A co-production with Poets & Writers,
most sessions moderated by Kevin Larimer, editor-in-chief.
Every 4th Sunday | 7pm* ET
Most Sundays | 7pm ET
Online Event Details
Josh Mohr first came to our attention when a student at his Stanford University online writing course signed up for the conference. She said Josh was her favorite teacher of all times, and predicted that if we could get him to come to the conference, a number of his students would come just to spend more time with him. We did, and they did. Fifteen of his Stanford students came to the 2018 conference to learn more from him.
His master class was the surprise hit of the Kauai Writers Conference for the past two years. Each time, by the second day, word spread about how good it was, and people were dropping out of classes given by more famous authors to sit in. Josh captivated his audience with his wit and unassuming wisdom. Students said it transformed their whole approach to writing.
We asked Josh if he would create an online version for us during this pandemic year. He has put together a six lesson course uniquely for KWC. We are delighted to offer it—at no additional cost for subscribers– as the first master class in this ongoing series of online programs. Here is his synopsis of the course:
Building Your Protagonist: The dignity of character-complexity
All events at 7:00pm ET *unless noted | • Reader’s Track • Writer’s Track
22nd Christina Baker Kline
29th Thanksgiving Holiday
6th Rick Russo
13th Meg Wolitzer
20th Lauren Groff
3rd Adrienne Brodeur
10th Nick Delbanco
moderator David Katz
17th Rick Russo
24nd Christina Baker Kline
31st Josh Mohr Master Class
7th Josh Mohr Master Class
14th Josh Mohr Master Class
21st Book Club TBD
28th Josh Mohr Master Class
7th Josh Mohr Master Class
14th Josh Mohr Master Class
21st Book Club TBD
28th Writer’s Event TBD
4th Writer’s Event TBD
11th Writer’s Event TBD
18th Book Club TBD
25th Writer’s Event TBD
3rd Writer’s Event TBD
10th Writer’s Event TBD
17th Writer’s Event TBD
24th Book Club TBD
31st Writer’s Event TBD
6th Writer’s Event TBD
13th Writer’s Event TBD
20th Book Club TBD
27th Writer’s Event TBD
Christina Baker Kline
It’s one thing to write accurately about real people and real events of the past. It’s another thing to pull a character from one’s imagination. Christina Baker Kline has shown with her best-selling books A Piece of the World (2017) and Orphan Train (2013) that she can do both at the same time.
Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s best-known painting, Christina’s World, rented a studio to the artist, and was his friend and confidant for 30 years. Kline breathes life into Olson by blending deep historical research, her own knowledge of Maine, and even aspects of her own grandmother, also born in 1893.
Kline worked a similar magic in Orphan Train, which shed light on the 1854-1929 practice of relocating orphaned children from East Coast slums to the rural Midwest – where some were integrated into loving families and others harshly treated as indentured servants.
Orphan Train spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, including five weeks at No. 1, has 3.5 million copies in print, and is under consideration for a movie.
Kline enraptured a capacity crowd at the 2018 Kauai Writers Festival leading a class with Alice Hoffman and Kristin Hannah. Her class for 2019 will be announced soon.
In addition to five other novels – including Bird in Hand, Desire Lines and Sweet Water – Kline has written or edited five works of nonfiction on the topics of parenting, grief, and women’s studies. She has taught at Yale, New York University, and the University of Virginia, and served as Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University. She lives with her husband and sons in New Jersey and Maine.
Lauren Groff is the author of the novels The Monsters of Templeton, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, Delicate Edible Birds, a collection of stories, and Arcadia, a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award.
Her third novel, Fates and Furies, was a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kirkus Award. It won the 2015 American Booksellers’ Association Indies’ Choice Award for Fiction, was a New York Times Notable book and Bestseller, Amazon.com’s #1 book of 2015, and on over two dozen best-of 2015 lists. It also received the 2016 American Bookseller Association’s Indies’ Choice Award for Adult Fiction and, in France, the Madame Figaro Grand Prix de l’Héroïne. Rights have been sold in thirty countries.
Her most recent collection of stories, Florida, was released in June 2018. It won the Story Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, Kirkus Prize, and the Southern Book Prize.
Her work has appeared in journals including the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Tin House, One Story, and Ploughshares, and in the anthologies 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and five editions of the Best American Short Stories.
In 2017, she was named by Granta Magazine as one of the Best of Young American Novelists of her generation.
In 2018, she received a Guggenheim fellowship in Fiction and a Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband, two sons, and dog.
Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife. Her new novel, The Female Persuasion, was named to various Notable and Best Books of 2018 lists, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, People, Glamour, and Kirkus Reviews. She was the guest editor of The Best American Short Stories 2017, and has also published books for young readers, including, most recently, To Night Owl From Dogfish, co-written with Holly Goldberg Sloan. Wolitzer has taught at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, Skidmore College, Columbia University, and elsewhere, and is currently a faculty member in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA program, where she co-directs BookEnds, a one-year, non-credit intensive in the novel. A critically-acclaimed film based on her novel The Wife was released last year, starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce.
