"This is The Place" Authors Coming To OI Lit Fest

Margot Kahn, states, "Home is a loaded word, a complex idea." In the thought-provoking anthology This is The Place: Women Writing About Home, 30 women explore the concept of home and how it makes, breaks and shapes us in personal essays about neighbors, marriage, kids, sentimental objects, homelessness, domestic violence, solitude, immigration, gentrification, geography, and more. We are excited to announce that co-editor/contributor Margot Kahn and writers/contributors Elisabeth Eaves, Tara Conklin, Maya Jewell Zeller and Jane Wong will be presenting a panel discussion at this year's Orcas Island Lit Fest. They lend a range of voices to this subject that remains at the core of our national conversations. What makes a home? What do equality, safety, and politics have to do with it? And why is it so important to us to feel like we belong?  Engaging, insightful, and full of hope, This is the Place will make you laugh, cry, and think hard about home, wherever you may find it.

Want to know more about these amazing writers? Be sure to read their bios below. 

This collection, encompassing a spectrum of races, ethnicities, religions, sexualities, political beliefs and classes, could not be timelier. ...open this book, hear its chorus of voices and remember that we are a nation of individuals, bound to each other by our humanity.
— The New York Times Book Review

Margot Kahn, Essayist, Biographer, Editor
Biographer and essayist Margot Kahn is the co-editor of This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home (Seal Press/Hachette) and the author of Horses That Buck (University of Oklahoma Press), winner of the High Plains Book Award. Her essays and reviews can be found in River Teeth: A Journal of Narrative Nonfiction, Tablet, the Los Angeles Review, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. Margot holds an MFA from Columbia University and has taught for Seattle Arts & Lectures, Richard Hugo House, and public schools across Seattle.  

Elisabeth Eaves, Memoirist
Elisabeth Eaves is author of the travel memoir Wanderlust: A love affair with five continents, as well as Bare: the naked truth about stripping, a non-fiction book set in a nineties Seattle peep show. The New York Times Book Review called Wanderlust “a heady, headlong chronicle of a decade and a half spent adrift” and declared it a Notable Book, and the Washington Post called Bare a “first-rate, first-person work of social anthropology." Elisabeth is currently working on a novel set in Syria. Her work has also been anthologized in This is the Place: women writing about homeThe Best American Travel Writing (2009)The Best Women’s Travel Writing (2010), and Lonely Planet’s A Moveable Feast. She has won three Lowell Thomas awards from the Society of American Travel Writers, and her journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Forbes, Marie Claire, Slate, and many other publications. She is the co-founder of Type Set, a co-working space for writers in Seattle’s Columbia City, and a steering committee member of Mineral School, a writers’ residency near Mount Rainier.

Tara Conklin, NY Times Best Seller
Author of "The House Girl - "The Last Romantics" (forthcoming from Morrow)
Tara Conklin’s first novel, The House Girl, was a New York Times bestseller, #1 IndieNext Pick, Target book club pick and was translated into seven languages.  Her second novel, The Last Romantics, is forthcoming in February 2019 from William Morrow/Harper Collins.  Her work has been widely anthologized, most recently in This Is The Place: Women Writing About Home. She’s a member of Seattle7Writers and the recipient of a 2015 Artist Trust GAP grant.  In her former life, Tara worked as a lawyer in New York and London.  Born on St. Croix and raised in Massachusetts, Tara now happily calls Seattle home.   

Jane Wong, Poet Jane Wong's poems can be found in Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry Review, Third Coast, Jubilant and others. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Hedgebrook, and Bread Loaf. She is the author of Overpour (Action Books, 2016), Impossible Map, Kudzu Does Not Stop, Dendrochronology, and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University.

Maya Jewell Zeller, Poet
Maya Jewell Zeller is the author of the collaboration (with artist Carrie DeBacker) Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts (Entre Rios, 2017), as well as two poetry collections, Yesterday, the Bees (Floating Bridge, 2015) and Rust Fish (Lost Horse, 2011). Recipient of a Promise Award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and a Residency from the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Maya serves as Assistant Professor for Central Washington University. She lives in the Inland Northwest. 

