The inaugural Saugatuck StoryFest is a three-day celebration of writing that combines a town-wide multidisciplinary literary festival with a craft-focused, workshop-based writers conference. It is a partnership between a public library—the Westport Library—and a public school system—the Westport Public Schools.
Friday, October 12 at 6:30 pm: Sheila Nevins keynote and reception
Friday, October 12 at 8 pm: Joe Iconis & Family
Saturday, October 13 from 10 am-4 pm at Westport Senior Center:
“Writing Your Next Chapter: Inspiration and Support for Those Who Have Lived Many Stories”
Saturday, October 13 at 5 pm: "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" with author Chris Grabenstein, for grades 4-7
Saturday, October 13 at 7 pm: A Bradbury Evening: Performances and Stories with biographer Sam Weller
Sunday, October 14 at 2 pm: 2018 Connecticut Book Awards with keynote speaker, 2017 Connecticut Book Award winner Okey Ndibe
Sunday, October 14: Writers' Workshops
Alphabetical listing of participants.
On Thursday, October 11 at 7 pm, join “Hoops Africa / Ubuntu Matters:" Sports Literacy and the Power of Community—A Saugatuck StoryFest Event. Find out more and register. Also, stop by the Wearable Books Exhibit opening reception from 6-8 pm.
On Friday October 12, the festival weekend kicks off with two headline events. Emmy-winning, former head of HBO Documentaries Sheila Nevins will open the StoryFest with a keynote about her life as a storyteller. Then, Drama Desk-nominated composer and lyricist Joe Iconis is joined by his likeminded tribe of musical theatre performers for a concert combining some of his unforgettable songs and the stories behind them.
Saturday, October 13 will be an outdoor walking festival on the Library’s grounds, celebrating story in all its forms through interactive events, panels and performances. National Book Award-nominee and recent Newbery Honor-recipient Jason Reynolds will offer the day’s keynote. Other headline authors appearing on Saturday include National Book Award-winner Robin Benway and National Book Award-nominee Nic Stone. Saturday will also include a special children’s event honoring New York Times bestselling children’s author Chris Grabenstein.
Saturday will feature a number of interactive experiences for festival attendees. Storytime with children's authors Victoria Kann and Hans Wilhelm will take place inside the Library. Myrmidon Dagorhir, a Norwalk-based chapter of Dagorhir Battle Games Association, will perform “Game of Foams” on the Jesup Green, recreating epic battles in George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones books. Image Comics, Archie Comics, and Aw Yeah! Comics will team up for the StoryFest’s Comics Alley for hands-on activities and opportunities to meet comics creators. The Westport Center for Senior Activities will host "Writing Your Next Chapter: Inspiration and Support for Those Who Have Lived Many Stories," featuring talks by highly acclaimed authors and writing teachers, Alice Mattison and Patty Dann. WNET's celebration of the "Great American Read" will occur throughout the day.
On Saturday evening, the StoryFest will host a Lit Crawl and Pub Trivia in downtown restaurants and bars. The evening’s activities will end at the Westport Woman’s Club with A Bradbury Evening: Stories and Performances, an event celebrating the legacy of Ray Bradbury featuring author Sam Weller and Westport’s Play With Your Food.
Sunday October 14 will move to Staples High School and will feature workshops, panels and a mini-BookCon. Sunday kicks off with a local author’s breakfast and a series of conversations between some of our community’s most beloved writers featuring Charlotte Rogan and Nina Sankovitch. Sunday’s keynote will be given by National Book Award nominee Ibi Zoboi. Other headline authors making appearances on Sunday are New York Times bestselling author Peter Blauner, bestselling author and James Patterson-collaborator Andrew Gross and bestselling thriller writer Riley Sager.
The centerpiece of the afternoon is the announcement of the 2018 Connecticut Book Awards, presented by the CT Center for the Book with a reception to follow. There will also be a moderated panel conversation with last year’s winners of the Connecticut Book Award. The day is rounded out by a series of workshops for writers.
Happening throughout the weekend is a visual arts exhibit called “Wearable Books.” with an opening reception on Thursday, October 11. The exhibit will feature altered books or book pages that have been transformed to become something wearable—jewelry, purses, hats, shoes and other accessories. These wearable pieces are made exclusively from book pages, spines and covers. The show will feature work by Fairfield County artists.
A portion of the funds for Saugatuck StoryFest was provided by the Innovation Fund.
Media Sponsor: News 12 Connecticut
Westoberfest is happening the same weekend as the StoryFest on Saturday, October 13 from 1-5 pm. It is the latest addition to the Westport Downtown Merchants events calendar and invites patrons to enjoy tastings from a variety of local and regional breweries, complemented by live music and a selection of food offerings from top local restaurants. Come spend the day and experience a classic car rally, meander through a collection of artisan vendors from the Westport Farmers Market, and enjoy fun fall activities for kids by the Artist Collective of Westport, Wakeman Town Farm and Westport Historical Society. This town fall event will take place in the heart of downtown Westport, alongside appearances by award-winning authors presented by Saugatuck StoryFest.
Westoberfest is a fall festival for all.
Tickets for the tasting portion of the event are 21+ and available at Westportdma.com. Access to food vendors and fall activities are FREE to the public.