Through the rain the writers and readers and listeners came, hustling into the Museum of Contemporary Art a few Friday nights ago to be part of an evening billed as "Chicago Classics." It was the final event in the estimable, enlightening and, for its organizers, exhausting six-day long Story Week Writers Festival, produced by
This was the 16th annual festival and, like the others, it was a feast of events such as readings, conversations, panels, performances and film screenings. This year's star was novelist/filmmaker John Sayles.
Randy Albers, the chair of the college's fiction writing department, founded the festival and has been its tireless champion. It was Albers and I who hatched the idea for this concluding gathering. Until last year, the final Story Week event had been a hit-and-miss affair, consisting of a few writers reading lengthy sections from their own works. I had been to some of these as an audience member and watched a few writers who appeared to have never spoken in public before. I listened to some works that were, frankly, pretty dull.
And so, one night sitting in the
This piece ran in full in Printers Row Journal, delivered to Printers Row members with the Sunday