Authors Sarah Broom, Christina Baker Kline among announced Aspen Summer Words faculty

Staff report

Aspen Words this week announced 10 authors who will lead workshops at its annual Summer Words writers’ conference and literary festival, running June 21 to 26.

New for 2020 is a workshop for authors of middle-grade fiction taught by award-winning children’s writer Rebecca Stead. Offerings also include a fiction workshop led by Lan Samantha Chang, director of the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a memoir workshop facilitated by Sarah M. Broom, whose 2019 memoir, “The Yellow House,” is a New York Times best-seller and finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction.

Summer Words also includes afternoon panel discussions featuring faculty at The Gant and evening events at Belly Up Aspen that are open to the public and provide an opportunity for locals and visitors to participate in the literary festivities.

In addition to Stead’s, Chang’s and Broom’s workshops, two acclaimed novelists will lead juried fiction workshops: Christopher Castellani, a faculty member of Warren Wilson College’s MFA program and the artistic director of GrubStreet creative writing center in Boston, as well as Christina Baker Kline, a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author whose books include “The Orphan Train” and “Christina’s World.”

Claire Bidwell Smith, author of “The Rules of Inheritance,” a coming-of-age memoir about grief that is currently being adapted for film, will lead a memoir workshop, while Steve Almond, who teaches at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism as well as Wesleyan University and is the author of 11 books of fiction and nonfiction, will lead a personal essay workshop.

Aran Shetterly, an editor and author of the narrative nonfiction book “The Americano: Fighting with Castro for Cuba’s Freedom,” now in development for a TV series, will facilitate a juried book editing workshop, and Yolanda Wisher, a former poet laureate of Philadelphia as well as a 2018 Aspen Words writer in residence, will lead a poetry workshop. Scott Lasser, an Aspen-based novelist and screenwriter whose credits include HBO’s “True Detective” series, will teach a three-day, non-juried writing workshop. Details about the three-day readers retreat will be announced at a later date.

The annual Aspen Words benefit dinner, held during Summer Words on June 23 at the Hotel Jerome, will feature a yet-to-be-announced guest speaker from the literary world, as well as the winner of the $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize.

Aspen Words will award 10 fellowships to emerging writers demonstrating exceptional talent and promise. Candidates are nominated by writers, agents, editors and others associated with publishing. Fellows receive a full scholarship to Summer Words, including tuition, airfare, lodging and some meals.

The general application process for Summer Words opens Dec. 3. Workshop descriptions and other details can be found