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Pressley Peters – Guest Contributor
Feb 2 @ 10:07 am
HP Literary Festival Keynote is Virtual & Free

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virtual via Crowdcast

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The New York Times bestseller and multiple award-winning author Téa Obreht will be the keynote speaker for the 25th annual Highland Park Literary Festival which celebrates literature and authors through writing workshops, writing contests, parent and student book clubs. There are 22 authors participating in the virtual events on February 24 and 25. Ms. Obreht’s virtual appearance is scheduled for Thursday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Obreht became the youngest-ever recipient of the Orange Prize for Fiction for her debut novel The Tiger’s Wife in 2011. Named by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty, Obreht has wowed critics and readers with richly-developed characters, subtle plot, and evocative sense of place. With her second novel, Inland, which President Barack Obama listed as one of his favorite books of 2019, Obreht graduates from talented newcomer to one of the finest fiction writers of her generation. The story unfolds in the drought-ridden Arizona Territory in 1893 and recreates the myth of the American West.

Obreht’s work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading, and has appeared in The New YorkerHarper’sThe AtlanticVogueEsquire, and Zoetrope: All-Story, among others. In addition to a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, Obreht received the Rona Jaffe fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She currently serves as the Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at Texas State University in Austin. She lives in New York with her husband, and teaches at Hunter College.

Most events will be virtual due to the global pandemic. There are workshops between students and accomplished novelists, journalists, poets, songwriters, and playwrights, a student-run open mic night, a student writing contest, student and parent book clubs, and a special awards breakfast recognizing outstanding student works. In 2020, the festival keynotes were Hampton Sides at the high school and Lois Lowry at the middle school.

The HP Literary Festival is made possible by the generous donations from Interabang Books, La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas, HP Arts, HPHS PTA, PC Tag, and HPISD families. The events are organized by HP literary festival volunteers and are free and open to the public. As the event fundraiser, FlickFest, had to be cancelled this year, donations are appreciated.

Register and learn more at hplitfest.com. Follow @hplitfest1 on Twitter and @hpliteraryfestival on Instagram.