To learn more about Lauren
visit her website:
Three films have been based on her work; This Is My Life, scripted and directed by Nora Ephron, the 2006 made-for-television movie, Surrender, Dorothy, and the 2017 drama The Wife, starring Glenn Close.
The Uncoupling was the subject of the first coast-to-coast virtual book club discussion, via Skype.
Reviews for The Female Persuasion:
“Uncannily timely, a prescient marriage of subject and moment that addresses a great question of the day.”
–The New York Times
“Ultra-readable. . . illuminates the oceanic complexity of growing up female and ambitious.”
“The perfect feminist blockbuster for our times.”
–Kirkus, starred review
Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me, which was described by The New York Times Book Review as:
“Exquisite and harrowing. . . . The book is so gorgeously written and deeply insightful, and with a line of narrative tension that never slacks, from the first page to the last, that it’s one you’ll likely read in a single, delicious sitting.”
Published in October 2019 by HMH Books, Wild Game’s film rights were bought by Chernin Entertainment with Kelly Fremon Craig, the director of Edge of Seventeen, attached to adapt and direct.
Adrienne has spent the past two decades of her professional life in the literary world, discovering voices, cultivating talent, and working to amplify underrepresented writers. Her publishing career began with founding the fiction magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story, with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, where she served as editor in chief from 1996-2002. The magazine has won the prestigious National Magazine Award for best fiction four times. In 2005, she became an editor at Harcourt (later, HMH Books), where she acquired and edited literary fiction and memoir. Adrienne left publishing in 2013 to become Creative Director — and later Executive Director — of Aspen Words , a literary arts nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute.
Dr. Charles Johnson, University of Washington (Seattle) professor emeritus and the author of 23 books, is a novelist, philosopher, essayist, literary scholar, short-story writer, cartoonist and illustrator, an author of children’s literature, and a screen-and-teleplay writer.
A MacArthur fellow, Johnson has received a 2002 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, a 1990 National Book Award for his novel Middle Passage, a 1985 Writers Guild award for his PBS teleplay “Booker“, the 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Award at the National Black Writers Conference, and many other awards.
The Charles Johnson Society at the American Literature Association was founded in 2003. In 2020, Lifeline Theater in Chicago will debut its play adaptation of Middle Passage, titled “Rutherford’s Travels.” Dr. Johnson’s most recent publications are The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling, and his fourth short story collection, Night Hawks.
Learn more about Charles here.
Nicholas Delbanco, making his fourth appearance at the KWF, has had a storied career as a writer, editor, teacher and literary judge. He has written 29 books of fiction and non-fiction (plus essays, short stories and reviews). He founded and led Bennington College’s writing program and is Robert Frost Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, where he headed its renowned MFA and Hopwood Awards programs.
Delbanco has chaired the Fiction Panel for the National Book Awards, and served as judge for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner award in fiction. He wrote the well-loved books on the craft of writing, The Sincerest Form: Writing Fiction by Imitation, and, with Alan Cheuse, the college text Literature, Craft and Voice.
Author Valerie Laken wrote of Delbanco’s role as a mentor: “He’s made a career of bringing together, supporting, and celebrating writers, and in doing that he made them all believe—not just in themselves, but in the value of literature itself.”
About his recent work The Count of Concord , Russell Banks wrote that Delbanco “brought his entire array of amazing gifts into play and has written a wonderfully sad, funny, bawdy, and intellectually adventurous novel.”
In the introduction to his non-fiction work about older artists, Lastingness: The Art of Old Age (2011), Delbanco wrote:
“This book is about tribal elders in the world of art. What interests me is lastingness: how it may be attained. For obvious reasons, this has become a personal matter; I published my first novel in 1966 and very much hope to continue.”
Joshua Mohr is the author of five novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel All This Life won the Northern California Book Award. His first book of nonfiction, a memoir called Sirens, was recently published.
To learn more about Joshua visit his website www.joshuamohr.net
Richard Russo is the author of seven novels, a memoir, and one short story collection. His fifth book, Empire Falls, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2002 and was later adapted for television by HBO based on Russo’s teleplay, earning him an Emmy nomination.
He also wrote the novel, Nobody’s Fool, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed film featuring Paul Newman. Known for his insightful, often humorous depictions of gritty northeastern towns and the characters that inhabit them, Russo has said that he wants,
“that which is hilarious and that which is heartbreaking to occupy the same territory in books,” because he thinks, “they very often occupy the same territory in life, much as we try to separate them.”
In 2016 he was given the Indie Champion Award by the American Booksellers Association; and in 2017 he received France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine He taught English at Colby College for many years and lives with his wife in Maine.