Writers Center Stage

Single event tickets are on sale now. Purchase your tickets online or by calling 216.368.6062.
The William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series brings the literary world’s best writers to Cleveland. Each show is followed by a Q&A and book signing. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. in The Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University.

photo by Elena Seibert - website linkSOLD OUT
Judy Blume in conversation with Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Judy Blume is one of the literary world’s most beloved authors. She is best known for her children’s and young adult books, including the classics Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970); Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972); and Blubber (1974). Blume’s books have sold more than 85 million copies in 32 languages and have been a touchstone for countless young readers. She has received numerous awards including the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Award (1996), the Library of Congress’ Living Legends Award (2000) and the American Academy of the Arts and Letters’ E.B. White Award for achievement in children’s literature (2017).

Daniel-Handler-aka-Lemony-Snicket-with-Dog-c-Meredith-Heuer.pngJudy Blume will be interviewed on stage by writer, musician and journalist Daniel Handler. Handler is best known for his work under the pen name Lemony Snicket, which includes the popular children's book series A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions. An original series based on A Series of Unfortunate Events starring Neil Patrick Harris debuted on Netflix in January 2017. 

photo by Beowulf Sheeha - website linkSOLD OUT
Jesmyn Ward in conversation with
Ayana Mathis 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

MacArthur Genius award winner Jesmyn Ward has been hailed as a standout writer of her generation. Her works include the novels Salvage the Bones (2011), for which she received the National Book Award; the memoir The Men We Reaped (2013), which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and earned her the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize; and the novel Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017), for which she received her second National Book Award. Ward is the first woman and the first person of color ever to win two National Book Awards for Fiction.

photo by Elena Seibert - website linkJesmyn Ward will be interviewed onstage by Ayana Mathis, author of the stunning debut novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (2013), which was hailed as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Boston Globe and National Public Radio (NPR). Mathis’s nonfiction writing has appeared in such notable publications as The New Yorker, Glamour and The Financial Times. She holds the distinction of being the first African American woman to be a permanent member of the faculty of the renowned Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where she teaches English and creative writing.

photo by Pieter Van Hettem - website linkJennifer Egan

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Author Jennifer Egan has written five novels, including The Invisible Circus (1995); which was adapted into a film starring Cameron Diaz; Look at Me (2001), a finalist for the National Book Award; A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Critics Circle Award; and Manhattan Beach (2017), for which she won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta and McSweeney’s among other publications.

photo by Fred Conrad - website linkSOLD OUT
John Grisham

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Attorney-turned-author John Grisham has sold more than 275 million books worldwide, making him one of the most successful writers of all time. A master of the legal thriller, his best-known novels include A Time to Kill (1989), The Firm (1991), The Pelican Brief (1992) and Sycamore Row (2013), for which he received the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Nine of Grisham’s novels have been adapted into feature films. In 2009, Grisham received the Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for Fiction. His latest novel is The Rooster Bar.

Pre-signed copies of Mr. Grisham's books will be on sale after the show. There will not be a book signing. 

photo by Lisa Howe Verhovek - website linkTimothy Egan

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, New York Times columnist and best-selling author Timothy Egan has written eight books, including The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (2006), for which he won the National Book Award for Nonfiction; and Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis (2012), for which he won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction; and the best-seller, The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America. His latest book is The Immortal Irishman: Thomas Francis Meagher and the Invention of Irish America.

Lynda Barry & Matt Groening

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

In a career spanning more than three decades, cartoonist Lynda Barry has authored 17 books, worked as a commentator for NPR, had regular monthly features in Esquire and delighted readers with her seminal syndicated comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek. Her books include the illustrated novel The Good Times Are Killing Me (1988), One! Hundred! Demons! (2002), a collection of serialized comics; and What It Is (2008), her best-selling, creative-writing-"how-to" graphic novel. Barry teaches a popular writing workshop called “Writing the Unthinkable” all around the country and is known for her lively teaching style.

Lynda Barry will be interviewed onstage by her longtime friend Matt Groening, creator and executive producer of The Simpsons, the longest-running scripted show in TV history, winner of multiple Emmy Awards and voted the “Best Show of the 20th Century" by Time magazine. His weekly comic strip, Life in Hell, was syndicated to more than 250 weekly newspapers throughout the country and is collected in dozens of books and calendars. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2012.

Pre-signed copies of Ms. Barry's latest book will be available for purchase after the event. There will not be a book signing with Mr. Groening following this event.  

2018-19 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series Subscription Packages

Benefactor Plus Level – $350

  • PREMIERE seating at all 6 shows
  • Admission to an exclusive 2019-20 season announcement party
  • Access to a reception with the author hosted in November, 2018
  • Free parking at the Maltz Performing Arts Center

Benefactor Level – $250

  • PREMIERE seating at all 6 shows
  • Free parking at the Maltz Performing Arts Center
  • Access to a reception with the author hosted in November, 2018

Subscriber Level – $150

  • PREFERRED seating at all 6 shows
Don’t miss a show. Guarantee your seat by purchasing a Series Subscription, choosing your seat when you purchase tickets online from Case Western Reserve University. BENEFACTOR PLUS LEVEL subscriptions have limited availability.

The 2018-19 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series is presented by the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation and its academic partner Case Western Reserve University. Funds raised by this series help support Cuyahoga County Public Library, the nation’s top-rated library system for eight consecutive years.

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series or placing an ad in our season program, please email us at foundation@cuyahogalibrary.org.

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