Book Festival authors and panel topics announced

The full slate of authors presenting on the Saturday of the Iowa City Book Festival has been announced.

Nearly 40 authors will read and appear on panels during the course of the day at events to be held at a number of venues in downtown Iowa City.

Presenting authors include a number of graduates of the fiction program at University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, several authors of non-fiction work and many critically acclaimed and bestselling writers.

Particpating authors are John M. Adams, Dean Bakopoulos, Natalie Bakopoulos, Jeff Biggers, Charles Blackstone, Sarah Bruni, Joelle Charbonneau, Susana Daniel, Kwame Dawes, Amber Dermont, Sean Doolittle, Tom Drury, Sally Barr Ebest, Nina Furstenau, Gregory Galloway, Tracey Garvis Graves, Andrew Sean Greer, John Havick, Stephen Jimenez, Brian Kimberling, Alexander Maksik, Anthony Marra, Tessa Mellas, Kate Milliken, John Rector, David Rhodes, Robin Romm, Bennett Sims, Curtis Sittenfeld, R. Clifton Spargo, Wesley Stace, Karen Thompson Walker, Larry Watson, Don Waters, and Mario Alberto Zambrano.

Full bios for each author can be found at

Panel topics also have been set for the 2013 Iowa City Book Festival. Three to five authors will gather on each panel to discuss the following topics. The specific schedule and a list of authors participating on each panel will be announced soon.

RELIGION AND WRITING – How religious heritage shapes an author’s writing.

FICTION OR FACT? – How do writers use real people and events and turn them into fiction/memoir.

FIRST NOVEL EXPERIENCES – Writers discuss how that first book in print changed their lives, or not; or anything else about their experience of going from unpublished to published for the first time.

I WISH I HAD WRITTEN THAT – Writers discuss their favorite passages written by other writers and explain why a particular passage (and book) resonated with them.

POLITICS AND PROSE – Writers discuss how the current political landscape affects their work.

AT LANGUAGE’S EDGE – Writers discuss what it means to have their work translated into other languages.

GENRE STUDIES: Writers discuss the role of genre in today’s marketplace.

THE NEW SEXUALITY: Writers discuss the role that sexuality and gender roles play in their work. Does literature mirror society, or nudge it along?

A SENSE OF PLACE: Writer’s discuss the importance of setting in their work. This can address topics of regional fiction as well as the challenges/rewards of reaching audiences unfamiliar with a particular location.

FREEDOM’S LIMITS: Freedom is a hotly debated topic of late. How is that debate reflected in and influenced by literature? How does the rest of the world view “freedom,” and how does that affect the way the term is defined by readers?

BOOKSTORE BLUES – Writers discuss the state of bookselling. How does the rise of Amazon and the struggle of independent shops affect the business of writing and publishing?

THE VONNEGUT EFFECT:  In conjunction with a visit by a traveling exhibit from the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis, this panel will discuss the ongoing impact of one-time University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop instructor Vonnegut on the world of letters.

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