by Pete Mazzaccaro
The fourth annual Chestnut Hill Book Festival may be a slightly smaller-scale event when it returns on Sunday, Sept. 30,, but it will not be lacking in focus or in impressive headliners, including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.
Rendell, always popular in Philadelphia if not all of Pennsylvania, will read from and discuss his latest book, “A Nation of Wusses:How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great” at the SugarLoaf campus of Chestnut Hill College, Germantown Avenue and Bells Mill Road. His appearance will begin at 3:45.
Rounding out the festival are appearances by other local authors, workshops and even sketch comedy.
The first Philadelphia Stories workshop will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Bombay Room at the Chestnut Hill Hotel, 8229 Germantown Ave. The workshop will focus on performance practices for writers who want to read to an audience. The workshop will be led by Philadelphia Stories Editorial Director Carla Spataro, and participants are urged to bring a sample selection of their work to practice delivery.
Philadelphia Stories will also hold another workshop at the same location at 2:15 on writing techniques. Writer Susan Barr Toman will facilitate the workshop.
“Another key event is a panel discussion including four well known local mystery writers. Cordelia Frances Biddle, Hugh Gilmore, Solomon Jones and Jon McGoran (AKA D.H. Dublin) will discuss the secrets and strategies of mystery writing. That panel will be held at 1 p.m. at Roller’s Flying Fish, 8142 Germantown Ave.
Other authors appearing at the Book Festival include Dan Biddle and Murray Dubin, authors of “Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America”; Salome Thomas-El, author of “The Immortality of Influence”; Leslie Daniel, author of “Cleaning Nabokov’s House,” and Miles D. Orvell, author of “The Death and Life of Main Street: Small Towns in American Memory, Space, and Community.”
In addition to authors, the Chestnut Hill Improv comedy group will perform at 5 p.m. at the Bombay Room. At 2 p.m., Ted Fink’s songwriter slam will take place at Buckley Park, Germantown Avenue and Hartwell Lane.
“Slam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am,” the poetry slam event of Painted Bride Quarterly, begins at 7 p.m. at Musehouse, 7924 Germantown Ave.
For more information on festival events, authors and schedules, go to chestnuthillbookfestival.com.