Frostburg Celebrates 9th Annual Indie Lit Festival
The doors of the Center for Creative Writing in downtown Frostburg welcomed the community on October 24th to engage fully in the world of English. On the right, the public was greeted with smiles from Frostburg State University English majors at registration while offered pastries awaited them. On the left, in the Alumni Center, writers hosted panels for the many aspiring writers, students and community members – not just from Frostburg. For the ninth year in a row, Frostburg hosted the Indie Lit Festival to inspire, engage, and educate those interested in furthering their writing or those attending out of pure curiosity.
The Western Maryland Indie Lit Festival, in collaboration with the Allegany County Library System, celebrates English in a three-day event of readings, poetry, panels, a book fair, and so much more. To kick off the celebration, Dante’s Bar, a local Main Street establishment, hosted a poetry slam Thursday in its cool, chic environment. Open to the public for a small admission price, writers of all experiences were allowed to take part in the literary slam. The following day at Main Street Books, noted authors Margaret Bashaar, Mark Brazaitis, Michael Ratcliffe and Michael Gerard Martin commenced an evening event with readings from their publications. Following the readings, the community was invited to a reception with the writers in the Center for Literary Arts. Across the street, the Frostburg Public Library entertained a panel discussion, topping a successful night of literature.
The final episode of the exciting festival was held in an eight-hour event of panels covering everything from fiction writing to music. All panels were hosted by poets and writers, some of which included Frostburg professors such as Andy Duncan and writers who have visited in the past such as Steven Sherrill and Barbara Hurd. On top of the enlightened panels, awed writers, students and community members had the chance to explore publishing companies in the form of a book fair. Publishing groups such as Cheat River Review, Free State Review, Stillhouse Press and The Baltimore Review were among the 36 organizations who set up shop in the Lyric Theater for the book fair.
PM Press, a publishing platform of thought-provoking ideas, is an alum to the festival. “PM Press focuses on issues that students deal with, social issues, environmental issues, pretty much issues involving justice. A lot of the books we publish deal with these ignored problems that students deal with on a daily basis. It would be great to see more students aware of what we are trying to do,” PM Press states, explaining its true focus of helping out those who slip under the radar. On the other end of the spectrum, Secant Publishing, a newly-founded company by William Peak, is attempting to widen the knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore.
The wide range of motivated publishing associations offered an opportunity undeniable to the community. Finishing the festival with a smooth performance by the Bill Green Quartet, the public was nothing short of pleased to have the knowledge of the newly-gained skills and methods offered by the day’s panels and discussions. By giving valuable insight into different styles of writing, how to get published, what to write and close discussions with writers and editors, the Center For Creative Writing once again inspired the public.