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Sanibel Island Writers Conference to feature Sayles, Rollins

By Staff | Oct 13, 2011

Florida Gulf Coast University invites aspiring writers to attend the Sanibel Island Writers Conference, scheduled to take place Thursday, Nov. 3 through Sunday, Nov. 6 at BIG Arts and the Sanibel Island Public Library.

Participants can attend a variety of workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by celebrated writers and teachers. Registration is now open.

John Sayles, Henry Rollins, Dan Bern and John K. Samson will headline the conference.

Veteran filmmaker and novelist Sayles will deliver the keynote address on Saturday, Nov. 5. Sayles’s most recent novel is the critically acclaimed “A Moment in the Sun” (2011, McSweeney’s). The address will begin at 6 p.m. in Schein Hall at BIG Arts, located at 900 Dunlop Road, and is open to the general public once all the registered conference attendees have been seated. Author Steve Almond (“Candyfreak” and “God Bless America”) will open.

Henry Rollins brings “An Evening of Storytelling” to the conference at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4 in Schein Hall at BIG Arts.

Registered conference attendees and FGCU students gain immediate admission. Rollins hosts a weekly radio show on NPR affiliate KCRW, is a regular contributor to VanityFair.com with his “Straight Talk Espresso” blog and recently joined forces with National Geographic as host of a series of television specials.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, acclaimed singer-songwriters Bern and Samson will perform solo concerts at 6 p.m. in Schein Hall.

Bern has released over a dozen albums, including the critically acclaimed “Fifty Eggs,” “New American Language” and the children’s album “2 Feet Tall.” Bern’s songwriting skills were used in the films “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” and “Get Him To The Greek.”

Samson is the singer and songwriter for The Weakerthans, an acclaimed Canadian rock band that has released five CDs, including the award-winning “Reconstruction Site” (2004) and “Reunion Tour” (2008). Samson’s poetry and prose have appeared in Matrix Magazine, Geist, The Believer and Post-Prairie-an Anthology of New Poetry. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he’s also the managing editor and co-founder of a small publishing house, ARP (Arbeiter Ring Publishing).

The concert is open to the general public once all the registered conference attendees have been seated.

In addition to the artists mentioned above, the conference offers workshops, presentations, panels and readings from the following authors, editors and literary agents:

Lynne Barrett (fiction/editor), Nickole Brown (poetry/editor/publicist), Kevin Canty (fiction), Ron Currie Jr. (fiction), John Dufresne (fiction), Carmen Edington (editor), William Giraldi (fiction/editor), Barbara Hamby (poetry), John Hoppenthaler (poetry), Christopher Joyce (NPR-writing for radio), David Kirby (poetry), Christopher Phillips (Socrates Cafe), Robert Root (creative non-fiction/editor), Christopher Schelling (literary agent), Laurel Snyder (YA lit), Darin Strauss (memoir), Jay Wexler (creative non-fiction), Thomas Williams (novella/editor) and Tom Zoellner (investigative journalism).

For a complete conference schedule or to register, visit www.fgcu.edu/siwc. Contact Tom DeMarchi at tdemarch@fgcu.edu or 239-590-7421 for additional information.