A few weeks ago Ball State held their annual In Print festival. This year featured poet Natalie Shapero, fiction writer Mario Alberto Zambrano, and non-fiction writer T Fleischmann. As I said in my previous post , this was the first year I actually rallied enough courage to go to the event. And it was worth it. Hearing the words come from the author’s mouth paints the colored canvases in a different light. I know that is somewhat cliché, but it’s true. Take for example:
I had to read T Fleischmann’s Syzygy, Beauty: An Essay for class and I found it interesting and unique after first reading it, but I can’t say it was my cup of tea (I know, I need to stop with the clichés but they’re so much fun!). I honestly didn’t understand most of the pieces or the book as a whole. And yet after hearing T talk about his work and reading new things, I came to appreciate Syzygy and his words more. I understood where these experiences that shaped the book came from and I could see why it was a hidden gem (much like the other two author’s works). I don’t know my opinion would have changed if I hadn’t of went to the In Print festival.
One of the great opportunities that In Print gave us was the reading with the authors, but the event also featured a Q&A panel with the authors and visiting editor, Robert Stapleton from the literary magazine Booth. All the authors had great things to say and advise for their audience (which you can catch here). One of my favorite pieces of advice I took from the panel was:
As a writer it is scary thinking you’re not “traditional” enough or don’t fit in with what other successful authors are putting out. But that’s the beauty of it: you don’t need to be traditional—you need to be different. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being traditional. What is important is to find what you like to write about and where you see yourself fitting in. And that is one of the things I loved about this experience—the positivity.
So, in the spirit of positivity, what can you think of that puts a smile on your face whenever you think about it? It doesn’t have to be about writing or anything In Print or college related, but it can be! I know for me it’s my family and this little nugget of cuteness.
I hope you all are enjoying the days of Spring! If haven’t already (and if you want to check out more on In Print) Lindsay, Kate, and E. M. St. Claire have some great blog posts about their experiences at the event.