Spotlight: LaShonda Katrice Barnett

Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers 2016 welcomes

LaShonda Katrice Barnett

Jam On The Vine
“In an authentic and richly layered novel, history comes to life…Barnett creates an ode to activism, writing with a scholar’s eye and a poet’s soul.”O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE

Press-LaShonda K Barnett ©ellen foto 2014 copy
photo by @EllenFoto


LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s debut novel Jam on the Vine (Grove Atlantic), is a 2016 Stonewall Honor Book, a distinction awarded by the American Library Association.  Jam was an Editor’s Choice pick at the Chicago Tribune; won ElIe Magazine’s Belle Lettres 2015 Reader’s Prize and earned Barnett the Emerging Writers Award at the 2015 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. Barnett’s other books include:  I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters On Their Craft (2007) and the story collection Callaloo (1999). The Appropriate Ones, her trilogy of plays (Homewood; Menemsha; and L’Echange) examine race in the context of one interracial American family. Twice-nominated for the 2015 Pushcart prize for her short fiction, Barnett holds the Ph.D. in American Studies and lives and writes full-time in Manhattan. @LaShondaKatrice

Listen to: LaShonda Katrice Barnett on NPR to hear a discussion with NPR’s Rachel Martin about JAM ON THE VINE.

For Festival of Women Writers 2016, LaSonda Katrice Barnett will present: The Truthful Lie: Reading & Writing Historical Fiction. The historical novel is produced in several forms: a historical personage as the main character; fictional characters working with historical personages; and fictional characters within a real historical event or merely within an historical period/society. A good historical novel demands the wise selection of the right fact for the right effect; it doesn’t surfeit readers with too much information or starve them with too little. This workshop group will consider the practical challenge at the core of writing historical fiction: the seamless integration of fictive imagination and historical fact.For complete information about LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s workshop and to register for Festival of Women Writers 2016, go to

For more about Barnett:


Amazon Author page

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Spotlight: Bessy Reyna

The Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers 2016 is very excited to welcome Bessy Reyna, poet, activist and opinion columnist in English and in Spanish as a Returning Participating Writer.


Bessy Reyna, is the author of two bilingual books of poetry, The Battlefield of Your Body (Hill-Stead Museum, 2005) and Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover/ Memorias de la amante infiel (tunAstral, A.C., 2010, Toluca Mexico), She Remembers, a chapbook of her poems published by Andrew Mountain Press in 1997. Her Spanish language writing, published in Latin America, includes a poetry chapbook, Terrarium (Instrucción Programada de México, 1975), and a collection of short stories, Ab Ovo (Instituto Nacional de Cultura, Panama, 1977). Her poetry can be found in numerous anthologies, including El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina PoetryIn Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States, The Arc of Love: Lesbian Poems and The Wild Good.  She is a contributor to Gathered Light: The Poetry of Joni Mitchell’s Songs (Lisa and John Sornberger, Eds. 2013) and Penelope: Antologia de Cuentistas Centroamricanas (Consuelo Meza Vasquez, Ed.)



Bessy Reyna with sweater

At Festival 2016, Bessy Reyna  will participate with  JP Howard and Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, in “Writers Conversation: Why Memoir?”,  on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 @ 9:30am

What family secrets are waiting to be written? Whose stories are straining to be told? Are they our stories to tell? What complications and challenges arise when painful memories haunt us? Who were we as teenagers? Young lovers? Close friends? Tired workers? How do we use the materials of memory, e.g. photographs, letters, old magazines to tell our stories, to write our poems?  These are just some of the questions that arise and are aroused as the memoirist explores her personal narratives, pictures, and oral histories.

This Writers Conversation is designed to encourage people to begin to structure the material of their lives and to write their life journeys. For the complete description of this workshop event and for the complete schedule of readings and workshops for Festival of Women Writers 2016 is on our web page at http://www.hobartfestivalofwomenwriters.comessy Reyna CT Author

For an in-depth interview with Bessy Reyna in UCONN Today, link here:  Reyna, an alumna of the university talks about her family, her poetry, her stubbornness, her strength in this “Portrait of Strength”


Video Bessy Reyna

“Like Panama, the country of her childhood, Bessy Reyna’s poems provide a channel, a way to bridge east and  west by reconciling the warring needs of the body, the mind and the heart. Whether Reyna is dancing with a stalk  of sugar cane in Hartford, Connecticut, or in her birthplace of Cuba, poem after poem is as lively as a salsa. Like chewing sugar cane, her poems ultimately reward with their hard-won sweetness, with the taste that leaves us wanting more.” —Vivian Shipley

Read excerpts of Bessy Reyna’s  work, at:

Bessy Reyna with mike

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Four O’Clock Flowers speaks with Elizabeth Searle

Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers 2016 welcomes,

Elizabeth Searle!

Elizabeth Searle and Breena Clarke


Four O’Clock Flowers speaks to Elizabeth Searle

Please listen to Hobart Book Village Festival’s new podcast Four O’Clock Flowers

Four O’Clock Flowers. Host, Breena Clarke, will speak with some of the participating writers for Festival of Women Writers 2016. For this episode of our podcast, Breena is speaking to Elizabeth Searle, novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and teacher.

Elizabeth’s film script based on her novel A Four-Sided Bed was produced as a Staged Reading in Hollywood, starring TV/Film actors Evan Ross (The Hunger Games), Lucy Griffiths (True Blood, Preacher), Gia Mantegna (Under the Dome) and Kenny Leu (NCIS; Independence Day: Resurgence), performed at Zephyr Theater in LA on May 19th. The performance was produced by Amy Carpenter Scott/Creatrix Films as part of the ongoing project to develop A Four-Sided Bed as a feature film. Elizabeth is also working on a theater version of the ‘menage a trois love story’ script.  Stay tuned!

E. Searle & Co
Elizabeth with stars Kenny Leu and Lucy Griffiths in Hollywood at Zephyr Theater

For information about Elizabeth and her work: Elizabeth Searle

Register for the Festival at Hobart Festival of Women

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