The Letters Festival Kicks Off Tonight at BURNAWAY

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The three-day Letters Festival is back for a second year, kicking off tonight at the BURNAWAY office at 261 Peters Street SW. The literature festival seeks to create an intimate setting and dialogues between featured writers and the audience through writing workshops, live readings, a book market, and discussion panels.

Doors open at 7 tonight at BURNAWAY with readings beginning at 8 by Kate Sweeney, an Atlanta-based writer who wrote the popular nonfiction book American Afterlife; Aaron Burch, author of How to Predict Weather and editor of the literary journal Hobart; Esther Lee, assistant professor of English and creative writing at Agnes Scott and winner of the 2010 Elixir Press Poetry Prize for her first published book of poem, Spit; and MFA in fiction graduate from the University of Alabama Jessica Lee Richardson, whose short story collection, It Had Been Planned and There Were Guides, won the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize. Click here to purchase $10 tickets in advance or pay $12 at the door.

The festival was founded by Scott Daughtridge, who’s also behind the reading series LostintheLetters, begun in 2012. To help plan and organize the event, Daughtridge recruited Atlanta poet Alex Gallo-Brown and photographer Stephanie Dowda (also his partner). They decided to focus on Southeastern writers predominantly published by independent presses. This year’s event is bringing in 16 writers, up from 13 last year, who will present live readings and lead free fiction and poetry workshops.

Readings are also taking place at The Goat Farm Arts Center on Friday, November 7, and on Saturday, November 8. Among the 16 writers appearing at those are poets Jason Koo and CA Conrad, fiction writer and essayist Jamie Iredell, and Leesa Cross Smith, whose collection of short stories, Every Kiss a War, was just nominated for the 2014 PEN Open Book Prize. After party readings will take place at DASHBOARD Co-op (Friday, 11pm-1am) and Manuel’s Tavern (Saturday, 10:30pm-12:30am).

The festival includes a book market, which will be located at The Goat Farm (5-10pm on Friday and 12-10pm on Saturday). Among the 17 exhibitors are Art Papers, Deer Bear Wolf, BURNAWAY, Vouched Books, and C&R Press, to name a few.

After the reading tonight at BURNAWAY, head on over to MOTHER for the groovin’ after party.

Let the reading begin!

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