Sunday, October 15, 2006

F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference in Rockville MD

Well, I missed the tour out to see F. Scott Fitzgerald's gravesite, but as it's a short walk from Washington DC's red-line metro stop, I suppose it will be easy to do another time (hmmm... what shall I bring?) At yesterday's F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference I gave the travel writing workshop--- we "traveled" to the class room, and found it quite as exotic as a Persian spice shop. Also had a chance to hang out with Richard Peabody, Robert Giron, Anne Levy, Jessica Seigel, Ellen Braaf, Michael Olmert, Katharine (Kitty) Davis (who tells me her new novel, Capturing Paris has just gone into a third printing!!) antiquarian bookdealer Charles Burroughs (Stepladder Books), and editor of the Potomac Review, Julie Wakeman-Linn, who was working hard to make it all happen. Well worth waiting for was the last event of the conference: Jane Smiley's lecture on the novel. Since last year, I have been slowly savoring and re-reading her magnificent 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel. She called Fitzgerald a kind of "good uncle" to us all. A lovely thought.

By the way, I'm giving another travel writing workshop in November at the Writers Center (Bethesda MD). Some of the reading lists are here. Also, 365 five minute writing exercises--- all very handy for literary travel writers--- are here.