If you're looking for an educational and inspirational writing event this month, the Unbound Book Festival should be on your list. Festival founder and director, author Alex George, has done a brilliant job planning and organizing this literary event, which celebrates literature of all kinds.
Note: While all events are free, festival organizers have requested that attendees bring gently used books to deposit in bins that will be placed outside the doors of the meeting rooms. These donated books will be distributed throughout the community after the event.
Friday evening, April 22, the Missouri Theater in Columbia will be the site for a conversation with internationally renowned bestselling author of The English Patient and many other exceptional novels, memoirs, and books of poetry -- Michael Ondaatje.
The main event will be Saturday April 23 on the campus of Stephens College in Columbia, MO. The schedule includes programs for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children's Events. Senator Claire McCaskill is among the score of top-notch speakers who will be featured during the day. You can find a complete list of speakers here.
A variety of panels will also be held during the day, including the First Page Rodeo, where an expert panel (New York literary agent Margaret Sutherland Brown, Unbridled Books senior editor Greg Michalson, and New York Times bestselling authors Eleanor Brown and George Hodgman) will share their thoughts on a selection of first pages of novels submitted in advance of the festival by the general public.
Five first pages have been selected, from authors as far away as Texas to Massachusetts. The panelists will discuss what works and what does not, as well as what will grab the attention of industry professionals.
Note: At least one of the first-page selectees is from Missouri, and she will be in the audience hoping the panel isn't too harsh on her one-page submission.
You can find a complete schedule, list of authors, and more details on the Unbound Book Festival site. Hope to see you there! And don't forget to bring your gently used books to donate.