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exeter litfest cosplay ball

Exeter LitFest 2019

Exeter Town Hall
9 Front Street
Exeter, NH 03833
United States

TEAM (Town Exeter Arts Music) presents Exeter LitFest 2019 at Exeter Town Hall.

Join us for a Friday night cosplay ball, followed by a day-long schedule of events on Saturday, including exciting keynote speakers, book launches, author talks, children’s programming, art exhibits and more at downtown locations (Town Hall, Water Street Bookstore, A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words, Exeter Public Library). Complete schedule below, or click the icons to download Word or PDF versions!

Highlights will include a “Breakfast with Owen” book group discussing John Irving’s best seller “A Prayer for Owen Meany”. There will also be a talk (with birthday cake!) about two of our hidden gems: Feminist Tabitha Tenney (Female Quixotism, 1801) and Abolitionist Poet James Monroe Whitfield (America and Other Poems, 1853). The LitFest concludes with a gala poetry reading at the Word Barn.

Friday, April 5

Ongoing 9-4:30 pm PICTURE BOOK SCAVENGER HUNT Come hunt down pictures from your favorite children’s books—a perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy! Win a prize for each completed search. (Exeter Public Library Children’s Room)

Ongoing 9-4:30 pm TEEN BOOK TRIVIA Teens ages 11-18 visit Exeter Public Library and try our Teen Book Trivia Challenge. You need just 5 correct answers to win a prize. (Exeter Public Library Teen Scene)

Ongoing 9-4:30 pm VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE EXETER AUTHOR LitFest attendees of all ages are invited to visit Exeter Public Library to vote for your favorite Exeter author. The winner will be announced Saturday, April 6th at 4:30 pm, at Exeter Public Library. (Exeter Public Library Adult Services Desk)

1:00 pm JOE HILL MOVIE SCREENING Watch a film adaptation of one of Joe’s bestselling horror books. For film title, contact the Library (603) 772-3101. (Exeter Public Library Meeting Room)

6-9pm LitFest Cosplay Celebration / Presented by TEAM / Tickets available at www.TeamExeter.org  $5 Children/Seniors & $10 Adults in advance or $8 & $13 at the door includes both below  (Town Hall)

6-8pm Family Friendly Costume Party (Main Hall) Dress as an author, in the style of any historical period, as a literary or film character, or just come as yourself.  Costume NOT required.  Live & DJ music, dance performances, kids activities, costume contest, photo booth.  Featuring music from Groove Lounge, Romany dance demonstration from Miri Keliphen, and aerial silk performance from Hannah Beck.

7-9pm Joe Hill & Bitter Pill (2nd Floor Gallery) Joe Hill is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman and Heart-Shaped Box. His novel, Horns, was made into a feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe, and his book NOS4A2 is forthcoming as a TV series from AMC. His book of short stories, 20th Century Ghosts, won the Bram Stoker Award and British Fantasy Award for Best Collection. His most recent work is Strange Weather. Joe will do a short reading, Q&A, and book signings. Literary readings and an open mic will follow. The band Bitter Pill plays a dark and anachronistic combination of bluegrass, country, vaudeville and psychobilly.

9-11 pm AFTER PARTY & Literary Trivia Contest at Sea Dog Brewery. Immediately following the Cosplay event, featuring “Literary Trivia Contest” and live music from critically-acclaimed Exeter Singer/Songwriter David Drouin, a Boston and New England Music Award winner This is a free event, but please sign up early to reserve your trivia spot at www.TeamExeter.org

Saturday, April 6

9-9:45 am BREAKFAST with OWEN, Facilitator Emily Heath Enjoy some coffee and snacks at this public book-group discussion of John Irving’s classic Exeter novel A Prayer for Owen Meany. (Congregational Church)

Ongoing 9-4:30 pm “BOOKMOBILE” book swap table in honor of bookmobile inventor Exeter’s Mary Lemist Titcomb. Bring gently used books to swap. (Town Hall)

Ongoing 9-4:30 pm PICTURE BOOK SCAVENGER HUNT Come hunt down pictures from your favorite Children’s Books. A perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy. Win a prize for each completed search. (Exeter Public Library Children’s Room)

