News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: September 5, 2002 (02-52)
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Pager: 301-930-0972
               Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Renowned Author John Updike to Be Honored at Montgomery College
Award Presentation, Book Readings, Featured Panel Discussion among
Highlights of Seventh Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference,
Set for October 26 at Rockville Campus

Renowned author John Updike will be presented with the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Distinguished Achievement in American Literature at the seventh annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference Saturday, Oct. 26 at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus.

Updike is recognized for his novels of American suburban life, including the Pulitzer prize-winning Rabbit is Rich (1982) and Rabbit at Rest (1991).  He has authored more than 50 books, including The Witches of Eastwick (1984), children’s books and poetry, and has edited several volumes of American short stories. He will accept the award and read selections from his works.

The annual conference, organized by the Maryland-based F. Scott Fitzgerald Society, brings together prominent writers and would-be authors in workshops, panel discussions, and special events, including a short story contest.

This year’s events include a presentation by author Meryle Secrest (Somewhere for Me: A Biography of Richard Rodgers) on “Biography: The Art of the Possible.”  Other activities will include a panel discussion on biography writing, with authors Meryle Secrest; Edmund Morris (Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan and The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt); Sylvia Morris (Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady and Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce). Michael Dirda, writer and senior editor for The Washington Post Book World section will moderate the discussion. Workshops in fiction, poetry, and screenwriting will offer some participants an opportunity to have the first 10 pages of their manuscripts evaluated.  

Author Susan Coll (, a love story) will discuss Rockville Pike: A Novel in Progress.  Judy Hruz, co-author of political thriller Treason in the White House and editor of the Rockville Gazette, with Ron Wray, poet and executive director of Rockville Arts Place, will offer pointers on publishing for new writers. A screening of Too Far to Go or The Music School by John Updike and a tour of Fitzgerald sites in Rockville will be scheduled.

General admission advance tickets are $50 for adults, $30 for senior citizens, and $15 for students (tickets must be purchased by Oct.11.). After Oct. 11, general admission is $60;  $40 for senior citizens. Montgomery College's Rockville, Maryland campus, where the conference will take place, is located at 51 Mannakee Street.

The conference is produced and managed by the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc. and supported by the City of Rockville, Montgomery College, Gazette Newspapers, Rockville Cultural Arts Commission, Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd., and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society.

For more information, contact the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society at 301-309-9461 or log on to

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