Memorial Day weekend is coming up and with it comes the beginning of summer reading. Instead of picking up a trashy novel, why don’t you prepare for this year’s Chicago Writers Conference by reading a book from one of our upcoming speakers? That’s right! Every single author mentioned on this list will join us in October. Get a taste of what they have to offer by delving into their craft.
Bedrock Faith by Eric Charles May
Set in fictional Parkland, a neighborhood of the very real South Side of Chicago, May’s novel explores issues of race and religion in a tight-knit, middle-class, African-American community. Parkland’s residents are torn apart when one of their own, Stew Pot, returns home after a stint in prison, where he claims to have seen “The Light.”
Little Known Facts by Christine Sneed
Sneed’s first novel tackles fame and our celebrity-obsessed world as she details the trials and tribulations of the family and friends of Renn Ivins, a Hollywood actor.
O, Democracy! by Kathleen Rooney
Chicago politics has been called “colorful,” at best. Inspired by her own experiences in the city’s political system — or should we say disillusioned? — the novel takes a look at the historic 2008 election through the eyes of Colleen, an aide who works for the Illinois senator that is NOT going to become the next US president.
Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke
You’ll have to wait until July to read the latest novel from YA author Erica O’Rourke, but it’ll be well worth the wait. Her latest romance involves parallel realities, different dimensions, and a protagonist that is trying to maintain harmony between alternate universes.
The Witch Collector Part I and Part II by Loretta Nyhan
For those of you who can’t part without your Kindle (or iPad or Nook), this digital novel about a family of witches who flee Oregon for Chicago will keep you up late into the night.
The Temple of Air by Patricia Ann McNair
One of our long times favorites will be teaching a sex writing intensive at this year’s conference. Yup, you read that correctly–we’ll be offering one-day intensives at CWC 2014. McNair is a fantastic short-story writer and this collection centers around a Midwestern town whose residents are transformed after a tragic accident.