THE 2021 FESTIVAL

The Festival seeks to honor the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and those of prominent American literary artists and to support, encourage, and assist aspiring and emerging writers and students interested in the literary arts.

The main festival day in 2021 was held on Saturday October 30th.

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2021 Honoree
John Edgar Wideman

John Edgar Wideman is the award-winning author of more than twenty books. His forthcoming story collections, You Made Me Love You: Selected Stories, 1981-2018 and Look For Me and I’ll Be Gone, will be published in 2021. 

Read more...

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2021 Special Guest
Walton Muyumba

Walton Muyumba helped choose the stories included in John Edgar Wideman's You Made Me Love You: Selected Stories, 1981-2018 (2021) and he wrote the Introduction for the volume. He will introduce John Edgar Wideman for the Fitzgerald Award on October 30.

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2021 Keynote Speaker
Michael Dirda

is a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for The Washington Post Book World, where he has worked since 1978, first as an editor and then as  a writer. His weekly reviews and essays now appear each Thursday in the paper's Style section. Read more...

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2021
Writing Workshops

All 2021 Fitzgerald Festival Workshops were conducted virtually on Saturday, October 30. The fee for each workshop was $25.

Click here to view 2021's workshops.

For 2021 Short Story Contest readings, interviews, copies of the stories along with Q & A conducted online on Oct. 21st go to our Short Story Page
See a recording of the event by going here

About the Festival

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival was established in 1996 to celebrate the centenary of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birth, in Rockville, Maryland, the city where Fitzgerald, his wife, and his daughter are buried. The Festival seeks to honor the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and those of prominent American literary artists and to support, encourage, and assist aspiring and emerging writers and students interested in the literary arts. Originally a one-day event, the Festival now includes programs on three or four days. The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival is co-sponsored by the City of Rockville and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc.

The centerpiece of the Literary Festival is the presentation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Achievement in American Literature to a prominent American writer, who is present to give a reading and a master class. Over the years, many of the most distinguished American literary figures of the last half-century have been honored. The 2021 recipient is John Edgar Wideman. Major events of the 2021 Festival were held on  September 17 , September 24,  October 21.  October 29, and October 30.

On  September 17, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., D. Quentin Miller led a discussion of Brothers & Keepers,  a memoir written by John Edgar Wideman.

On the evening of September 24, (6 pm -8 pm) Fitzgerald’s 125th birthday, the Festival presented a showing of “Gatsby in Connecticut,” a documentary about Fitzgerald’s time in Westport, Connecticut, and how it influenced the writing of The Great Gatsby, which was followed by a discussion of the film with its producer Robert Williams and Fitzgerald scholar and participant in the film Walter Raubicheck.

On the evening of Oct. 24th, the winner and runners-up in both the adult and student Short Story Contest read from and comment on their stories.

On the evening of October 29 at 8 p.m., the Festival co-sponsored with The Writer’s Center in Bethesda an evening of “Readings in Tribute to John Edgar Wideman.” These activities included morning and afternoon writing workshops designed for both emerging and established fiction and non-fiction writers; a Master Class with John Edgar Wideman; and an Awards Ceremony featuring a reading by John Edgar Wideman.

The 2021 Festival also sponsored two short story contests: a Student Contest open to Montgomery County high school students and an Adult Contest open to residents of Maryland, DC, and Virginia. The winners and two runners-up in each contest were announced and awarded cash prizes at a virtual ceremony in October 2021.

 
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John Edgar Wideman

2021 Honoree

John Edgar Wideman is the award-winning author of more than twenty books. His forthcoming story collections, You Made Me Love You: Selected Stories, 1981-2018 and Look For Me and I’ll Be Gone, will be published in 2021. 

 

Michael Dirda

2021 Keynote Speaker

is a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for The Washington Post Book World, where he has worked since 1978, first as an editor and then as  a writer. His weekly reviews and essays now appear each Thursday in the paper's Style section. Dirda is the author of the memoir An Open Book: Coming of Age in the Heartland (2003) and of five collections of essays––Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments (2000), Bound to Please (2005), Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life (2005), Classics for Pleasure (2007), and Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living With Books (2015)––as well as  the Edgar Award-winning On Conan Doyle; or The Whole Art of Storytelling (2011).

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Walton Muyumba

2021 Special Guest

Walton Muyumba is a writer and critic.  He sat on the National Book Critics Circle’s Board of Directors, 2014-2020.  Muyumba’s essays and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, The Believer, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, and Oxford American, among other outlets.