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Norwich hosting science fiction, fantasy writers

By Claire Bessette

Publication: The Day

Published July 28. 2014 4:00AM

Norwich - The seventh annual Jim Lafayette Memorial Series of Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy on Wednesday isn't just aimed at young aspiring writers, but at their teachers as well.

This year, series coordinator Faye Ringel, a retired English professor at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, invited award-winning novelist, short story writer and resident writer at Wesleyan University, Kit Reed as the guest speaker.

In addition to decades of publishing science fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror novels and short stories, Reed has been teaching the craft to college students.

"She is one of the really greatest living writers in this field who is under-recognized," Ringel said.

Ringel said she has wanted to bring Reed to the Norwich summer discussion session for several years, and this year schedules worked out. Reed also was recently a guest of honor at the 25th annual Readercon, a conference on literary science fiction, fantasy and horror writing, in Burlington, Mass.

The free discussion session will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Otis Library. The series is funded by the Lafayette family of Norwich in memory of their teenage son, Jim, who was an aspiring writer and avid fan of science fiction and fantasy genres. The program honors his memory by bringing guest authors who discuss their writings, offer advice and answer questions from the audience.

The format this year will be somewhat different, beginning with Ringel conducting an interview with Reed, touching on topics such as her writing, creative process and her methods of teaching writing. Ringel said the final topic is timely, with public schools' renewed emphasis on teaching language arts in response to the new Common Core and standardized tests.

"I'm hoping that with the summer break, some writing teachers will come," Ringel said.

Reed also will read a selection of her new work and will answer audience questions.

Reed's novels include "Son of Destruction," "The Baby Merchant," and "Thinner Than Thou," which won the American Library Association award for works appealing to both young adult readers and adults.

Reed's short stories have been nominated for the Nebula, The World Fantasy, and the Shirley Jackson awards. Ringel said Reed is often compared to Jackson, because she likes to write about the frustrations of trapped housewives and their, at times, horrific experiences.

Reed's short story collections include "The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories" and "What Wolves Know." In addition to science fiction for adults and young adults, she has published mystery, horror, and suspense writings.

Copies of her books will be available for sale and signing Wednesday through cooperation with Bank Square Books in Mystic.

c.bessette@theday.com

Jim Lafayette Memorial Series of Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Wednesday, July 30, 6:30 p.m.

Guest speaker: Kit Reed, author of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror novels and short stories.

Otis Library, 261 Main St., Norwich

Admission Free.

More information at (860) 889-2365, ext. 128.

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If you go

What: Jim Lafayette Memorial Series of Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

When: Wednesday, July 30, 6:30 p.m.

Who: Guest speaker: Kit Reed, author of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror novels and short stories.

Where: Otis Library, 261 Main St., Norwich

Admission: Free

More information: (860) 889-2365, ext. 128

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