Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · National Writers Series 2011
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National Writers Series 2011

Erin Cowell - January 17th, 2011
The return of the National Writers Series 1/17/11
By Erin Crowell
If you thought the National Writers Series (NWS) was just another
festival to draw tourists to Northern Michigan, founder Doug Stanton
would tell you you’re wrong.
“We spread the series throughout the year, with two to three events
per month,” said the New York Times bestselling author of “Horse
Soldiers” and “In Harm’s Way.” “(Like other festivals), you could run
a marathon just once in a year; or you could run six miles everyday,
which does a lot more for you.”
Stanton is referring to the series that brings bestselling writers
from around the country right into Traverse City and the intimate
setting of the City Opera House – an event geared to promoting a
year-round discussion of literature and ideas.
Last year’s inaugural event allowed audiences to participate in a
“dinner table-like” discussion with writers such as Mary Karr, author
of “The Liar’s Club”; Advice Goddess columnist Amy Alkon; National
Book Award winner Peter Matthiessen; and news anchor/journalist Tom
Brokaw.
While last year compiled a roster of serious wordsmiths, the 2011
series looks to be just as impacting; 15 made the trip last year,
while the event plans on hosting 20 writers in ’11.

THE ROSTER
Each author will be on stage either with Stanton or as a guest host to
discuss anything from the development as an author or for a particular
book to influences in the book industry, itself. Each session is
followed by an hour-long Q&A with the audience.
First on the City Opera House stage will be AMC television’s “Mad Men”
writer-producers Janet Leahy and Lisa Albert, scheduled for Thursday,
Feb. 3.
Leahy and Albert will provide examples of scripts written for the
award-winning drama and show its process from the page to the screen,
concluding with the actual clip containing the written scene,
according to Stanton.
Other guests include Sarah Brokaw, daughter of Tom Brokaw and author
of “Fortytude, Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your Life –
through the 40s, 50s, and Beyond,” appearing March 3; Roy Bount Jr.,
humorist and contributor to The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Rolling
Stone, on May 12; and National Public Radio commentator David Sedaris
on Oct. 24, among many others.
“Richard Ford is one of the best writers in the country,” said Stanton
about the NWS June 2 guest.
Ford, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, earned his book “The
Sportswriter” as one of Time Magazine’s five best books of 1986.

BY AUTHORS, FOR AUTHORS
You may be asking yourself, How does Traverse City find itself on the
radar of national bestselling authors?
“I called ’em,” Stanton said matter-of-factly.
With 20 years of experience writing for national publications and
best-selling non-fiction, the Traverse City native has developed a
solid web of literary relationships.
“The thing is, these authors want to be here,” Stanton added. “They’re
saying this is one of the best book tour events on their schedule.”
Stanton points to the dwindling advertising funds of literary agencies
and the lack of promotion when it comes to a book tour – a main
component in driving book sales (and recognition on the best sellers
list).
Stanton had just come off a 50-city book tour, himself, when the NWS
was just starting to take off.
“As an author, I know what I want in a book tour event,” he said. “We
provide (the visiting authors) with an audience and venue to sell
their books, a list of media in promotion.” These include audio/visual
broadcasting and re-distribution by IPR and Up North Media, along with
several radio, print and TV spots.
The event also serves as a function for attendees.
“It prompts the audience to learn more about the author,” explained
Stanton. “It’s a creative and transformative experience for other
authors.”

NEW AND REAL
It’s an intimate setting that brings the possibilities of the writing
world into something more substantial, particularly for young writers.
“When you’re there 10 feet away from that author, it makes (the
publishing) world seem more real,” Stanton said.
A driving force of the NWS is its attention to the young writing
community, particularly by providing scholarships to high school-age
children seeking a writing career.
$1,500 will be awarded to a student in the categories of poetry,
fiction and non-fiction. Students must be residents of Antrim, Grand
Traverse, Benzie, Kalkaska or Leelanau counties and attend a public,
private or home school at the 11th or 12th grade level.
Beyond the scholarship, new this year is the NWS working with Traverse
City Area Public Schools to host a creative writer in residence.
A writer will live downtown for a certain period of time and provide
tutoring and readings for area students, said Stanton.
Another new addition this year includes collaboration with the
National Cherry Festival to host an On-the-Beach author event on July
2. Details will be announced later.
While festivals continue to pop up throughout the region, the National
Writers Series has proven it can hold its own as a wide-serving,
creative arts event that goes beyond the three-day hoopla.
“We’re very excited for this year and are already booking for 2012,”
said Stanton.
Who knows? Maybe an NWS scholarship winner will be on that City Opera
House stage one day.

The National Writers Series begins with “An Evening with the Writers
of ‘Mad Men,’ Featuring Janet Leahy and Lisa Albert on Thursday, Feb.
3, at the City Opera House, 7 p.m. For more information on future
author events, how to apply for a scholarship and other information,
check out www.nationalwritersseries.org.

 
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