Ongoing 9-4:30 pm TEEN BOOK TRIVIA Teens ages 11–18 may visit Exeter Public Library and try our Teen Book Trivia Challenge. You need just 5 correct answers to win a prize! (Exeter Public Library Teen Scene)

Ongoing 9-4:30 pm VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE EXETER AUTHOR LitFest attendees of all ages are invited to visit Exeter Public Library and vote for your favorite Exeter author. The winner will be announced Saturday, April 6th at 4:30 pm at Exeter Public Library. (Exeter Public Library Adult Services Desk)

10-11:30 am DAN BROWN Keynote Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 international bestsellers, including Origin, The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress. Today’s talk is entitled “Will God Survive Science?” Pre-signed copies of his books will be available for purchase. (Town Hall)

11:45 am-12:30 pm TABITHA GILMAN TENNEY TALK with Gretchen McBride Gretchen McBride holds graduate degrees from Boston University and Northeastern University and has taught music at Assumption College and literature and writing at Northeastern University and Lesley University. She has also written leveled readers, and grammar and writing guides for language arts publishers. As a relative newcomer to the Seacoast, she is honored to introduce Exeter’s first novelist and her 1801 novel Female Quixotism, a 50-year bestseller that had five printings, to a new audience.  (A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words Shop)

11:45-12:30 pm KIDS’ LIT PANEL DISCUSSION with Paul Durham, Lisa Bunker, Gina Perry (Town Hall) There is a whole world of people who write, illustrate, edit, produce, promote, and sell children’s books. It’s a huge industry, and one that is constantly changing. This panel will feature three local creators who will share stories of their experiences in KidLit and their perceptions of the changing landscape.

Lisa Bunker recently left a thirty-year career in public and community broadcasting to write full-time. She lives in Exeter, and does not play chess as well as she would like, but still plays anyway.

Paul Durham was raised in Massachusetts and now lives in Exeter, NH. His debut novel, The Luck Uglies, earned the Cybils Award for Middle Grade Speculative Fiction and was named an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book. He is also the author of two other books in The Luck Uglies series, and most recently, The Last Gargoyle.

Gina Perry is the author/illustrator of the picture books Small, Too Much! Not Enough!, and forthcoming Now? Not Yet! She writes and illustrates books for young readers from her New Hampshire home, where she lives with THREE monsters: her husband, daughter, and son.

12:30-1:30 pm LUNCH BREAK Visit downtown shops and eateries during the lunch break: St. Anthony’s Bakery, Billingsgate Deli, Vino e Vivo Wine Bar, Oba Noodle Bar, Green Bean, Sea Dog Brewpub, and Me & Ollie’s Coffee.

1:30-2:15 pm LISA BUNKER Talk & Signing (Water Street Bookstore) Come hang with Lisa! Local author Lisa Bunker will read from her 2017 book Felix Yz, about a boy fused with an alien, offer an exclusive sneak preview of her upcoming May release Zenobia July, about a trans girl getting to live as a girl for the first time in a new family and school (and solving cyber-crimes!). Lisa will talk about her passion for writing what she calls “Post-Binary Fiction,” and take questions.

1:30-2:15 pm SPIRITUALITY PANEL DISCUSSION with Rev. Emily Heath, Tom Simpson, Robert Azzi “Truth-Telling in Minefields: Writing About Religion in the 21st Century”: Three writers will discuss the challenges and rewards of writing about religion, how their own faith has informed their writing, and reactions they have received from writing about what can be a highly sensitive topic. Moderated by Kathy Brownback, retired instructor in the Religion Department at Phillips Exeter Academy.  (Town Hall)

Emily C. Heath is the Senior Pastor of the Congregational Church, UCC. Heath is the author of Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity. Some of their writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, The Christian Century, Stillspeaking Daily Devotionals, and more.

Thomas W. Simpson, a specialist in modern U.S. religious history, is instructor in religion and philosophy at Phillips Exeter Academy. He is the author of American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940 winner of the Mormon History Association’s Best Book Award.

