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 2023 in-Person Main Festival Day Schedule
October 14, 2023

Festival Theme: "Mental Illness in Fiction."


Main day registration available on site starting around  8:15


9:00-10:30 a.m. Morning Workshops

Louis Bayard         “Writing Historical Fiction”

GG Renee Hill         “Turning Your Mental Health Story Into Fiction”

Margaret Talbot     “The Art of the Interview”

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Workshop for Fitzgerald Scholars (Topic TBD)

A Fitzgerald Breakfast

Free coffee and breakfast snacks available along with an open community conversation about your favorite Fitzgerald topics. 

10:55 - 11:00 a.m. 

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Gary Berg-Cross, President, F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc.


11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

“A Conversation About the Art of Fiction” and "Mental Illness in Fiction"

Jonathan Franzen and David Means


Noon-1:00 p.m.

Lunch Break


1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Keynote Talk 

Ron Charles  “A Life in Books


2:00 - 3:15 p.m. (No registration needed)

Awards Ceremony


Recognition of F. Scott Fitzgerald Scholars

Taryn Trazkovich


Introduction of Jonathan Franzen

David Means


Presentation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature

Gary Berg-Cross


Acceptance and Reading

Jonathan Franzen


3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Afternoon Workshops 

Tope Folarin           “Rendering Your Life on the Page”

E. Ethelbert Miller  “Lies, Secrets, and Memoir Writing”

Linda Ruth Stai        “Promoting Healing through Converting Oral History into the Written Word” 


3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Workshop for Fitzgerald Scholars

Jonathan Franzen & David Means


3:30 -5:00 pm

Bus Tour of Fitzgerald's Haunts in Rockville Registration is Required -limit of 19: 

Bus pick-up location: front of (Venue - UUCR) Bus leaves at 3:35, returns to UUCR at 5 pm

Eileen McGuckian, historian, will provide a personal tour of the small town
Fitzgerald knew in the 1920s. Participants will get a flavor of Rockville in the Jazz Age
and visit the places where he attended his father's funeral, where his mother was
Institutionalized, and the two historic cemeteries in which he and Zelda were buried.
McGuckian is the author of six books on Rockville history, including Rockville: Portrait of a
City (2001) and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Rockville: A Guide to Rockville in the 1920s (1996). She
served as executive director of Peerless Rockville for three decades and believes in preserving historic places for the benefit of future generations.

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