“Andre has been our guardian angel since we started,” said Jennifer Entwistle, co-chairwoman of the festival. “He’s been a great supporter of the festival as his career has continued to develop.
“We focus on a different genre each year — fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s,” Entwistle said. “We honored his father (Andre Dubus II) during our first year, and because this our fiction year, it was our chance to give back a little because he has done so much.”
Hood, an established novelist herself, will query Dubus on the source of his ideas and the techniques that he employs to develop his themes and populate his novels with memorable characters that make his stories work.
More discussion will take place Saturday night, when the editor-in-chief of O, The Oprah Magazine, leads a panel discussion on the business of book selling and the influence of Oprah’s Book Club.
Lucy Kaylin, who oversees the popular national magazine, will host a panel that includes Dubus and writers Jenna Blum, Lamb and Russo.
Festival organizers say this will be a valuable panel for local writers seeking to learn more about the business of marketing their manuscripts and bringing them to the attention of major media outlets. That session begins at 7 p.m. at Old South Church.
Another presentation that will reference the creative mind is “Voices of the Clipper City,” which will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at Old South Church. Hosted by Marc Clopton of The Actors Studio of Newburyport, the session will feature first-person readings “from three centuries of Newburyport writers.”
A discussion about writing will be “The Story Behind the Story,” at which local authors Elo and Robinson discuss the process of how writers find their story ideas. That will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at Old South Church.