This past Saturday, the staff of One Story sojourned to Boston for the first-ever Boston Book Festival. The festival brought together nearly 100 authors and presenters and 40 exhibitors at Copley Square and its surrounding buildings. Hot tickets included Tom Perrotta’s interview with area-favorite John Hodgman, One Story author of Issue #1!
The bad news is that the weather did not cooperate. More on the tornado-like conditions that shut the festival down and made us seem totally bad-ass later in this post. Faithful reader (Hi, Madge!) of my blogs will remember One Story brings the rain wherever we go. The good news is Boston didn’t care! People still turned out in friendly albeit damp droves to shop for great finds from neato antiquarian bookstores like Brattle Bookshop and to learn more about WGBH and lit mags like Post Road, Ploughshares, Agni, The Paris Review and, of course, us. Initial worry no one would come to add to the Exquisite Corpse story we planned quickly abated when people began showing up and asking about us before we had even unpacked.
This was, we reasoned, typical enthusiasm from the ultra-literate region that has produced countless luminaries such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Robert Frost, not to mention One Story’s Editor-In-Chief Hannah Tinti. The result was a memorable day; the remaining narrative of which I will leave to the following pictures/captions…
Good morning, Boston! We arrive and set up. Our illustrious Chris Gregory chats with an early bird.
We decorate the tent with dialogue balloons expressing how we feel about the short story.
Short Stories are always there for you!
We set up an "Exquisite Corpse," a story to which, throughout the day, anyone can add a line.
Reif Larsen, author of "The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet," adds a line to our story.
Then, CATASTROPHE strikes! We spill coffee on the issues! Staff members scurry to salvage what we can. We manage to save most of them, but we learn a valuable lesson about coffee's destructive qualities.
The rains grow in Copley Square. We cast our worried eyes to the sky.
Our story grows. We cast our worried eyes to the sky.
The winds begin to howl. Yet, we still provide excellent customer service.
...and pose for pictures. Tanya and Marie-Helene in front of the growing story.
This man used our story to teach his children about love. One Story teaches children, saves lives.
The duct tape we used to reinforce the story board.
Then, CATASTROPHE strikes again! Tornado winds almost blow the tent over. Were it not for the strength of Hannah and Tanya, we would have blown into the Harbor.
Public Safety came at 4 and told us we had to pack up and leave due to the crazy winds. I didn't get a picture of the public safety officer but he looked kind of like this.
We were sad to leave The Book Festival, and sad to leave Boston. We love you, Beantown! See you next year!