McThenia To Kick Off Lee's Writer’s Festival

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - by Britain Miethe, Lee University
Tal McThenia
Tal McThenia

Author Tal McThenia will kick off Lee University’s Writer’s Festival on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. The reading will take place in the Rose Lecture Hall in the Helen Devos College of Education.

“Lee’s Writer’s Festival aims to provide examples of quality writing and inspiration to students and members of the community who have a passion for the written word,” said Dr. William Woolfitt, assistant professor of creative writing at Lee. 

Mr. McThenia will be reading an excerpt from the book he co-authored, “A Case for Solomon: Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping That Haunted a Nation,” a critically-acclaimed historical non-fiction account of a notorious case of kidnapping and contested identity that divided the American South in the early 20th century.

“A Case for Solomon” won the Louisiana Literary Award and was named the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s “Top 10 New Orleans/Louisiana Books of 2012.” 

In 2008, Mr. McThenia wrote and reported a one-hour radio documentary on the same subject, “The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar,” for the public radio series “This American Life.” McThenia was associate producer for the documentary film “Out at Work: America Undercover,” which aired on HBO and “Every Mother’s Son,” which aired on PBS’ “P.O.V.” series.

As a screenwriter, Mr. McThenia wrote the script for “Shift,” a public television drama that premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and has aired on PBS stations nationwide. His writing has appeared in Businessweek, Huffington Post, and American Express’s Departures, among other venues.

"Students, professors, and community members are welcome to attend the readings,” said Dr. Woolfitt. “Readings are always entertaining, thought-provoking, and inspiring.”

Future Writer’s Festival events include a reading by poet Anya Silver on Friday, Oct. 4, as well as readings by Dr. Woolfitt, authors Jenn Blair and Jessie Van Eerden, and Lee Professor of English Dr. Kevin Brown on Jan. 30-31.

For more information on Lee’s Writer’s Festival, please email Dr. Woolfitt at or call 614-8230.

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