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Columbia College Announces Story Week Schedule

By Maggie Hellwig in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 17, 2012 4:20PM

From Official Story Week Festival of Writers Website
Chicagoist is incredibly excited about Columbia College’s 16th Annual Story Week! The week of March 18-23 will be filled with readings from famous and emerging authors, panel discussions, and performances of all kinds. The venues include familiar spaces like Buddy Guy's Legends, Metro, and Logan Square Arts Center, as well as more academic settings like The Museum of Contemporary Art, Columbia College, and the Harold Washington Library. All the events are very accessible: free and entirely open to the public.

The theme of this year's festival is "Surviving the American Dream," which should bring up some pretty stimulating conversation considering that the term "American Dream" has gone under some hefty reconstruction over the past several years. What it means to "survive" a concept that initially implied comfort not only complicates everyday life, but also the themes that influence our entertainment: movies; music; and, in this case, the written word.

The final schedule is posted already, but we're here to let you in on two very awesome events that will kick off Story Week:

On March 3 at the Hilton Chicago's International Ballroom, a big bash of authors and music will come together in Literary Rock & Roll at the AWP Conference. Starting at 8:30 p.m., Story Week and Bath Spa University present readings from the renowned authors Irvine Welsh (author of Trainspotting), Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife), and Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project). Also, Ronnie Baker Brooks will be there to play us all some Chicago blues.

March 7 at 7:30 p.m., the pre-celebration continues at Sheffield's for Reading Under the Influence's and One Book, One Chicago's preview of Story Week. The Chicago Public Library is promoting their Spring 2012 selection for One Book. For $3, you can hear the entire faculty at the Columbia College Fiction Writing Department read original work, and read from previous One Book selections. Everyone who comes will get prizes and a valid library card. If you've never gotten around to getting a library card, it's an excellent opportunity to do so (but don't forget to bring proof of residency).

In a few weeks we'll be coasting through the waves of a modern literary tsunami. In the meantime, there's nothing quite like a few fun events to get everyone pumped up. Not only is Chicago going to hear from some amazing writers, but for a week we all get to be part of the literary community and join in on the discussion.