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For Immediate Release (00-49)
Date: September 11, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (pager: 301-930-2880)

Fitzgerald Conference Honors Norman Mailer at Montgomery College
Fifth Annual Literary Conference celebrates writing and writers

Pulitzer Prize author Norman Mailer will be the guest of honor of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference 2000, taking place on September 23 and 24 on the Rockville Campus of Montgomery College.

The two-day literary conference, which is in its fifth year, will recognize the 77 year-old Mailer by awarding him the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature, during ceremonies on Saturday evening, September 23.

The annual conference, which is organized by the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc, a locally based non-profit organization, promotes the art of writing and celebrates the works of Fitzgerald, who wrote some of his most famous novels and short stories while living in Maryland - among them Tender is the Night.

This year’s conference will feature a discussion of Fitzgerald from one of the nation’s prominent literary biographers, Scott Donaldson, and a panel discussion of Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” as an opera, lead by John Harbison, a Pulitzer Prize composer, Murray Horwitz, co-writer of Ain’t Misbehavin, and Jackson R Bryer, president of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. Harbison and Horwitz collaborated in creating an operatic version of the novel.

As in previous years, the conference will also bring together prominent writers and would-be authors in workshops that will focus on encouraging and critiquing the emerging artists in poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, and the great American novel and/or short story. High-school age writers will also be the focus a workshop during the conference.

Besides honoring Mailer, organizers of the conference will also announce the winners of the annual short story contests for high school students and adults during the Saturday evening ceremonies. Rep. Constance Morella (R-MD) will present Mailer with his award, and he will read from his works during the evening’s events.

In receiving the literary achievement award, Mailer joins William Styron, John Barth, Joyce Carol Oates and E.L.Doctorow, as American writers who have previously been recognized by the annual literary conference.

In addition to mingling with the literati, conference participants will also have the opportunity to take guided tours of the Baltimore neighborhoods Fitzgerald and his family frequented, and where he, Zelda and their daughter, Scottie, are buried in Rockville.

Admission to Saturday’s activities, including the awards ceremonies, is $60 per person, $40 for seniors and $15 for students; a ticket to the Saturday evening reception and awards ceremony only are $20 general, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. The fee for participation in the Sunday writing workshops is $20 and the Sunday afternoon guided tour of Baltimore, which includes a box lunch, is $25. Conference events will be held in the Theatre Arts Building of Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus at 51 Mannakee Street.

On Sunday afternoon, September 24, Montgomery College will concurrently host its annual book fair -- Books and Ideas 2000 – from noon to 5 p.m. The annual event, which celebrates books and book lovers, will feature an open forum on “Politics, Civility and the Media” moderated by Lenny Steinhorn with guest panelists, Mark Plotkin, Laird Anderson, and Peter Bailey. There will be activities for the family, such as story telling and a Harry Potter read-a-thon, and booths of booksellers, including Barnes and Noble, will have new and used books for sale. The book festival is free.

For more information on the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, call 301-309-9461. For more information, on the September 24 “Books and Ideas 2000” festival, call 240-567-7417.

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