New Voices 2012

Lisa and I have just returned from Chester, Vermont, where I was fortunate enough to take part in the New Voices 2012 literary festival this past weekend.  Organized by Misty Valley Books‘ co-owners Lynne and Bill Reed, the festival invites five writers at the start of their writing careers to Chester for a series of events.

The fun began on Friday night with dinner at Lynne and Bill’s apartment (located above the bookstore) with members of the community and the other four New Voices: Betty Shotton (Liftoff Leadership), Katharine Britton (Her Sister’s Shadow), Naomi Benaron (Running The Rift) and Paul Grossman (The Sleepwalkers).  Then we all adjourned to our rooms at the Fullerton Inn, located right next door.

The next morning, we ate breakfast at the Inn and caravanned to the Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center for a few hours of cross-country skiing.  After lunch by the fire in the lodge, we drove back to Chester and made our way to the Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts for a book reading and signing.  VTICA is a stunning space, with canvases on every wall and natural light pouring in through skylights, and the Center was filled to capacity for the event.  Each writer was introduced by a member of the community, and the five readings were followed by a group Q & A.

The day concluded with a wine-and-cheese reception at the Fullerton Inn, and dinner in the dining room – during which I struck up a conversation with two couples from Amherst, Massachusetts!

Before leaving Chester yesterday morning, I stopped by Misty Valley Books to thank Lynne and Bill for orchestrating such a delightful weekend, and for offering so much support to newly-published writers.


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