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Katharine Britton On Bookstock, Getting Published, And The Writer-Reader Connection

Upper Valley fiction author Katharine Britton is one of 30 local writers taking part in Bookstock this week.

Book lovers of all stripes will be gathering in Woodstock this weekend for the sixth annual Bookstock festival.

The literary event brings together people for author readings, workshops and to browse many used and vintage books for sale.

The headliners at this year’s conference are Billy Collins, Anita Diamant and Charles Simic.

But there are also many local poets, fiction and non-fiction authors giving readings at the festival.

One of those authors is Katharine Britton, who has published two novels. Her most recent, Little Island, came out last fall. Britton also teaches writing in the Upper Valley, where she lives.

"To be in the company of other authors is kind of rare. Writing is a very solitary process and it's a great opportunity." - Katharine Britton

Little Island is a family drama about four generations who come together on their small island off the coast of Maine.

Britton said her path to publication was easier than it is for some, and for that she feels lucky. Her first manuscript did not sell, but it did get her an agent.

“I was luckier than some in that the third agent that I queried took me on,” she said. “The second manuscript that I wrote, that became Her Sister’s Shadow, my first book, the third editor who read it, was very interested and she did ask me to make some changes, which I was happy to do, and that book came out in 2011.”

“I won’t say it’s been without issues and challenges," she said. "But you know, one of the things I would tell writers out there who are aspiring to get published is: Finish the manuscript and send it out. There’s one guarantee in publishing, and that is if you don’t finish the manuscript, you won’t get published.”

Britton said Bookstock is one of New England’s premier literary events and she feels honored to be included.

“It’s always fun for me to meet with people and to be face to face. It’s just great to sit in a room and talk with them and field questions about my process and talk with people about their thoughts if they’ve read the book.” And, she added, “to be in the company of other authors is kind of rare. Writing is a very solitary process and it’s a great opportunity.”

You can find a full list of Bookstock events here.

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