Salem Literary Festival arrives at the First Church June 17th presented by the Salem Athenaeum

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 15px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_image type=”none” src=”https://www.creativenorthshore.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Authors___Salem_Lit_Fest_2017__June_17__2017.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]The Salem Literary Festival celebrates its eighth anniversary this year, and the first year the Salem Athenaeum has presented the festival. Lit Fest Chair Stephanie Buck, who also serves as a trustee of the Athenaeum, spoke with Creative Salem in advance of the festival, which takes place on Saturday, June 17, at the First Church.

This is the first year the Salem Athenaeum is presenting the festival, though it’s been a sponsor. How did the Athenaeum get involved?

The Salem Athenaeum has been a long-time supporter of the Salem Literary Festival in its many iterations. Salem author Brunonia Barry and Readers and Writers, Inc. operated the previous few festivals. A little over a year ago, Barry, a trustee of the Salem Athenaeum, approached the rest of the Board of Trustees and asked if we’d be interested in sponsoring and running the Salem Lit Fest moving forward. The success of her most recent book, The Fifth Petal, has limited her time and ability to organize the festival and she wanted to make sure it would continue. The Board of Trustees and the Executive Director, Jean Marie Procious, knew the festival was a natural fit for the mission of the Athenaeum, and agreed the continuation of the festival is important for the Salem community.

What is Brunonia Barry’s role in the festival now? 

Brunonia Barry has stepped back from managing the festival, but is still deeply interested in its continuation. She’s one of our biggest supporters and encouragers, and has been a tremendous source of information, as this is a new undertaking for the Athenaeum. We’re also lucky to have Barry serving as our opening keynote speaker, participating on a panel with authors Katherine Howe and Kathleen Kent called Relating to Salem, and taking part in our lunch with the authors.

Some of our readers might assume the festival is for grown-ups. Could you tell us a bit about the two teen-focused events taking place?

We’re dedicated to offering programming for teens and other readers who appreciate young adult fiction and nonfiction. We have two teen writing classes occurring during lunch: Building a Better Bad Guy with local young adult author Matthew Phillion, and the Teen Poetry Workshop with local poet M.P. Carver. The Salem Lit Fest aims to inspire and promote literacy, a love of books, and reading through programming featuring contemporary authors and classic works of literature, and we thought writing workshops for teens would be a great way to help reach that goal. We also have Laurie Stolarz, bestselling YA author of the Blue is For Nightmares series, reading from her newest book, Shutter. Last but not least, we’re thrilled to have M.T. Anderson, National Book Award Winner for the YA novel Octavian Nothing, as our closing keynote speaker. 

The Salem Lit Festival takes place on Saturday, June 17, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at First Church, 316 Essex Street. General admission to author talks and young adult programming is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Reserved seating is also available. For more information and to register, please visit www.salemlitfest.org.
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