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New Literary Fest Showcasing Undiscovered Writers Coming to Riverside Park

By Emily Frost | April 5, 2016 1:38pm
 AmpLit Fest will take place on Pier I, pictured here during an event last summer that was also part of the Summer on the Hudson series.
AmpLit Fest will take place on Pier I, pictured here during an event last summer that was also part of the Summer on the Hudson series.
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Zhen Heinemann

UPPER WEST SIDE — A new literary festival is coming to Riverside Park this year with the aim of showcasing underappreciated writers. 

The AmpLit Fest will give audiences a taste of the work of writers with established and long careers who haven't gotten the recognition they deserve, said Laura Esther Wolfson, an Upper West Side writer and one of the festival's producers. 

On June 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the festival will take over Pier I at West 70th Street in Riverside Park as part of the park's annual Summer on the Hudson series. The free one-day festival will feature readings, improv sessions and talks, with the hope of appealing to both adults and children, Wolfson said. 

"We wanted it to be outdoors. We want to draw in people who might not necessarily go to this type of event and might be drawn in by walking by," she explained. 

This is the inaugural year of the AmpLit Fest, which emerged from a writers group called Lamprophonic. Formed in 2012, Lamprophonic's goal was to put on reading series that introduced writers to wider audiences and to capture the full diversity of New York City's literary scene.

The writers the group is selecting for the festival are "very skilled and talented," though not household names, Wolfson noted.

"They’re writers' writers; we want them to be readers' writers, as well," she said.

It's also important to the organizers that the writers who read and participate in panel discussions represent a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences, Wolfson added.

"We’re making a special effort to reach out to writers of color and of different sexual persuasions," she said.

The final lineup is still being ironed out, but there will be panels on diversity in the publishing industry and on the popularity of young adult fiction with adult readers, among others. 

Improv artists will perform scenes inspired by pieces of writing, and children's authors will host readings in an effort to make the all-day festival family-friendly, Wolfson said. 

There will also be a section for emerging writers to read from selections of their work.

Lamprophonic is accepting submissions through April 17 for an emerging-writers showcase at the festival. Interested writers can check the submission guidelines here.

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