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StoryFest 2023: Saturday Panel Discussions and Author Conversations

October 21, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm EDT

StoryFest Saturday will feature an array of award-winning authors and special events featuring Clay Chapman, Angie Kim, Gabino Iglesias, Stephen Graham Jones, Caroline Kepnes, Josh Malerman, and many, many more.


Here is a closer look at a packed and exciting Saturday at Connecticut's largest literary festival:

10 am-6 pm
Trefz Forum

10-11 am: Peek-a-Boo, I See You: Inclusivity in Children’s Literature

Hear about the importance of seeing yourself in the stories you read, from a very young age. Moderated by Meagan Flynn, co-owner of Black Rock Books in Bridgeport. With Sally J. Pla, Sivan Hong, Dan Poblocki, Lorien Lawrence, Janae Marks. Moderated by Meagan Flynn. Sponsored by Black Rock Books.

11 am-12 pm: Putting It Together: Ellen Datlow Presents…

Genre fiction’s preeminent editor returns with a brand-new collection, Christmas and Other Horrors: An Anthology of Solstice Horror. Ellen Datlow and some of her favorite contributors from this and other collections talk about the artform that is short fiction and the literature of the fantastic. With Cassandra Khaw, Josh Malerman, Stephen Graham Jones, Paul Tremblay, and Bracken McLeod. Moderated by Ellen Datlow.

12-1 pm: Killer Women: Writing Crime from a Female Point of View

Women are having their moment in crime fiction. Whether it’s mysteries, thrillers, or suspense, female authors are creating powerful female characters who break molds and catch killers. Hear what five authors, all part of Sisters in Crime Connecticut (SinC-CT), have to say about how writing crime fiction from a female point of view impacts their approach to storytelling. With Manju Soni, Elise Hart Kipness, Emily Arsenault, Wendy Walker, and Lynne Constantine. Moderated by author and co-president of Sisters in Crime CT, Tessa Wegert.

1-2 pm: On Leaving and Returning: Writing the Body Home 

Familiar and safe, alien and uninhabitable, marked by the past and vulnerable to the present and future: The concept of home — whether in our bodies or in the physical spaces they inhabit — can evoke complex and seemingly competing ideas. Take a journey with these five writers as they explore the visceral connections between home, identity, and belonging. With Mitzy Sky, Oliver Radclyffe, Namrata Patel, Sonya Huber, and Sidek Fofana. Moderated by the Director of the Connecticut Writing Project and Associate Professor of Literacy in Educational Studies and Human Development at Fairfield University Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall.

2-3 pm: Community Into View: Writing Race, Culture and Identity 

What elements do writers consider while elevating the voices of historically underrepresented and often marginalized communities in their work? Join our panel of acclaimed authors, all writing at the top of their genres, as they discuss how racial and cultural identities intersect with their craft and the importance of visibility on the page. With Stephen Graham Jones, Magogodi Makhene, LaQuette, Angie Kim, and Cassandra Khaw. Moderated by Connecticut Poet Laureate Antoinette Brim-Bell. Sponsored by Kindred Thoughts Bookstore in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

3-4 pm: Scream with Me: Heartache, Humor, and Horror

Join today’s top horror writers as they explore that fascinating thread that weaves between horror and humor. Find out how horror can be the best genre to examine themes of grief and loss — and also hope and humanity — as we ask: How do you write your darkness without drowning in it? With Clay McLeod Chapman, Gabino Iglesias, Eric LaRocca, Rachel Harrison, and Owen Egerton. Moderated by the former president of the Horror Writers Association, John Palisano.

4-5 pm: The Incredibly True Adventures of… Twists and Turns on the Writer’s Path

What do two rock stars, an ex-police officer, a lawyer, a game designer, and an Emmy-winning TV host all have in common? We’ll explore life’s transitions with an all-star lineup of authors who come to the craft from very different walks of life. With Lynne Constantine, Travis Myers, Dave Hill, Lizzie Stark, and Josh Malerman. Moderated by two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist Jay Schadler.

5-6 pm: On the Edge of Our Seats: Writing Suspense and Anticipation

Get inside the minds of today’s best thriller writers to find out what it takes to keep readers on the hook. Explore the mechanics of building tension and delivering a killer ending. With Caroline Kepnes, Angie Kim, May Cobb, T.M. Dunn, and Gregory Galloway. Moderated by award-winning and bestselling author Gabino Iglesias.


12-4 pm
Brooks Place

Deep-dive, intimate conversations with StoryFest authors and artists, all moderated by Westport’s own Kerstin Warner Rao.

12-12:30 pm: Rowan MacColl and Connor McCann on Comic Art

1-1:30 pm: Eric LaRocca and Owen Egerton on Writing for the Stage

2-2:30 pm: Gabino Iglesias and Ellen Datlow on Editing Anthologies

3:30-4 pm: Lizzie Stark and Cassadra Khaw on Game Writing


5-6 pm
Brooks Place

Clay McLeod Chapman will stage a live recording of his Fearmongers podcast live with Josh Malerman and Stephen Graham Jones.

Register today and don't miss a moment of StoryFest 2023!


October 21, 2023
10:00 am - 6:00 pm EDT
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The Westport Library
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880 United States
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