1455 Literary Festival

The 1455 Summer Literary Festival is a celebration of writers, readers, creativity, and community, over three days in July.

1455’s first Summer Literary Festival will take place on July 18-20 in downtown Winchester. The primary programming will be at the Bright Box Theater located on the historic walking mall, with other events at Winchester Brew Works, the Winchester Book Gallery, and Shenandoah University.

The event includes panel discussions, poetry reading, opportunities to meet authors, and network with writers.

1455 is a nonprofit organization seeking to advance the appreciation of and passion for the literary arts through programs that support expression, education, and the sharing of writing and literature.

Little Red and Ryding Hood: A Benefit Exhibition

An Art Show… A Book… And Wolves

All are invited to view a special showing of the illustrated works of world renowned artist Anne Yvonne Gilbert. Original, signed works from her collaboration with local author S. Todd Strader will be available for viewing and purchase.

The evening will also include:

Special presentation 7 p.m.
Signed original artworks by Anne Yvonne Gilbert
A red wolf exhibit
Live costumed characters from the book- Little Red and Ryding Hood
A special ceremony to present the one of a kind Little Red Stitching
The reveal of a never before seen signed original by Yvonne Limited edition Commemorative posters will be on sale
AND a Door Prize of a signed art piece by Yvonne will given out
It’s going to be a big night!

Proceeds from the evening will fund the completion of the book Little Red and Ryding Hood (a fractured re-telling of the Red Riding Hood folktale with a local twist and wolf hero). The book will in turn advocate for, educate about and fund red wolf recovery efforts through groups like the Red Wolf Coalition.

Admission fee:

Juneteenth Presentation

The opening session of the 2019 Willa Cather Seminar at Shenandoah University will feature a panel of scholars examining Cather’s depiction of African American life in Virginia as seen through Cather’s final novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940).

Panelists include Ann Romines, professor emerita, The George Washington University; Matthew Clark Greer, PhD candidate in anthropology, Syracuse University; and Jonathan Noyalas, director, The McCormick Civil War Institute, Shenandoah University.

Free; registration not required. Presented in part by the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, this program takes place in Stimpson Auditorium, Halpin-Harrison Hall at Shenandoah University.

International Willa Cather Seminar

Please join us in Willa’s first home, in Frederick County, Virginia, for the 17th International Willa Cather Seminar. In addition to the many scholarly panels and featured speakers (see below), we’ll be visiting many of the sites young Willa knew well and remembered all her life: the Baptist church she attended in the hamlet of Back Creek Valley (now Gore), her Grandmother Boak’s house where she was born, the Mill House (built by her great-great-grandfather in the 1740s), where her Seibert grandparents ran the mill from 1830s-1870s, and the Confederate cemetery where her Confederate uncle, fatally wounded in a Civil War battle, is buried, as well as other family cemeteries.

We’ll be entertained by the present owners of Willow Shade, the home where Willa lived with her family for her first nine years. And we’ll enjoy a picnic supper at Capon Springs, a resort that Willa’s young parents enjoyed. Local relatives of the Cather and Boak families will join us at Shenandoah University (where the Seminar will be based) for dinner and conversation. Wednesday is a day off campus with seminarians visiting Washington, D.C. and spending a day on the Washington Mall, with the opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American Heritage and Culture, for which we’ve obtained passes.

Then, on Thursday, we’ll go to the beautiful Museum of the Shenandoah Valley for a program celebrating a recent gift, an album quilt adorned with names of Cather relatives and friends from the mid-nineteenth century, and to explore local history and art. Friday’s program will end with a festive banquet and program by singer Barbara Davis, followed by local Virginia bluegrass music. And on Saturday morning, there will be a wonderful optional event: a special service led by Reverend Charles Peek for Cather Seminarians at the beautiful Christ Episcopal Church, attended by some Cather relatives and featured in Sapphira and the Slave Girl.

Marilee Lindemann, University of Maryland
Ann Romines, George Washington University, emerita

Site Director:
John Jacobs, Shenandoah University, emeritus

Sponsored by the Willa Cather Foundation, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Shenandoah University, and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

More information and schedule of events

Author Series with Ahmed Naji

The Virginia Center for Literary Arts Author Series at Handley Regional Library continues with Egyptian novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji.

Naji will read from his work and discuss the ordeal of being imprisoned for “violating public modesty,” as a result of calculated outrage based on an excerpt from his novel Using Life.

VCLA’s Founding Director Sean Murphy and the author will discuss the ways Naji’s experiences have informed his fiction and journalism, and the ways his life has—and has not—changed since becoming a literary and political cause célèbre.

Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing. This is a free event!