Jenna Peterson ® News Director|
After a successful fall season, the Minnesota State University, Mankato Good Thunder Reading Series is ready to gather students and community members once again for the spring lineup.
Despite the numerous complications that have popped up due to COVID-19, Good Thunder Reading director Candace Black was still able to provide this escape to literature for all to enjoy.
Black explained, “With the new restrictions, we are still giving the authors a choice of coming to campus or doing everything through googlemeet and all of them have decided on the online option. Even with the vaccine slowly being released to the public, I believe all of the authors lined up for this semester will still host their sessions online.”
The online format works much like the in-person style where the author will host a workshop, a questionnaire, and a reading session of their latest work. Black even noted, “Doing this program online is easier in a sense because the authors and participants can easily share their work on the screen for everyone to see. This also provides a closer feeling to the author.”
Even though the transition online was easy, there are still some small complications to keep the community engaged.
“With the online format our attendance isn’t as good, but it’s healthy,” Black commented. “It’s easier for students to join in and participate since they’re used to doing so for their classes, but we’re still having some issues engaging the older Mankato community members who might not understand how it all works.”
To help advertise these events, Black and her team use multiple forms of media to spread the word. This mostly includes posters hung around campus and local shops and social media posts on Facebook and Twitter to engage a wider community.
“We know there are people of all ages with different literature interests who come to our events, and we want to be able to cater to everyone’s interests,” commented Black.
She further explained this process by saying the authors are chosen months, and sometimes even years, in advance to ensure a great selection of authors. The series mission, as stated on their website, also strives to incorporate as many Minnesotan writers as possible to help local authors.
“We want to look at new writers and give them the publicity opportunity to spread the knowledge of their work,” Black explained.
Be sure to join in on the fun with the first session being hosted by novelist Brit Bennett from January 26 to January 29. Registration and link to the event can be found on the MNSU Good Thunder Reading Series website, as well as a list of the other authors lined up to present their work.