Novel Writing Project Visiting Authors

During the course of the Novel Writing Project, participants will be joined by a number of distinguished novelists and publishing professionals. Authors and editors will either join via video conference or in-person. The Loft reserves the right to replace project visitors should unforeseen circumstances arise, and we cannot provide refunds if we need to find a replacement, but the following novelists and publishing professionals are now confirmed to participate:

Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. His recent novel A Brief History of Seven Killings won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and an NAACP Image Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. James lives in Minneapolis.

Lorna Landvik is the author of ten novels, including the best-selling Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Oh My Stars, Best to Laugh, and most recently Once in a Blue Moon Lodge. She has acted in many theatrical productions, including a half dozen shows she conveniently wrote for herself. Her all-improvised show, Party in the Rec Room is a local legend, due in no small part to the margaritas she mixes up onstage. She has one husband and two daughters and lives in the beautiful state of Minnesota.

Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio for nearly twenty years. He lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife and two sons. He is the author of two award-winning novels: So Brave, Young, and Handsome and Peace Like a River.

William Kent Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers. "Ordinary Grace," his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. "Manitou Canyon," number fifteen in his Cork O’Connor series, was released in September 2016.

Julie Schumacher grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell University. Her first published story, “Reunion,” written to fulfill an undergraduate writing assignment (“tell a family tale”) was reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 1983. Subsequent stories were published in The Atlantic, MS, Minnesota Monthly, and Prize Stories: The O.Henry Awards 1990 and 1996. Her first novel, The Body Is Water, was published by Soho Press in 1995 and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. It was published in translation in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Israel, Greece, and Korea.Her other books include the national best-seller, Dear Committee Members, and five novels for younger readers. Ms. Schumacher lives in St. Paul and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.