West Virginia Book Festival

You’ve been working on a novel, but need some tips from a pro. Or maybe you’d just like to write a memoir for your grandchildren. Either way, the West Virginia Book Festival has two programs scheduled to come to your aid.

Meredith Sue Willis

“Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel” will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Charleston Civic Center. Meredith Sue Willis, who teaches novel writing at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, will focus on large and small steps you can take to get a novel or other prose narrative underway – and to keep it going! Topics will include the importance of Process and Product and how to use concrete experience and objects to further your project.

Willis was raised in Shinnston, W.Va. and now lives in New Jersey. Her novels and short fiction have been published by presses including Scribners’, HarperCollins, West Virginia University Press, Ohio University Press, Mercury House and others. She has three new books out this year: “Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel,” “Out of the Mountains” and “Re-Visions: Stories from Stories.”

Mary Kuykendall-Weber

For non-fiction writers, Mary Kuykendall-Weber will conduct a memoir writing workshop at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17, relating tips to help you make your memoir come alive by expanding your characters and their environment.

A native of Hampshire County, Kuykendall-Weber is the author of “River Roots,” a collection of short stories based upon characters struggling for survival in a world which appears indifferent as they face adverse and social conditions beyond their control. The book’s stories interrelate to give a total view of life along the South Branch of the Potomac River in West Virginia, then and now.

In addition to these writing workshops, the West Virginia Book Festival line-up includes, among others: New York Times best-selling authors Nicholas Sparks and Diana Gabaldon; Civil War historian James Robertson; children’s author Carmen Deedy; and E. Lockhart, author of books for teens.