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Darvills Will Be Preferred Bookseller at OILF 2018

Beloved Orcas Island book store Darvill's will be the Preferred Bookseller at the Orcas Island Lit Festival April 13 thru April 15, 2018. Festivalgoers will be able to find them in the lobby of Orcas Center For The Arts, the main venue for the festival.

Darvill's is located on Main Street in the heart of Eastsound and has been in business in the San Juan Islands for over 30 years. Drop by their store or their table at the festival to experience their independent heart, amazing books, curated gifts and friendly and knowledgeable staff.

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"All Grown Up" Author Jami Attenberg To Attend OI Lit Fest

Jami Attenberg is a New York Times bestselling author of six books: Instant LoveThe Kept ManThe Melting Season, New York Times bestseller The MiddlesteinsSaint Mazie, and national bestseller All Grown Up, which was published in March 2017 in the US and the UK, and in Italy, Germany, France, Holland, Poland, Russia, China, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Portugal and Hungary in 2018. 

Read an excerpt from All Grown Up on Guernica or on Lenny Letter.

Praise for All Grown Up:

“Deeply enjoyable.”—Marisa Meltzer, Elle
“Bravo to Attenberg, who, with hilarity and honesty, tells the story of an adult woman who wants what she wants, not what she’s supposed to want.”—Marie Claire

“Powerful…All Grown Up is so intimately [and] sharply observed.”Vogue

“Attenberg is one of our finest contemporary storytellers, and here, with her trademark clever, witty voice, she tackles the age-old question plaguing people of all ages: When do we know if we’re actually all grown up?”—Nylon, “50 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2017”
“With a satirical voice and astounding pathos, Attenberg’s latest protagonist draws readers into the enthralling and thought-provoking world she inhabits, against the backdrop of an important social conversation about contemporary gender roles.”Harpers Bazaar

“Funny, tragic and delightful.”Chicago Tribune

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Kim Fu—Winner of Edmund White Award For Debut Fiction

We are ecstatic to announce that Kim Fu has accepted our invitation to showcase her work at our upcoming Literary Festival. Fu is a Canadian-born writer living in Seattle, WA. She is also Associate Editor of Maisonneuve magazine.

Her first novel For Today I Am a Boy won the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and long-listed for CBC’s Canada Reads. Her second novel The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore will be published in early 2018. Her first poetry collection How Festive the Ambulance received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, and includes a 2017 National Magazine Awards Silver Medal winner and a Best Canadian Poetry 2016 selection.

Fu’s nonfiction credits include the Atlantic, the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times, Hazlitt, NPR Books, and republication in Best Canadian Essays. She has received residency fellowships from the Ucross Foundation, Berton House, Wildacres, and the Wallace Stegner Grant for the Arts.

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Author urban waite joins lit fest
— Stephen King

Seattle author, Urban Waite, is a good guy who writes evil things (or maybe vice versa.) He is the author of The Terror of Living, named a Best Book of the Year by Esquire, The Boston Globe, and Booklist. His second novel is The Carrion Birds, a finalist for the New Mexico and Arizona Book Award, and was called "a candidate for best crime book of 2013" by the New York Journal of Books. His short fiction has appeared in the Best of the West anthology, the Southern Review, and many other journals. His work has been translated into nine languages and is available in more than twenty countries worldwide.

His third novel, Sometimes the Wolf, released by William Morrow/HarperCollins, was picked as a Best Book of the Year in The Sun Sentinel and LitReactor. 

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Actress Miranda Otto to Join OILF Books To Film Panel

We're pleased to announce that critically-acclaimed actress Miranda Otto has joined our OILF Books To Film Panel which will take place during the 2018 Orcas Island Lit Festival. The panel discussion will focus on the unique creative process of adapting books into films and TV series. Otto is best known for her recent roles in Showtime's Homeland, 24: Legacy, and the following movies, including the Lord Of The Rings series, all of which are based on underlying literary works. Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Gilbert King is also confirmed for our Books To Film Panel.


