James Young, a writer of “alternate history” novels such as “Acts of War,” which imagines what would have happened if Hitler had not been defeated in World War II, will be the keynote speaker at the Metropolitan Community College-Longview Literary Festival on Friday, Oct. 27.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the campus’ Cultural Arts Center, 500 S.W. Longview Road in Lee’s Summit. Admission is free.
Young, a Missouri native, will speak at noon. At 2 p.m., he will take part in a panel discussion on “History’s Tipping Points” with MCC history instructor Diane Boldt and Kansas City author Sean Demory.
The festival will include readings, other panel discussions, writing workshops, open mic sessions and book sales and autographs. Session topics include writing short fiction, self-publishing, indie publishing, the writer’s life, the business of writing and working with editors.
MCC-Longview English instructor Susan Satterfield, project coordinator for the event, says she’s expecting more than 20 authors, editors and publishers to take part. Participating authors will include Lindsey Martin-Bowen, Carl Rhoden, Linda Rodriquez and Dennis Young. Critique groups will attend as well.
Also appearing at the ninth annual festival: Metropolitan Community College Trustee Phil LeVota, an attorney and author of the novel “His Name Was Murder,” who will take part in a discussion on “The Art of Self-Promotion.”
Two agents will be on hand to look at attendees’ manuscripts.
“Getting one agent is amazing for an event in the heartland, since most agents are located on the East and West Coasts where most of the publishing houses are,” Satterfield says.
There’ll be a number of writing contests. Winners of advance writing contests will be announced at the event, but others will take place at the festival, including Story-in-a-Bag, Art is the Word and Add-On Story. The art category will ask participants to write a story or poem based on a piece of art in the adjoining gallery. Attendees can vote for the best Add-On Story: Each building on campus had the same starting prompt on a large piece of butcher paper, and for the week before the festival, students, faculty, staff and administrators were invited to add to each story.
At the festival “the participants display their works and spend a lot of time talking to attendees one-on-one, giving advice on writing, getting published or simply discussing the literary world,” Satterfield says. “This is a great event for everyone involved, whether they are networking with fellow authors, encouraging new writers or interacting with readers who love a well-told story. ”
Questions? Email Satterfield at Susan.Satterfield@mcckc.edu.