I’m working on a number of writer-ly, literary arts projects right now – participating in the Hugo Literary Series at Richard Hugo House, teaching workshops through Writers in the Schools (a Seattle public school program), this for the P-I. It’s interesting, and refreshing, to be grouped with other writers, in addition to being grouped with other visual artists.
A dozen of this region’s finest writers, including three winners of the National Book Award, will publish work in the Post-Intelligencer in the coming year under a yearlong program of P-I Writers in Residence.
Each month, the work of a different writer in residence will be spotlighted in the P-I. The program was inspired by a similar program at the San Francisco Examiner that was run by David McCumber, now the P-I’s managing editor.
McCumber wanted to resurrect the popular Examiner feature, believed to be the first such newspaper program in the country and still one of the few to feature a series of writers. But he vowed to make a significant change in the program at the P-I — focusing on the strong community of writers in the Northwest.
“I’m really thrilled that we’ve gotten a great response from many of the best writers in this area,” McCumber said. “This is a wonderful way to recognize their talent and also give P-I readers something very special.”
Indeed, the roster of P-I writers in residence includes some of the best-known and most respected of Northwest authors: Sherman Alexie, Rebecca Brown, Charles Cross, Dexter, Ivan Doig, Timothy Egan, Ellen Forney, David Guterson, Charles Johnson, Jonathan Raban, Tom Robbins and Ann Rule.
McCumber pointed out that each of the writers in residence has agreed to take part in an informal meeting with the newspaper’s writers and editors, so that they also will benefit from the authors’ knowledge, experience and expertise.
“It’s a great opportunity for the staff as well,” he said.
Pieces to be published in the P-I by the writers in residence are expected to be new work, unpublished past work or work excerpted from upcoming books. They will vary in length and range through several different genres in fiction and non-fiction. Forney, a young graphic novelist from Seattle, likely will contribute something in that increasingly popular format.