It was April 1998. Elie Wiesel, author of Night, stood at the podium, and he talked about writing. I listened. He talked about many things, including Job. Job heard tragic news from person after person who said, “I alone escaped and came to tell the tale.” Wiesel asked, “What if no one could tell it?” His parting advice was to “only write books that nobody else can write but you.”
Elie Wiesel one the keynote speaker at the 1998 Festival of Faith and Writing. I also heard John Updike, Phillip Yancey, Katherine Paterson, and many others. It was an enlightening and inspiring time for me. The 2012 Festival will be on from April 19-21, 2012, and will feature dozens of presenters, including Marilynne Robinson, Jonathan Safran Foer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Shane Claiborne, Craig Thompson, Gary Schmidt, and Julia Kasdorf. Julia was a professor at my alma mater, Messiah College, where I took a poetry class of hers.
If you like to know more about it, visit their website at http://festival.calvin.edu/. I’ll leave you with a photo of John Updike I took at the festival.