Writer Jess Lourey started us out with an engaging presentation, walking us through her life and the events that led to her becoming a published author. Lourey grew up with stories, and she spoke about her high school English teacher who encouraged her writing. When receiving an award years later in her hometown of Paynesville, her teacher shared that he had actually saved one of her short stories, knowing she had talent and would become successful. Lourey’s path hasn’t been easy – her first novel was rejected over 400 times and she faced tragedy in her personal life. However, through the power of story, she was able to channel some of those situations and feelings into her writing. Lourey has written YA, magical realism, and her thriller Salem’s Cipher is scheduled to be released in September this year. She is also an award-winning professor of creative writing and sociology at St. Cloud Community and Technical College. Lourey will be presenting a TEDx talk about her upcoming book Better Than Gin: Rewrite Your Life, about the power of narrative therapy through fiction writing. Check back with us, we will keep you posted with where to find her TED talk.
Beth Staats from Minitex gave a great presentation about the exciting new venture that is eBooks MN. As we know, our state has a flourishing publishing industry. This platform is taking advantage of that to share the materials with the wider public! You can download the app, and can also download books to read offline, all free of charge. Currently it is estimated 3/5 of the titles are aimed at children, but they are working on increasing their contents for adults. After all, we try to shop and eat local, why wouldn’t we read local too?
Finally, we were able to enjoy some tasty Mexican food and toured the spacious new library facility at the Tech College. Modern furniture, energy-efficient lighting, and comfortable group work areas (plus many additional updates!) all come together to create a fantastic space. You don’t need to be a student to reap the benefits of the library either – they offer library cards to community members! If you haven’t visited yet, go check it out!
Image credit: http://www.sctcc.edu/