Key West is known for its funkiness, natural beauty, and lovely winter weather. It's also been a popular spot over the decades for literary types, including Annie Dillard, Shel Silverstein, Wallace Stevens, Tennessee Williams, and, of course, Ernest Hemingway.
Every January, Key West becomes a veritable magnetic center for writers, during the Key West Literary Seminar. Dozens of writing luminaries from around the country escape their cold and depressing environs and descend on the Conch Republic to share their craft with professional or aspiring writers and fans.
This year, the seminar offers a double bonanza for literary foodies, with the theme of "The Hungry Muse." It's a jaw-dropping roster of contemporary food writers. During the first weekend session (January 6 to 9), authors include Ruth Reichl, Judith Jones, Calvin Trillin, Madhur Jaffrey, Molly O'Neill, Ray Blount Jr., and Jonathan Gold, the only food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Ever wonder what Ruth Reichl, Frank Bruni, and Jonathan Gold would have
to say if they got together to talk about restaurant criticism? Curious
to find out how Jason Epstein, Judith Jones, Molly O'Neill, and Reichl think food writing has changed? It will go down that first
Gael Greene, Michael Ruhlman, John T. Edge, and Mark Kurlansky join
Blount, Jaffrey, O'Neill, Trillin, and others for the second session
(January 13 to 16). Greene will discuss The Seductive Life of a
Restaurant Critic. Patrick Symmes will share his experiences during
his month on the Cuban food ration. For the full list of authors and a
schedule, click here.
A bonus is that you don't have to
choose among authors -- there is only one session scheduled at a time
during the Key West Literary Seminar.
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There are spots left in
both sessions, although the first is almost sold out. Tickets cost $495
for each weekend or $950 for both. There are also writing workshops
offered between the sessions.