WHAT: River City WordFest 2014

WHEN: Saturday, June 21, 2014 – 10 AM to 4 PM

WHERE: Alton Little Theater, 2450 North Henry Street, Alton, IL 62002

WHO: Presented and hosted by Studio Sixpence and the newly-formed literary artists’ group, River City Writers

CONTACT: Melissa Crockett Meske, Studio Sixpence—studiosixpence@gmail.com; 618-946-3588

The Details:

A keynote speaker (yet to be determined) will kick things off from the stage at ALT’s Showplace promptly at 10 AM. Morning sessions (10:30 AM -12:30 PM) for writers (and those who want to be) will cover proposed topics such as:

  • Turning Poetry into Lyrics—Words Transformed through Music
  • Script Writing—From Paper to Stage and Screen
  • Historical Fiction—Imagining the Past
  • Telling the Stories of the Day—Journalists and Photojournalists Documenting History
  • Bringing Your Story to Life—the Power of Memoirs and Storytelling (It’s for Organizations Too!)
  • Love Sells—How to Craft an Epic Romance
  • Word Power through Technology—Digital Media Applications to the Arts
  • Social Media—Word Power for the Future (Blogs, Websites, White Papers…and Yes, Even Facebook and Twitter)

Writers and those who want to be will pay a $25 fee to participate in the morning schedule. At this point, we are also still trying to secure local writers, authors, musicians, artists, presenters, and actors…anyone who wants to lend a hand to make the inauguration of this annual event a success. If you are interested in being a morning session presenter, please send an email immediately to studiosixpence@gmail.com that includes your experience, published works, and anticipated compensation. Our budget for this first year is very minimal, donations of time and expertise are very much encouraged and appreciated.

Plans are also still being finalized for the afternoon schedule (1-4 PM), which will be free and open to the public. Proposed activities hoping to be included are:

  • Appearances by literary “greats” of the past portrayed by local theatrical “greats” of the present
  • A visual exhibition of words featuring local literary and visual artists
  • Local author readings and discussions
  • Local authors’ book fair/signings
  • Poetry readings and music performances from the stage
  • “Stories on Stage”—short story performances for the kids
  • A “kids only” exhibition—for the young and the young at heart—featuring comics, cartoons, and graphic novels
  • “Character Connections”—children’s book character appearances
  • Public Poetry Project—where everyone in attendance contributes one line

Vendor spaces for authors, literacy groups, book clubs, literature-related groups, and non-profits are available at $25 each. All book sales resulting from an author’s participation in the afternoon book fair will be handled directly and completely by the author or his designated agent and will be solely benefit the author. To discuss this opportunity further, please contact Crockett Meske at Studio Sixpence so that arrangements can be made. Space is very limited—you will need to provide your own table, chairs, and any other supplies and materials.

The participating exhibition artists are being selected at Studio Sixpence’s discretion. Please email Studio Sixpence for more information, guidelines for participation, and to be considered as a participating artist. There are no fees for chosen artists to participate. If your exhibited artwork is presented for sale and is successful, you will be responsible for all sales transactions and collection of sales taxes. Artists will retain 100 percent of the proceeds from any resulting sales.

Finally, we need sponsors! And yes, we know…everyone hosting an event seems to need sponsors. But it is inevitable. We need financial sponsors, media sponsors, partners, and anyone dedicated to keeping the written and spoken word, the love of language, the very root of humanness alive. Your sponsorship on any level will help to ensure a quality event and continued success. To find out more about becoming a sponsor, please send an email message to Studio Sixpence at studiosixpence@gmail.com.

When asked why Studio Sixpence is taking on such a major responsibility in the community, owner and lead catalyst Melissa Crockett Meske said, “Well, it’s because Studio Sixpence is a commercial and creative communications firm focused on the power of words. Our mission is to expand awareness of the power of words, to increase the understanding of the impact of the presentation and interplay of words, and to provide further opportunities for those whose works are inspired by words.”

Crockett Meske added, “So the end result of hosting such an event becomes a part of our grand vision—catalyzing positive social change through the fostering of an exchange of clear, focused, informed, and impactful dialogues among our global societies. Words have power—we should all be aware of this and make our choices wisely. And we all have the responsibility to pass our knowledge of this power on to future generations.”

To learn more about River City WordFest 2014, Studio Sixpence, or the River City Writers, you can contact Melissa at Studio Sixpence by email or through Facebook via Studio Sixpence’s page or through the River City Writers’ page. You may also call 618-946-3588; be sure to leave a message including your name and number if no answer.


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