Woodbury Public Library's Local Authors Day Explores What It Means to Write

Woodbury Public Library hosted a Local Authors Day on Saturday, 24 September. There were 35 authors from as far away as Stamford and Simsbury as well as townies. I had the opportunity to host a panel discussion of the research that writers invest in their work, regardless of genre. 

Panel members cited their lives, ideas that emerge within social media groups,genealogical research, and life itself as their sources. They noted that when ideas pique their interest, an audience also presents itself. The panel also said that the people around them are a vital source of information. 

People with institutional knowledge, knowledge of archives, and knowledge of whom else to ask and where else to look are vital. So, too, are the local libraries and historical societies that can provide personal narratives, oral histories, and local lore. 

The discussion brought to mind my students' responses yesterday to the essential question, Do stories matter? Yes, they said, because stories help us know the history we did not live. I found this to be a profound statement. It's important that we do not break narratives, that we see ourselves as links in a continuing chain of knowledge, that we have stories to go back to and engage with our questions and observations.

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