussions range from writing memoirs to making your mark in magazines – and they tend to impart a sense of what’s possible.”I think freelance magazine writing often seems daunting, a secret club for the initiated,” said Daniel Glick, author and panelist. “I want people to know there’s a market out there for good writers who are professional and have wonderful, compelling stories to tell.”Glick teaches that persistence is the key because the magazine world constantly changes and is quite subjective.While Glick offers plenty of inspiration, he also gains from sharing his knowledge with others.

“The world of words is still incredibly energizing for me, and it’s thrilling, really, to meet other people who feel the same way,” he said. “It’s nice to know there are people out there still making their living with their words, being creative, even picaresque in their lives. There’s no one way to be a writer, and these conferences really open up worlds of possibilities — including old-fashioned networking.”In addition to the literary festival, writing workshops focus on screenwriting, fiction and magazine writing; however, most are sold out. A festival pass is $200, and single event tickets are $15 to $20. For tickets, call (970) 920-5770, and for more information, visit http://www.aspenwriters.org.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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