Write with Lit Youngstown

Fall Literary Festival 2021. Photos courtesy of Lit Youngstown

By Samantha Smith

Lit Youngstown is an organization that partners with Youngstown State University for its annual Fall Literary Festival. This year, the festival will be Oct. 20 to Oct. 22. The festival showcases authors, film writers and poets at YSU from across the United States. 

Karen Schubert, director of Lit Youngstown, said the festival runs from sun-up until sundown.

“During the day, we’ll be in Kilcawley Center and then in the evening, we bring the conference back out into the Youngstown community,” Schubert said.

One of the festival’s events is a book fair in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley. Schubert said this year’s book fair will be the biggest the organization has hosted since its start.

“We have 30 tables of small presses, journals, creative writing [Master of Fine Arts] programs. We have the League of Women Voters coming so they can talk to students about where to find accurate voting information. We have one of our new indie bookstores in Youngstown [that] will be there: POP! Art Books Culture,” Schubert said.

Alongside the book fair, there will be five concurrent sessions from presenters throughout Kilcawley’s conference rooms. Schubert said the organization has almost 100 presenters attending the festival to speak. Presenters include writers, editors and educators who will discuss topics of writing, translating, publishing and more. 

Laura Beadling, associate professor in the Department of English and World Languages, is moderating several sessions at the festival, a feature presenter and will be providing sponsorship for some of the festival’s filmmaking sessions.

Beadling said this year, the festival will give more recognition to films about the area as well as showcasing writers and books.

“I’m a feature presenter, but mostly what I’m doing is presenting the filmmakers that [Lit Youngstown] is bringing in this year,” Beadling said. “We always try to do a little bit of film, but this year, we’ve really made a big effort to bring films and filmmakers that help us explore that theme of the places that make us great.”

The festival is free and open for anyone interested in attending. For more information about the Fall Literary Festival and Lit Youngstown, visit its website. Other events and projects the organization will be hosting can be found on its website. 

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