PA LitFest welcomes John Dixon as Keynote Speaker. John’s debut novel, Phoenix Island,inspired the CBS TV series Intelligence, starring Josh Holloway and Marge Helgenberger.
Statewide Literary Festival in Fayette
May 30, 31 & June 1
idea arose during a casual conversation between four Fayette County
locals – two published authors and two television producers: Why not
gather people and resources from across the state and country for a
televised celebration of everything related to reading and writing?
From that chat, the Pennsylvania Literary Festival was born, and now,
the building blocks are in place for a weekend-long festival, to be held
at the Uniontown Mall May 30 through June 1.
The Pennsylvania Literary Festival,
or #PAlitFest, as it is abbreviated by its growing group of followers
on the social media Website, Twitter, will be coordinated by a team that
is led by Fayette Community Television representatives Matthew Dowling
and Dave Slusarick and husband-and-wife authors Jason Jack and Heidi
Ruby Miller, who had the initial burst of inspiration for the event.
According to the Pennsylvania Literary Festival’s website, the gathering
will seek “to engage and inform attendees concerning literary
achievements, opportunities, and educational programs within the state
and surrounding areas by assembling publishers, authors, libraries,
schools, literary agencies, reading associations, book clubs, and the
The festival’s mission will be accomplished through author appearances
and signings, readings, workshops, storytellers, and more. Fayette Community Television,
a project of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce’s non-profit arm, the
Redstone Foundation, will be in attendance to host two episodes of the
community spotlight show “Going LIVE with FCTV,” and to record selected
portions of the festival for rebroadcast.
Headlining the event will be keynote speaker John Dixon of West Chester, Pa.,
whose debut novel, Phoenix Island, inspired the CBS TV series
Intelligence. Dixon has published over thirty stories, and formerly
maintained the online magazine The Squid, which published the fiction of
young writers from around the world.
Activities for children and contests for students will be an important component of the festival.
“We feel that in hosting the festival, one of our responsibilities is to
advocate literacy and literature for young people… to show them that
reading expands their imagination and opens them up to a whole world of
ideas, and that writing is a great creative outlet that can have a
profound impact on yourself and others,” Heidi Ruby Miller said.
Details about contests and competitions for area students will be available on the event Website, PAlitFest.com, in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the event team is seeking writers, publishers, schools,
libraries, and community organizations that are interested in
participating in the festival, through making a presentation, operating
an information table, or assisting in event planning.
EVENTS Jason and I are going to help you get into flow during the breakout sessions for the Staying Home, Staying Creative Workshop at All AccessCon on Thursday, April 23, 2020 (4:00 - 7:00 PM ET) . Are you feeling "stuck" at home in more ways than one? Many of us always said that if only we could stay home we'd finally write that novel, learn a new writing skill, or revise that story or article and get it into the submission process. Now that we aren't being given a choice about staying home the situation isn't optimal and might even cause us to lose whatever creative momentum we had to begin with. Join our panel of experts for a frank discussion about staying focused, creative, and successful in our new home environment, followed by a series of breakout sessions. This virtual workshop is presented by AllAccessCon at a reduced price to accommodate those economically impacted by COVID-19. ABOUT THE PRESENTERS Matt Betts Ohio native Matt Betts is a
VIDEOS "Write the Book They Can't Put Down" is based on my article "The Shifting Grail" from the international award-winning writing guide Many Genres, One Craft , which I co-edited with Michael A. Arnzen . This video captured the version I presented for MGOC's publisher Headline Books and their Zoom Into Books series on April 8, 2020. Using examples of well-known movies and literature, I show how character motivation can dictate pacing and suspense, making your book one readers can't put down. I've also taught an extended version as a class for Seton Hill University's MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program.