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News Release

Date: September 25, 2006
Media Contact: Michelle Beadle (Fitzgerald Literary Conference), 301-309-9461; Elizabeth Homan (Montgomery College), 301-251-7970

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist Jane Smiley to be Honored at Montgomery College on Oct. 14
F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference to Feature Workshops, Discussions

PHOTO EDITORS: A high-resolution image to accompany this release is available at:

Aspiring authors and literary fans will have a unique opportunity to meet and learn from four Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and an Emmy-winning screenwriter at the 11th Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference to be held Saturday, Oct. 14, at Montgomery College.

The all-day conference will feature writing workshops and panel discussions, culminating with the presentation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award to author Jane Smiley. Smiley, whose novel “A Thousand Acres” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, will join ten prestigious American writers such as Pat Conroy, John Updike, and Joyce Carol Oates who have won the award in the past. A screening of the film version of “A Thousand Acres,” with remarks from Smiley, will be a feature of the conference.

Smiley holds an MFA and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and taught for many years at Iowa State University. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including “Moo” and “The Age of Grief.” An avid horse lover, Smiley featured the animals in her novel “Horse Heaven” and her memoir “A Year at the Races.” Her most recent book, “13 Ways of Looking at the Novel,” was published in 2005. Before writing the nonfiction work, Smiley read 100 novels, which are discussed in the book along with her own insights and analysis of novels in general. In 2001, she was honored with an induction into The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference will be held in the Theatre Arts Building on the Rockville Campus of Montgomery College, located on 51 Mannakee Street. The conference begins at 7:45 a.m. with registration.

During the morning session of the conference, three Pulitzer Prize winners will lead a panel discussion on the cultural explosion of the 1920’s. Henry Allen (criticism, 2001), A. Scott Berg (biography, 1999), and Michael Dirda (criticism, 1993) will also examine the lasting impacts of this change.

University of Maryland Professor Michael Olmert, who recently won his third Emmy, will lead a workshop on screenwriting. Other workshops will deal with travel writing, writing for late bloomers, and others, all taught by some of the area’s best authors, poets, and scholars.

A reception and book signing with honoree Jane Smiley will take place at 5 p.m. Following the reception, Smiley will give a reading and receive the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award. The winners of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Open Short Story Contest and the Montgomery County High School Short Story Contest will also be announced. The short story contests give writers the opportunity to showcase their talents and have their work reviewed by a panel of judges. Typically, more than 500 people enter the contests each year.

The cost for the entire conference is $70 for registration before September 29 and $80 for registrations after September 29. Tickets for the evening reception and awards program are $35. Discounts are available for seniors and students.

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference is sponsored by the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc., the City of Rockville, Montgomery College, The JBG Companies, Gazette Newspapers, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation Ltd., Woodfin Suites Hotel and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. The short story contests are sponsored by the Rockville Cultural Arts Commission.

For more information on the conference or registration materials, call 301-309-9461 or visit

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