Lions in Winter festival offers insight into literary world


Raine Zhu

Rion Amilcar Scott, a fiction writer, reads an excerpt from his writing during the Lions in Winter Literary Festival Saturday in the Doudna Recital Hall of Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Corryn Brock, Associate News Editor

The Lions in Winter Literary Festival gave students, staff and community members the opportunity to hear craft talks and works from published writers.

Author Barrie Jean Borich gave a craft talk and presentation on creative nonfiction. She said she has attended similar events and sees value in having them.

“I think it helps to meet and actually talk to writers and see how we work, and to realize that writers are actual people who have a process and successes and failures,” Borich said. “It makes it more real for them. It helps them understand that writing is something you can strive for.”

When Borich attended events like the Lions in Winter festival she said it opened her eyes to  various aspects of the literary world.

“Every meeting, every encounter opened and illuminated the life a little bit more,” Borich said.

Borich said she believes it is important for people to attend events like Lions in Winter.

“If you don’t go to events like this, you’re missing an opportunity you’re not going to get in popular culture,” Borich said.

Books were available for purchasing from the presenting authors as well as from Eastern faculty members.

Daiva Markelis, an English professor, sold her book at the event and said it was a good way for the faculty to get their works out in public.

Markelis said she was glad the event was put on and helped expose students to new things.

“It exposes them to different kinds of writing and different kinds of ideas,” Markelis said.

Markelis helped with the event by finding and inviting writers to the event.

Dana Ringuette, a retired English department chair, was the festival director and said he was happy to be a part of the event.

“The great thing about it for students is that they can meet the writers and talk to them,” Ringuette said. “It’s not just faculty, community members, or students. It’s all of us together, which is really the fun part.”

Ringuette said he thought it was important to have students present their work at the event along with the featured writers.

“They’re doing great work and it gives them an audience,” Ringuette said. “They learn to hone their writing and how to better present it. To read their work in a venue like this is very valuable.”

Matthew Flash, a senior English major from Indiana State University, also said he believes it is important to have literary events like Lions in Winter.

“It is so important for writers, both for people who are established and for students who are rising in the literary world, so they can get that experience,” Flash said. “It connects us all and eliminates any sort of sense of hierarchy that publication might cause.”

Flash said he was grateful for everyone who helped put the event together.

“The people behind the scenes that put this together do so much work and there’s a lot more work than there are people to go around,” Flash said.

Flash read three poems for the event, “Prescribed Burn,” “Illinois” and “Wild Card,” that focused on trauma.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].