The Salem Literary Festival is returning to Salem this weekend for a celebration of literature and the writers who created it. Events will take place at the Salem Athenaeum and the Cellar at Hotel Salem starting on Friday evening and going through Sunday

Now presented by the Salem Athenaeum, the Salem Lit Fest aims to inspire and promote literacy and a love of books and reading through programming featuring both contemporary authors and engagement with classic works of literature.

Learn more at http://salemlitfest.org

Friday, September 20

In The Cellar at Hotel Salem
7:00 p.m. Opening Keynote Speaker: Whitney ScharerThe Age of Light
Whitney holds a BA in English Literature from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous journals including New Flash Fiction Review, Cimarron Review, and Bellevue Literary Review. Her first novel, The Age of Light, based on the life of pioneering photographer Lee Miller, was published by Little, Brown (US) and Picador (UK) in February, 2019, and is forthcoming from over a dozen other countries. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, MA.

8:30 -11:00 p.m. Words and Music
Flash Poetry and Prose featuring local writers: 
Sara Johnson AllenSusanna BairdBeth Anne Cooke-CornellDanielle JonesJennifer MartelliColleen MichaelsDawn PaulJ.D. ScrimgeourEnzo Silon Surin, and Elisabeth Weiss.

Followed by live music at 9:30 p.m. from Rule of Three.


Saturday, September 21

In The Cellar at Hotel Salem
Book signings follow each panel.

10:00 a.m. The Truth of the Matter

11:00 a.m. Real Life, Represented: Honesty in Fiction

12:00 p.m.  Lunch with the Authors on The Roof at The Hotel Salem.

1:30 p.m. The Heard Word

  • Peter Berkrot, audiobook narrator, When Hell Struck Twelve
  • Gary Galone, audiobook narrator, Dark Site, author: Patrick Lee
  • Matthew Phillion, author of The Crimson Child (Book 5 of The Indestructibles)
  • Moderator: Steven Jay Cohen, Creative Director of Spoken Realms, producing original stories in audio, and publisher and distributor of over 1,700 audiobooks.

2:30 p.m. Delectable Tales

3:30 p.m. License to Thrill

4:30 p.m. History, Reimagined

6:00 p.m. Saturday Keynote Speaker: Hank Phillippi RyanThe Murder List
Hank is on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV. She’s won 36 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. The nationally bestselling author of 11 mysteries, Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and for The Other Woman, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. Critics call her “a master of suspense” and “a superb and gifted storyteller” and she is the only author to have won the Agatha in four different categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story and Best Non-Fiction. Her novels have been named Library Journal‘s Best of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her highly-acclaimed first standalone psychological suspense, Trust Me, is an Agatha Nominee and was also named a Best Thriller by New York Post, BOOK BUB, Real Simple Magazine, CrimeReads and Criminal Element. Hank’s newest book is The Murder List. NYT bestseller Liv Constantine calls it “an exhilarating thrill ride,” A.J. Finn says, “exciting, explosive, relentless,” and B.A. Paris says it’s “her best yet.” Hank is a founder of MWA University and past president of National Sisters in Crime.

8:00-11:00 p.m.  Gothic Readings with FunDead Publications writers Nancy Brewka-ClarkLaurie MoranAmber NewberryJoey Phoenix, and E. F. Sweetman.
Followed by music with DJ Zombi.

Children’s Programs

At Salem Public Library

10:00-11:00 a.m. Act!vated Story Theatre Performance
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Crafts, lunch provided

12:00 -2:00 p.m. Stories read by the Author

Sunday, September 22 — YA Day

At House of the Seven Gables

10:00 -10:50 a.m. Writer Workshop: Plotting, Portals & Dreamt Worlds
Ryan La Sala, author of Reverie, offers a crash course in building intricate fantasy plots that span vast fantasy realms, and tips on harmonizing world and plot so that your reader doesn’t get left at the base of the beanstalk.

11:00 a.m. Meet the Debuts

12:00 p.m. Walls, Racism, Captivity & Guns: YA of Today

1:00 p.m.  Break

2:00 p.m. Something Wicked: Witches & Historically Inspired YA

3:00 p.m. Found and Blood: Family Relationships in YA

4:00 p.m. Dragons, Dreams, and a Drag Queen Sorceress: YA Fantasy

5:00 p.m. Chemistry, Mischief, Escape, and Assassins in YA

6:00 p.m. Author Signings


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