On July 23, 6 author will gather at Indy Reads Books as part of the first Downtown Writers Jam hosted by The Geeky Press. We’re currently curating those authors, and taking recommendations from friends, colleagues, and other people involved in the Indiana writing scene. Don’t wait to be nominated, though. You can submit your own work for consideration.

We’re kicking off the Jam with a series of short 5-minute stories from young writers. These are writers working on their first professional long-form work. We want to introduce you to our second young writer: James Figy.

jamesJames has always loved reading and spent a lot of time at the local library as a kid. Many of his favorite books he first found at the library. After high school, he spent a few years of working construction, playing music, and being fairly unhappy. He started writing some short stories and poems, like he did when he was younger, and decided he wanted to go to college to study writing.

He studied poetry, fiction, and journalism, and he held leadership roles on the student lit mag and student newspaper. In May, he graduated from the University of Indianapolis with his bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in French. He currently writes for Angie’s List Magazine, for two local newspapers as a freelancer, and for his own enjoyment when he get home.

You can follow James on his website or on Twitter at @JAFigy.

At The Downtown Writers Jam

What’s the name of the piece from which your DWJ story comes? “Cory Matthews downs a stolen bottle of seven-dollar brandy”

What was the question or idea that sparked that original piece? My girlfriend found every season of Boys Meets World on DVD, so I spent a lot of time thinking my childhood while we watched the episodes. It’s crazy how the show addresses topics like infidelity, racism, classism, and other tough issues. They’re things I never noticed when I watched as a kid, but it made me think about how Mr. Matthews might have turned out.

What should the audience expect from your storytelling at the Downtown Writers Jam?  I hope everyone laughs and feels terrible for laughing.

Get to Reading

Best book or long-form writing we should read, but probably haven’t? And why? Winesburg, Ohio. Okay, so a lot of people have read this, but it’s worth a re-read. It’s a midwestern bildungsroman that tells the story of someone learning about life through the eyes and experiences of other people. It’s about how the people that surround you impact who you become.

Sherwood Anderson, the author, was responsible for helping Hemingway and Faulkner, among others, get published. This is Anderson’s first big work, and one of his only big works.

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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