Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's Story Week!

Chicago friends! Do you know about the awesomeness that is Story Week?

Every year for the past 17 years, Columbia College Chicago (my school), has hosted Story Week. It's called a 'Festival of Writers' for good reason. It brings our Fiction Writing department together for networking and appreciation of authors who have 'made it.' It brings the public in to see what our school is all about, and give them access to some pretty badass writers. It's a week of readings, panels, discussions, Q&A's, and ultimate inspiration for people like me who hope to someday make a living off of writing.

This year, the lineup for Story Week is above and beyond. I've been in Columbia's Fiction department for three years now, and I don't recall being as excited for Story Week as I am this year. Gillian Flynn, author of the bestselling and much buzzed about Gone Girl is here. Sapphire, author of the book-turned-movie Push, and it's sequel The Kid is here. Joe Meno, author of one of my favorites, Hairstyles of the Damned and the newish Office Girl is here. Audrey Niffenegger, author of the book-turned-movie The Time Travelers Wife is here. Emma Donoghue, author of the bestseller Room is here. GUYS, THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER AWESOME AUTHORS HERE, TOO! Not to mention all of the readings by undergrad and graduate students in the department, alumni, and faculty.

Yesterday, I went with my class to see a Q&A session and reading with Sapphire. I read Push several years back after the movie came out, and The Kid over the summer. I deeply admired Sapphire's bravery at tackling the tough subjects she has in her novels, and the brilliant voices she created for Precious and Abdul Jones. Listening to her read from her novels and bring those voices to life was incredible, and hearing her research and experiences with the novels was inspiring and eye opening. Afterwards, she did a book signing. I bought a copy of Push to be signed, and I will probably re-read in the near future. Luckily, I was the last person in line to get my copy signed, and I got to talk to her for a few minutes.
One of the things she said that really struck me happened when I expressed to her something one of my teachers said about librarian's not being able to keep Push on the shelves in the teen section of their libraries, and the idea of a lot of discussions happening about how much is 'too much' for YA readers to read. She said in these days, people and children, especially, have access to so much knowledge on the internet. She said, "when I was a child, people used to tell us not to cross or play in the street because we would get killed. Now, instead of telling kids not to cross the street, we have to show them how to cross the street."

It was great, and an awesome kick-off to my 2013 Story Week experience.

If you're interested in attending any Story Week events, check out the website HERE for the schedule and more information.


  1. This sounds like an amazing event. My story-loving self is so jealous!

    1. it was really fun! i went to a couple of panels after the Sapphire one and each one was inspiring. especially with Emma Donoghue, author of Room, she was such an animated and lively reader!