Robert Azzi is a photojournalist, columnist, and public speaker who lives in Exeter. An Arab-American Muslim, he writes on issues of Identity, conflict, and Islam, particularly as they apply in the Middle East and the Global South.

1:30 pm DAN BROWN MOVIE SCREENING Watch a film adaptation of one of Dan Brown’s bestselling Robert Langdon books. For film title, contact the Library (603) 772-3101. (Exeter Public Library Meeting Room)

2:30-3:15 pm BRENDAN DUBOIS Talk & Signing Mystery series author Brendan DuBois is the award-winning author of sixteen novels and more than 120 short stories. His short stories have twice won him the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America and have also earned him three Edgar Award nominations. He is the author of the Lewis Cole mystery series and is the co-author of two forthcoming James Patterson thrillers.      (A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words Shop)

2:30-3:15 pm NH YOUTH POET LAUREATE CATE DIXSON Teen Poetry Share Teens are invited to join NH Youth Poet Laureate, Exeter High School Senior, and multimedia artist Cate Dixson for a poetry share for teens ages 11-18. Teens are encouraged to bring their own poetry and other writings to share with the group. (Exeter Public Library Study Room A)

3:30-4:15 pm POETRY Local Readers from WSB’s Ferguson Reading Series: Mark DeCarteret, Jessica Purdy, and Michael Brosnan, plus an open mic On the second Wednesday of the month since 2008, Water Street Bookstore has hosted the Ferguson Reading Series, a poetry night featuring a local or regional poet or writer, followed by an open mic for all. It is named in honor of poet, writer, and former high school English teacher John Ferguson, series founder. Three local poets will share a few poems each, followed by an open mic. (Water Street Bookstore)

Mark DeCarteret has published five books of poetry and has appeared in nearly 400 literary reviews. He served as Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s seventh Poet Laureate from 2009-2011 and currently works at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter. His latest book is For Lack of a Calling.

Jessica Purdy teaches Poetry Workshops at Southern New Hampshire University. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her most recent book is Sleep in a Strange House.

Michael Brosnan’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Borderlands, Prairie Schooner, and The Moth. He serves as senior editor for the blog Teaching While White and writes often on issues in education. He lives in Exeter, New Hampshire and his latest book is The Sovereignty of the Accidental.

3:30-4:15pm Conversation with J.D. Landis and Denise Landis (Town Hall) Denise Landis, publisher of the digital magazine Cook’s Cook, and novelist and former William Morrow editor J. D. Landis share their insights into writing, publishing, and wine. Moderated by Dan Chartrand, owner/founder of Water Street Bookstore. (Town Hall)

Denise is the founder and publisher of The Cook’s Cook, a website community of cooks, food writers, and recipe testers. She was a food editor and recipe tester for many years for the New York Times. J.D. was an editor in NYC for 25 years, including as Editor-in-Chief at William Morrow, and has written ten books.

4:30 pm JAMES MONROE WHITFIELD Talk and Poem Reading LitFest founder Renay Allen will give a brief introduction to black abolitionist poet James Monroe Whitfield born in Exeter in April 1822, followed by a reading of a Whitfield poem from the town hall stage by Michael Cameron Ward, author of A Colored Man in Exeter. Exeter High School students Clarissa Gowing and Celia Strand will present their mural depicting three black Exeter citizens spanning 1790-1890. Free birthday cake served in honor of James’ 197th birthday!   (Exeter Town Hall)

5 pm RAFFLE DRAWINGS (Exeter Town Hall) 50/50 raffle tickets purchased over the two days will be drawn at this event. You must be present to win.

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7 pm PEA POETRY READING event finale at The WORD BARN Doors open: 6:30. Reading begins at 7 pm. $5 ticketed event via the Word Barn. Bar (wine, beer, cider) available. RSVP for one of only 90 seats at brownpapertickets.com/event/4056058.

Selected poets from Phillips Exeter Academy feature: Mercy Carbonell, Maggie Dietz, Kelly Flynn, Todd Hearon, Erica Plouffe Lazure, Matthew W. Miller, Sue Repko, Ralph Sneeden, Chelsea Woodard. Read bios at TheWordBarn.com  (The Word Barn, 66 Newfields Rd. Exeter, NH, please carpool!)

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