June 11 – 18, 2009 Edition

Memoir Writing Festival
to Focus On Writing As Art

Hudson Valley, New York (Authorlink News, June 11, 2009) –Acclaimed writers will share their memoir writing and their publishing experience in panel discussions, readings and hands-on writing workshops at the Omega Institute’s all-star Memoir Festival, July 10-12.

The program follows the format of the celebrated Woodstock Memoir Festival, created by authors Fred Poole and Marta Szabo, long-time directors of the Woodstock, New York-based Authentic Writing Workshops, with Barry Samuels, creative co-owner of Woodstock’s renowned independent bookstore, The Golden Notebook.

Authors ranging from Malachy McCourt to Abigail Thomas to Martha Frankel and Nick Flynn will welcome participants at all levels of writing experience to the Omega campus, set in the midst of the Hudson Valley’s natural splendors, just outside of Rhinebeck, New York.

“The festival,” Poole says, “is based on the firm conviction that the very best writing is art, the best art comes from the heart and mind of the actual artist, and memoir is where the most fearless literary work takes place today.”

Panel subjects will range from the question of “how much should a memoirist reveal?” to artistic matters, to the inside scoop on selling and publishing a manuscript.

The workshops will be led by the team of Fred Poole, author most recently of AUTHENTIC WRITING: A Memoir on Creating Memoir; Marta Szabo, author of THE GURU LOOKED GOOD, and Laura Shaine Cunningham, author of the very popular memoir, SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS.

Malachy McCourt is the famed actor, activist and author of the memoirs A MONK SWIMMING and SINGING MY HIM SONG. Abigail Thomas—formerly a successful book editor and agent—is critically acclaimed author of THINKING ABOUT MEMOIR, and her own memoirs, A THREE DOG LIFE and SAFEKEEPING, and teaches writing at The New School. Martha Frankel is a well-known magazine writer and author of the best-selling family gambling memoir, HATS AND EYEGLASSES. Also highlighted at the Omega festival are New Yorker writer, Nick Flynn, a celebrated poet and author of the PEN prize-winning memoir ANOTHER BULLSHIT NIGHT IN SUCK CITY; Susan Richards, author of the best-selling, moving memoirs CHOSEN BY A HORSE and CHOSEN FOREVER, and booking agent Alison Granucci, who represents many of America’s leading memoirists.

Poole reflects, “When I was young, I read the authors of the day, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, James T. Farrell, Thomas Wolfe and was convinced, as was later confirmed in biographies of them, that they were all writing directly from their lives. If they were published today, it would almost certainly be under the heading of memoir rather than fiction.