Each year at the end of January, the literary spotlight falls on a small Vermont town and an event, now in its 16th year, organized by the town's independent bookstore. New Voices, the creation of Misty Valley Books in Chester, has become known nationwide for discovering promising new writers.
Past New Voices have included Gregory Maguire (Wicked), Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha), Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), Claire Messud (The Emperor's Children) and nearly 100 others.
The free event, set for Saturday, Jan. 30 will begin at 2 p.m. in the First Universalist Church in Chester's Stone Village.
The authors for this year are Deborah Copaken Kogan, from New York City, with Between Here and April (Algonquin); Elena Gorokhova, from New Jersey by way of the former Soviet Union, with A Mountain of Crumbs (Simon and Schuster); James Landis, from New Hampshire, with The Last Day (Steerforth); Heidi Durrow, from California, with The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (Algonquin); and Matthew Dicks, from Connecticut, with Something Missing (Doubleday).
The public is also invited to snowshoe or cross-country ski with the authors on Saturday morning at Grafton Ponds in Grafton, seven miles south of Chester (call 843-2231) and have lunch with them around the fire in the lodge there.
Following the afternoon sessions, the public can dine with the authors at the Fullerton Inn, on the Green next to Misty Valley Books (call the Inn at 875-2444 for reservations).
All New Voices '10 books are available at Misty Valley Books with a 20 percent discount for the complete set.
For more information, call Misty Valley Books at 875-3400 or visit www.mvbooks.com.