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Storyfort: Storied Event

Treefort gets literary with Storyfort


Treeforts are meant to be exclusive, but Treefort Music Fest has dropped its proverbial rope ladder to a slew of nonmusical offshoots, including Skatefort, Hackfort, Yogafort and, of course, Alefort (see Food, Page 24).

Not to leave out the literary set, this year will also include Storyfort--four days of readings and writer panels topped off by a story slam hosted by Story Story Night. And that's where Chris Winn comes in.

Sitting on the patio at Cafe D'Arte in BoDo, Winn looked like a man of action: His green plaid shirt sleeves were rolled above the elbow and his backpack was overstuffed. A graduate of Boise State University's MFA program, he's a writing teacher, writing workshopper and occasional journalist. His short story collection, Naked Me, published by Dog Street Press, will hit bookstores July 1.

As a co-founder and organizer of Storyfort--which is being put on by a coalition including The Cabin Literary Center, the Sesqui-Shop, College of Western Idaho, Boise State and others--Winn said Treefort leadership was enthusiastic about adding a writers and writing component to the festival, which will run Thursday, March 20-Sunday, March 23, at the Sesqui-Shop.

"Right from the start they were super supportive," he said.

For the length of the festival, Storyfort will hold early- to mid-afternoon literary events like panel discussions on how to get published, local zine exhibitions, poetry and prose readings, and more.

As its name suggests, Storyfort is about stories told any way, any how. Thursday, March 20, the afternoon begins with Stories and Music of the Road with self-described "freelance social critic" Brian Taylor, followed by MiX Tape Preview with Story Story Night. It's a set of back-to-back events that mix home-grown with the out-of-town.

"He's a good storyteller--a loud, Southern guy," Winn said of Taylor.

While the Sesqui-Shop will host members of the literati like Does Jesus Really Love Me? author Jeff Chu; Tyler McMahon, author of How the Mistakes Were Made; and The Convalescent author Jessica Anthony, scribblers who'd like to someday see their work in print might be interested in the publishing panel that takes place Friday, March 21, at 3:30 p.m. That's when The Collective founder Izze Rumpp; Zack Evans, of Broken Home Kids; McMahon; and Down in the River author and Boise State instructor Ryan Blacketter will join representatives of University of Idaho literary journal Fugue and Boise State publications Idaho Review and Ahsahta Press to explain the ins and outs of getting work published.

"This is for those people in coffee shops with their notepads [who'd like to see their writing in print]," Winn said.

Storyfort is already looking to the future. According to Winn, the Sesqui-Shop is considering blocking off parking spaces in front of its Main Street location to set up a pop-up shop for Treefort 2015.