The Lord of the Rings is a film series based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Miranda played Eowyn in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

Reaching for the Moon is a 2013 film based on the book Flores Raras e Banalíssimas by Carmem Lucia de Oliveira. The film dramatizes the love story of the American poet Elizabeth Bishop, played by Miranda Otto, and the Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.

The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American epic war film written and directed by Terrence Malick. Based on the novel by James Jones.

War of the Worlds is a science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg, loosely based on the novel of the same title by H. G. Wells. Otto stars opposite Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Confirmed

We're excited to announce that Pulitzer-winning author Gilbert King is confirmed as one of our featured authors for the upcoming Orcas Island Literary Festival, April 13 thru 15, 2018. Gilbert King is the author of Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. A New York Times bestseller, the book was also named runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for non-fiction and was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. King is originally from Schenectady, New York. He has written about Supreme Court history and the death penalty for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and he is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine and The Marshall Project. His earlier book, The Execution of Willie Francis was published in 2008 and his newest book, Beneath A Ruthless Sun, will be released in April 2018.

Devil in the Grove, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, is a gripping true story of racism, murder, rape, and the law. It brings to light one of the most dramatic court cases in American history, and offers a rare and revealing portrait of Thurgood Marshall that the world has never seen before.


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Lit Crawl Stop + Libations

This is The Barnacle, a cherished local bar on Orcas Island and the first confirmed stop on our anticipated Lit Crawl—Literary-themed drink, anyone?—April 13 thru 15, 2018.  They serve creative cocktails made with locally produced, house-infused spirits, Northwest wines, island-brewed beers, an innovative locally-sourced menu and more. The lovely bartendress hanging out the window is Chelsea, a budding island novelist who writes in the same vein as Lauren Groff. Yes, she is that good.


Photo courtesy of Tara Anderson

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Director Jean-Marc Vallée Attends Orcas Island Film Fest

We are so inspired by the Orcas Island Film Festival that took place October 6-9 and all the island volunteers, and producers Donna Laslo & Jared Lovejoy, who made it happen. The growing influence of the festival was evident this year with its superb videos by Rock Island Media, branding visuals by Paul Huber and photos by Emily & Erin of Orcas Video; the fact that the Washington Ferry system added a ferry to the schedule to accommodate festivalgoers; and the increase in private jets at our local airport. A cadre of A-list filmmakers attended, including award-winning Director Jean Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyer's Club, Big Little Lies) who was the featured guest and showed one of his earlier films, “C.R.A.Z.Y.” followed by an audience Q and A. To learn more visit the OIFF website.

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Not All Who Wander Are Lost

People geocache* because it’s a way to explore the world around them with friends and family and because it’s fun. Geocaching is a game that reveals a world beyond the everyday, where the possibility of a new discovery hides under a waterfall, in the forest and probably a short walk from where you are right now (literally).

In the spirit of discovery and wonder, we will be partnering with the non-profit Novel Lab Kids on Orcas Island. These budding novelists will hide literary-themed geocaches throughout the island to be discovered by festival-goers in April. 

*Geocaching is an outdoor adventure in which players use a free mobile app or a GPS device to find cleverly hidden containers around the world. There are approximately 3 million active geocachers worldwide, with more than 830,000 active users in the U.S., more than 375,000 in Germany and more than 160,000 in the United Kingdom. More than 2.8 million geocaches are waiting to be found in over 180 countries.




We are so pleased to report that Orcas Center has agreed to generously support OILF by offering to be our main venue for author events during our 2018 Literary Festival. To have the support of this beloved Orcas Island institution is important in many ways and will go a long way in making sure that our literary festival is a success for many years to come. And, we are thrilled that we will be working together to shine the spolight on the litereary arts.

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