The Writer’s Block Festival 2014

Staff Writer

The annual Writer’s Block Festival kicks off this Saturday in NuLu’s Green Building. Now in its fourth year, the festival aims to celebrate literature and the craft of writing in Louisville by hosting panels, author readings, and discussion groups all in concert with gathering together like­-minded individuals who can converse, and share experiences when it comes to the art of writing – whether it’s poetry, fiction, creative non­-fiction or drama.

“Writing is inherently a lonely craft,” explains Kimberly Crum, who heads the board of Louisville Literary Arts, which organizes the annual festival. “Unless you are in creative non-­fiction, and therefore you are interviewing people, writing is a lonely experience, so a festival like this is a great chance to meet like-minded people and share experiences.”

This year’s festival will be a mix of readings, panels, guest talks and craft workshops all of which are free to all comers with the exception of the craft workshops which are priced at $25.

Adam Sachs.

Adam Sachs.

One of the most interesting aspects is the panels, which cover a wide range of topics and include some illustrious guests.

“We have a panel on food writing called “A Writeable Feast,” says Crum. “Many of the great works of literature have featured food in some capacity, so this panel is about food writing and how we can let food inspire us. Our guest speaker for this one is Adam Sachs who is the editor-in-­chief of Saveur Magazine and is coming from New York City.”

In addition to the topic of food, there will also be a panel on humor, asking the question of whether humor is a craft that can be taught or whether it’s something that is inborn in a writer. Aside from humor and food there is also a panel for dramatists.

“We have a panel called “All The World’s a Page” which focuses on people who are involved with drama and the speakers are coming from the Slant Culture Festival, which coincides with our festival and which we’ve collaborated with. We have given them some poets and they have given us some dramatists for the panel.”

Aside from the panels, there will also be readings from a number of authors, most notably celebrated poet and memoirist Nick Flynn, whose 2004 memoir “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City” was turned into the 2012 film “Being Flynn” starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano.

“All of our readings are free,” adds Crum. “Personally, as a writer and a reader, I love to listen to readings by the actual writer. It makes you think and helps you become a better writer.”

Nick Flynn.

Nick Flynn.

In addition to Flynn another noted guest will be Steve Wasserman, former editor of the Op­Ed section of the Los Angeles Times and currently the editor-­in-­chief of Yale University Press. Wasserman is also a literary agent.

“Gill Holland suggested Steve Wasserman to us as a speaker, and has also offered the use of the Green building to us every year for the past four years,” explains Crum. “He supports so much that helps improve Louisville as a literary and arts community, and it’s been a huge boost having Gill help us out.”

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