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Mediabistro to host its first literary festival, online

May 2, 2012 | 10:17 am


Susan Orlean will provide the keynote speech for Mediabistro's first literary festival and writing workshop sessions this summer. Attendees will watch her on video, remotely, poised in front of their computers -- the festival will take place completely online.

Mediabistro offers a number of classes for aspiring writers, tending toward the how-to-be-a-journalist vein. This is its first geared toward those who want to write books, land literary agents, sell books and do their own marketing online. One of the organizers, and speakers, is Jason Boog of Mediabistro's popular publishing blog, Galleycat.

Over the course of two weeks, from July 16 to Aug. 1, participants will log in to watch a series of video addresses, with interactive Q&A sessions. There are also separate writing workshops and a manuscript critique from an author.

The setup is nothing new -- it basically follows the process used by distance MFA programs between in-person sessions. And the idea of a short-term session that is led by a handful of writers has been successfully achieved by in-person programs that include the Summer Literary Seminars in Kenya and Lithuania, Sirenland in Italy, the Sewanee Writers Conference in Tennessee, the Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers’ Workshop in Mississippi, the Key West Literary Seminar in Florida, the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop in Portland, Ore., and many more.

This version is much whittled-down from those more robust programs. Yet it doesn't ask people to apply -- to get in, writers simply need to sign up. Registration is $425.


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-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Susan Orlean in her Los Angeles back yard. Credit: Jay L.Clendenin / Los Angeles Times