Our capstone speaker Margaret Atwood once said, “The past no longer belongs only to those who once lived in it; the past belongs to those who claim it, and are willing to explore it, and to infuse it with meaning for those alive today. The past belongs to us, because we are the ones who need it.”
Atwood was speaking about the responsibilities and challenges of writing her novel Alias Grace, a fictional story about the 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery.
But how do writers infuse the past with meaning? And how do we create a compelling story?
Fortunately, UntitledTown offers several events for readers, writers, and aficionados of histories of all sorts.
In her workshop “Inspiration, Characters, Plot—Find it in the Archives!” at 12:30 on Saturday, April 29 in the Brown County Library Lower Level conference room, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s self-proclaimed “archives evangelist” Deb Anderson shows participants how to use original diaries, record books, court records, photos, maps, letters, and official records to tell untold stories. Bring your pen and paper and join in! Authors of all genres—not just historical fiction– will find archival materials a great resource.
Green Bay firefighter David Siegel offers his experience on how to write a local history in his workshop “Writing a Local History Book” in Brown County Library’s Board Room at 12:30 pm on Saturday, April 29.
And , if you’ve ever wanted to know about the history of the Green Bay Fire Department, you won’t want to miss David’s reading and signing of his book, The History of the Green Bay Fire Department, at 9:30 am on Sunday, April 30, at St. Brendan’s Inn.
UntitledTown welcomes you to both a Saturday reading and a craft talk by legendary writer Larry Watson, whose historically-set novels have been widely praised and taught in classrooms around the world. His award-winning Montana 1948 is a masterful coming-of-age story that fleshes out— and fully humanizes —the bones of a story like Hemingway’s “Indian Camp.” On April 29, at 10:30 am in the Brown County library, Watson will read from new novel, As Good As Gone.
Then, on Saturday, April 29 at 12:30 pm in the Brown County Library, Larry joins Ben Percy, Nickolas Butler, and Rebecca Meacham for a craft talk on writing, “Thrills and Threats and Tenderness.”
Another writer of historically-set fiction, Liam Callanan, also joins UntitledTown for two appearanceson Saturday. The author of the critically acclaimed novels The Cloud Atlas and All Saints, Liam’s current book is the short story collection Listen & Other Stories, which crosses decades, oceans and continents.
On Sunday, April 30, at 12 pm in the Brown County Library, go to the panel “From Book to Blog,” where you’ll hear three celebrity bloggers— including multi-talented author Wendy McClure, who has blogged and written a book about her Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie, and is the author of the historical children’s novel series Wanderville.
For those curious about the history—and the future— of the Great Lakes, join Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Egan, who was twice a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his environmental coverage, on April 30, at 1:30 pm in Kavarna’s Lower Level, for discussion of his new book, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.
And of course, if you want to be a part of an historic event, be sure to catch Margaret Atwood at the KI on Sunday, April 30 at 6:00 pm!