event coverage

L I T T O R A L : the journal of the Key West Literary Seminar

By Nancy Freund
First to the microphone after Katrin Schumann’s glowing introduction of the Seminar’s three Emerging Writer Award winners, was Erika Higgins Ross, of Western Massachusetts, (Marianne Russo Award for a novel-in-progress) whose moving work, The Before Times, opens with a debutante-gone-wild…

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By Michele Nereim
No, Craig Pittman and Rebecca Renner didn’t roar up on an airboat, driving the Greedy Developer into the karmic jaws of an American crocodile (à la Hiaasen), but that was the energy they brought to the stage in their talk, “The Best Beat in American Journalism: Covering the Florida Environment.”

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By Nancy Freund
Sika Dagbovie-Mullins opened Sunday’s panel on Putting Black Florida on the Page quoting Tananarive Due’s 2020 short story collection Ghost Summer, saying home is a place we might not be comfortable, but we “make it work.” She then turned to her three Black panelists: Dantiel W. Moniz, from Jacksonville, Tananarive Due, and Jonathan Escoffery, both from Miami.

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By Annette Holmstrom
As a fierce squall line from the Gulf zeroed in on Key West’s Coffee Butler Amphitheater, Dave Barry pivoted from prepared notes.

“I have notes and Carl never does,” Barry had reminded us earlier, as he waved paper at Hiassen, his long-time friend and fellow Florida humorist. 

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By Cristina Favretto
On an alternately sunny, shady, breezy, still, hot, chilly (aka: South Florida in January) morning, the audience attending the “Stories and Floridas” session of the 41st KWLS heard three formidable authors riff on what constituted a “Florida story,” as opposed to, say, one about Rhode Island or Delaware…

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By Christine Drewel, Ph.D.
Katie Blankenship and Stephen Tremaine hosted an information session on Saturday afternoon after a panel with Judy Blume, Mitchell Kaufman, and Lauren Goff about Book Banning and Anti-Reader policies in Florida. Blankenship and Tremaine answered questions, made connections, and networked with conference attendees…

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By Erika Higgins Ross
It’s hard to imagine that “joy” would be a central theme of a panel entitled “Book Bans: What We’re Doing to Fight Florida’s Anti-Reader Policies,” but it came up again and again as the threat of a rainstorm passed on Saturday afternoon…

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By Megan Spring
The sun had started her downward arc when the Key West Literary Seminar’s second session of the afternoon gathered authors, Jack E. Davis, Craig Pittman, Diane Roberts, and Les Standiford to the stage. Once they had all sunk into the plush sunset-colored chairs to chew over Florida’s wild places and weird politics, and how both inspired a literary tradition…

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