Steamboat’s Literary Sojourn details finalized | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat’s Literary Sojourn details finalized

Festival announces authors for Sept. 10 event

— The lineup for the 19th annual Literary Sojourn festival of authors was finalized last week, and for planning committee Chairwoman Chris Painter, that means magic has begun.

"Having confirmed the aut­hors, that kind of ignites for me the enthusiasm that I have and I hope others have throughout the coming months to really enjoy the books that these authors have written," Painter said.

The Sept. 10 event, presented by Bud Werner Memorial Library, will feature renowned authors Jennifer Egan, Peter Mathiessen, Paula McLain, Julie Orringer and Jim Shepard.

Julia Glass will be the master of ceremonies.

"We have an incredible lineup," said Painter, who is also the library director. "I am very proud and impressed with the caliber of author coming to this year's event. We have National Book Award winners and finalists. And I think there's some great reading. I really love the books."

Tickets for the event will go on sale in May. Painter said that last year the event sold out in less than a month, proving it's never too early to start planning for the Sojourn.

Pre-Sojourn events

The library will begin the journey of preparing the community and its readers for the event starting Tuesday with author studies and readings.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Bud Werner Memorial Library's Michelle Dover will host a book club discussion on Jennifer Egan's "A Visit from the Goon Squad" to kick off the Literary Sojourn Author Study series. The book club discussions are limited to 12 people, so participants are encouraged to register by calling the library.

After the hourlong discussion, the community will have the chance to listen to local reader Patty Zimmer orate one of Egan's short stories during Story-time for Grown-ups: The After Dark Edition, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Adult program coordinator Jennie Lay said the library hopes to continue pairing book club discussions with Story-time for Grown-ups readings in the months leading up to Literary Sojourn.

Painter called "Goon Squad" one of her favorite books on the Literary Sojourn reading list and said the author studies and story-time readings could be an integral part of enhancing the literary journey.

"I think it gets people so excited about reading and talking with others," she said. "And then having the opportunity to hear the author's perspective on the books that they've read. Just knowing … you're going to get a chance to hear the story behind these stories; it's magical to open that door a crack."

She said the enthusiasm surrounding Literary Sojourn is infectious, bringing people back year after year.

Last year's event, which featured writers Wally Lamb and Frank Delaney, filled the Sheraton Steamboat Resort with 500 people. Of that 500, 81 percent were returning guests and 19 percent were at their first Sojourn, Painter said.

"When we asked people how they heard about it if they hadn't been, it was mostly word of mouth," she said. "It's the enthusiasm; it just spreads."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com