Rockford Public Library hosts Festival of Words Sept. 14-17

Guest speakers and author workshops are highlights of second annual event

Drama, romance, comedy and tragedy are all themes that will be celebrated at the Rockford Public Library’s (RPL) Festival of Words starting Sept. 14.

The Festival of Words returns this year with a variety of guest speakers, author workshops and programs. The programs kick off with a page to stage conversation and workshop on playwriting.

“Rockford Public Library is excited to bring back the Festival of Words for its second year,” said Jennifer Giltrop, interim executive director of RPL. “Other communities host literary festivals, but RPL Festival of Words puts an exciting spin on this type of event.”

The keynote speaker for Festival of Words, novelist and playwright Mark Dunn, will lead this workshop on how to move a great idea for a play into a full production in Room B at the Main Library from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 14. Registration is required for this program.

Dunn will also be addressing his novel, Ella Minnow Pea, later that evening in the main library auditorium from 7 to 8:45 p.m. A book signing will follow.

Sept. 15 there will be a comic book writing workshop in Room B of the main library from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Registration is required for the workshop.

David Rodriguez, writer/creator of the comic book mini-series Starkweather, will discuss topics including script format, communicating with the art team and getting it printed and published.

The programs continue Sept. 16 with a Mystery Plotting Workshop in Room B of the Main Library from 3 to 5 p.m. JA Konrath, author of the Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series, will discuss how to plot a mystery. Registration is required for this event.

Following Konrath’s plotting, the mystery continues with a murder mystery dinner in the Main Library Auditorium from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Konrath and Rodriguez will join the group for this spooky dinner.

Registration for the dinner is required. Cost is $25 per person, which includes dinner and the mystery. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume and best detective.

The Words Fair begins Sept. 17, the last day of the Festival of Words celebration.

The last day kicks off in the Main Library Auditorium at 11 a.m. with The Dot and Susan Show, a program of story and song for all ages.

The Words Fair is a great chance to celebrate the written and spoken word, meet local authors, buy their personally signed works and listen to music while wandering back and forth between the Greenwich Village Art Fair at Rockford Art Museum, the Artists’ Fair in Beattie Park and the Words Fair.

Craft projects for kids and refreshments will be available.

The night will end with the Poetic Justice League 4 America hosting a poetry slam from 8 p.m. to midnight at Minglewood Café & Boutique, 317 W. Jefferson St.

The poetry slam will allow guests to perform their own poetry or listen to the Poetic Justice League, a collaboration of poets, writers and activists. The slam is free and open to the public.

Last year, the Festival of Words drew an estimated 340 guests.

“Throughout the four-day event, the RPL hopes to draw over 1,000 people downtown to enjoy all the excitement the written and spoken word has to offer,” said Zoe Norwood, assistant manager of the adult service department and the chairman of the Festival of Words committee.

RPL, 215 N. Wyman St., will host the Festival of Words beginning Sept. 14 and ending with the Words Fair Sept. 17. The Words Fair will be in the river esplanade area behind the main library.

There may still be space available for local authors to reserve a table. If interested, call Zoe Norwood at 987-6624. To register for any event or for more information, contact the Adult Services Department at 965-7606 (press 2).

From the Sept. 7-13, 2005, issue

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