The three-day Summer Writers' Conference at Northwestern University has just concluded. I hosted keynote speaker, writer Chris Abani on the first day, Thursday, and that very evening, also moderated the panel on publishing with agent Marcy Posner (www.foliolit.com), Doug Seibold of Agate Publishing, and Kathleen Rooney from Rose Metal Press (Sorry that we missed you, Henry Carrigan of NU Press). During the conference, I volunteered and attended workshops by Fred Shafer, Laurie Lawlor, poet Angela Jackson, and Suzanne Clores. Great sandwiches to boot, yum. After the keynote, Chris Abani and I couldn't find a restaurant nearby Wieboldt/Lurie Children's Hospital that would serve curry and rice, so we ate pizza and salad at Gino's instead then headed over to Starbucks for coffee. By the way, Chris Abani also has a knack for taking really good photographs.
I'm so thrilled! I've just been awarded an 18-day Ragdale residency in writing. The residency will take place in February 2015, and I don't mind that time of year because the winter will keep me chained to my desk so I can write, although there'll be the stark beauty of snow and ice to explore around Ragdale. I can endure the cold outside now and then, I suppose. So, I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks, Christine Sneed and Michael McColly for your recommendations. Visit Ragdale in Lake Forest, Illinois at ragdale.org Ignatius