Williamsburg Book Festival to Feature Local And Nationally Known Writers

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Stephanie Storey, a featured author at this year’s Williamsburg Book Festival, poses with her two novels.
(Courtesy of Mike Gandolfi)

WILLIAMSBURG —  The Williamsburg Book Festival will host its annual event at the Stryker Center on Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., where authors, publishers, and readers will gather to celebrate the literary arts.

The Williamsburg Book Festival is partnering with An Occasion for the Arts, an organization established in 2013 to promote and support the art of literary composition in the Williamsburg area, to help organize the event.

This year, the festival will host a book fair that features 40+ nationally and regionally renowned authors. The festival will also include a “Publisher Alley” that will feature Virginia publishing companies along with some of their books and the authors that wrote them. Additionally, the festival will feature a variety of scheduled presentations and writers.

At 11:00 a.m., a panel will offer their advice on improving a book club. The panelists will include former psychology professor Katheryn Lovell, veteran teacher Janice Leslie, Williamsburg Regional Library Reader Services librarian Andrew Smith, and Robert and Lisa Pike, co-hosts of the Meetup Book Club.

At 12:00 p.m., Virginia poets laureate Henry Hart, Ron Smith, Bill Glose, and Sofia Starnes will join Ed Lull on the stage to read from their recent work.

At 2:00 p.m., Mike Krentz will discuss what it takes to write a book. Krentz earned a classical degree in English from the University of San Francisco, a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and a Master of Public Health Degree from John Hopkins University. The former 7th Fleet Surgeon teaches at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk and writes character-driven medical and psychological suspense and military fiction.

From 1-3:00 p.m., featured author Stephanie Storey will be available to meet people. At 3:00 p.m. she will give a talk about the creation of art in fiction.

“The festival is a great centerpiece of the community. It highlights a lot of Williamsburg local writers and it’s trying to promote literature in the area,” said Storey.

Featured Author Stephanie Storey

Stephanie Storey spent approximately twenty years researching her debut novel, “Oil and Marble,” which has since been translated into six languages and is in development as a feature film by Pioneer Pictures.

“Oil and Marbel is about the rivalry between Leonardo Davinci and Michelangelo for five years. From about 1500 to 1505. They both lived and worked in Florence, and they both hated each other.” said Storey. “Leonardo is like the old revered master and Michelangelo is the young unknown but rising star. They hate each other and they’re competing with each other and I’m so glad that they hate each other because it was that rivalry that drove them to create two of the greatest masterpieces in all of western history. ”

Storey is also the author of “Raphael, Painter in Rome”, her second novel, which has recently enjoyed a paperback release on Sept. 21, 2021. The has also been picked up by Pioneer Pictures for a movie deal.

“I love them [Pioneer Pictures]. I think their hearts and their vision are in the right place for it. They really care about encouraging the arts in schools and in education and in our lives.” said Storey.

Storey has a degree in Fine Arts from Vanderbilt University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She has helped produce shows including ones that featured Alec Baldwin on ABC, Arsenio Hall for CBS, and was part of the Emmy-nominated The Writers’ Room on the Sundance Channel.

“I got to meet some of the greatest artists and thinkers and that was really important to me as someone who writes about great artists in my novels,” said Storey. “It was great to be able to be backstage with great actors, filmmakers, writers, and thinkers. To be able to be up around them and see that they are indeed just people that have the same fears and concerns that the rest of us do.”

In addition to scheduled events during the festival, the event will also feature signed books from a variety of genres: novels, poetry, inspiration, history, fantasy, memoirs, and children’s books.

“As writers, we sometimes get siloed in our own worlds. We’re all pretty introverted people who like words better than other humans often,” said Storey. “We like to disappear into our own world and close the door but when we have an opportunity to go network and be around a community of writers and people who care about books and writing, that is one of the most valuable pieces of a writing career.”

The 2021 Williamsburg Book Festival will support Literacy for Life, which provides free tutoring programs, as well as job support and health literacy lessons for members of the community. Book festival patrons who donate to Literacy for Life at the festival will have an opportunity to receive a free book donated by participating authors and speakers.

The festival is considered family-friendly and parents are encouraged to bring their children. For more information, people may visit The Williamsburg Book Festival’s official website.

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