Westerly Sun Column | ‘On Writing’ Features Notable R.I. Authors

May 13, 2024

One of the things I adore about Westerly is how entrenched in the arts our town is. No matter where you turn, you’re likely to come to face to face with some form of art, whether it be the gorgeous exhibits in the Hoxie and Artists’ Cooperative galleries, the shows at the Granite and United theaters, or the statues, murals and sculptures scattered around town. Depending on the time of year or day, you may hear the beautiful voices of the Chorus of Westerly, or the talented musicians playing at the Knick. With such a focus on — and appreciation of — the arts, it’s no wonder we have so many talented local writers in our town, as well. We’re excited to celebrate, and learn from, a few of them this coming Saturday at Westerly Library and Wilcox Park.

In partnership with Bank Square Books, we’re excited to present “On Writing: A Panel Discussion with Artists on Their Craft”, on Saturday, May 18, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the library’s Auditorium. Our panel of authors, almost all of whom hail from Rhode Island, include Lara Ehrlich, Rea Frey, Ann Hood, and Vanessa Lillie. The discussion will focus largely on the writing process and each author’s individual practices, their path to publication, and advice they give to aspiring writers. Following the discussion will be a meet-and-greet with the panelists, and books will be available for purchase. While there is no charge for this event, and all are welcome, registration through our website (www.westerlylibrary.org) is encouraged!

The name Ann Hood should be a familiar one, as she is a Rhode Island native who has written a dozen books of memoir and fiction. Her best-selling novels include “The Book That Matters Most” and “The Knitting Circle,” and her most recent novel is “The Stolen Child.” Lara Ehrlich is the founder and director of Thought Fox Writers Den in Stonington, where she offers writing workshops, coaching, and a variety of other literary events. Ehrlich’s writing has been described as “genre-breaking”; notably her featured book “Animal Wife,” a collection of 15 magical realism stories.

Rea Frey has also written magical realism, in her book “The Other Year,” though she largely writes nonfiction and thrillers. Her featured novel is “Don’t Forget Me,” a crime novel that is full of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. Our final panelist is Vanessa Lillie, the author of the bestselling suspense novels “Little Voices” and “For the Best.” Her newest novel, “Blood Sisters,” is a compelling mystery about a Cherokee archaeologist who is summoned to investigate the disappearance of two women … one of them her sister.

We’re thrilled to have Deborah Goodrich Royce as our moderator on Saturday. A bestselling author in her own right, Royce is also the owner of the Ocean House, where she hosts an ongoing series of discussions with well-known authors. Her most recent book, “Reef Road,” will also be available for purchase, and all of the books mentioned are available through the library consortium!

by Cassie Skobrak, Adult Services Librarian

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