Flip the Page Update: By Kinsey Cantrell

April 14, 2014

Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and as a result I’ve been involved with the Thurber House ever since I was in fourth grade, when I attended a summer camp in the hopes of improving my craft. In fifth grade, I was asked to be a docent for the House, and I spent much of my free time explaining the intricacies of the building to tourists, sipping hot chocolate while decorating for various holidays, and interacting with people of all ages who shared my passion. My involvement waned by the time I was in high school and immersed in other activities. Flip the Page has been the perfect opportunity to reacquaint myself with a place I once considered a second home, but, more than that, it has allowed me to see others’ perspectives and learn more about writing and the nuances of life, literature is meant to capture.


Kinsey reading her poem “Concussed and Nonplussed” at the 2013 Columbus Arts Festival.

I first heard about Flip the Page last year, and, excited by the possibility of publication, I submitted a poem, “Concussed and Nonplussed”. After being selected for the magazine, I was given the opportunity to read it out loud at the Columbus Arts Festival and listen to others in the magazine do the same. It was incredible what this small journal had the ability to do for dozens of kids, teachers, and parents, instilling confidence and pride and augmenting a vivacity for both writing and reading. When my friend Brie told me there was a selection committee made up of high schoolers, I knew I had to get involved.

Literature amazes me with its ability to convey idea, thought, knowledge, and, perhaps above all, truth. Even more amazing and curious is that these truths are individualized to each reader. Pieces that have changed my outlook on life leave others lukewarm, and vice versa. Nowhere have I found this to be more true than the Flip the Page Selection Committee room. Often we’ll stumble upon a piece that I’ll fight to include while someone else fights just as hard to leave it out. Overall, this promotes intriguing and enlightening discussion about every facet of a piece – and these are not seasoned, experienced writers inspiring these discussions. These are high school students with astute views of life as a whole and topics that range from love to death to the power of the human mind. And these kids definitely have that power.

I’m thankful to have been able to work alongside the rest of the committee to produce something palpable and beautiful and true. I can’t wait to get my hands on the finished copy of this year’s journal, but I have gained so much more from this than just the book; I’ve gained experience, countless inside jokes, and a community of writers, all passionate, all dedicated to this illuminating form of art.

Concussed and Nonplussed
By Kinsey Cantrell
Hilliard Bradley High School

Concussed and nonplussed, I sit in this chair
alone on a throne that bode me no wear
Disconnected, I’ve perfected the art of no thought
the pain is the bane and the shame is distraught

Thought I’m meek through the week, I may have found strength
in endings, upendings, and lending some length
to the notion of a potion I sip to feel numb
and sleep much too deep and keep a sure thumb

They ask me where I am and I cannot say
they ask me my name and I ask the day.

It’s been long here, inside my head
where the shade comes to fade and the haze lasts for days
and the rhyme holds be back and the prose pulls me forward
and the light is repulsive and the dark is no horror

Animal, I duck away from the noise
dogged by ponderings of perfect poise
parroting, slurred, the words I’m told are true
stepped up to bat and struck right through

Of sense I make none, of hopes I make many
they tell me to rest, give my musings no penny
I lie awake and dream of potential clarity
of a state I could know, one of disparity

There seems a wall between me and understandings constructed
And all the sights I could see this wall has obstructed
And all of the things that I could have lucked into
Remain out of reach the same way that you do

If I know not what I’m doing, does that not make me human?
In my scant knowledge, I know I’ll place no trust
And though my pleas increase by degrees
I’ve found I meander and I’ve found I am lost
and perhaps that is why I am thusly concussed.


Bruce Weber Recap

April 11, 2014

A big thank you to everyone who came out the Bruce Weber Evenings with Authors Wednesday night! Weber shared the tale that inspired his most recent book, Life is a Wheel: Love, Death, etc. and a Bike Ride Across America accompanied by a presentation of images that brought context to a trip the most of us will never take in our lifetime. Take a trip by bike across the United States is no easy task, but Weber did it to find a story, and to learn about himself. Having been a writer most of his life, Weber decided to take his second trip across the country at 57 years old. While he was lucky enough not to have run into any major snags along the way, his book is inspiring,  empowering, and a great opportunity to see the country through someone else’s eyes.  ImageImageImageImage


Hoffman Recap

April 2, 2014


Travel journalist and bestselling author Carl Hoffman joined us Monday with a twist on the classic mystery novel by not only being the writer, but also living the story of a man in search of a potentially dangerous truth. Having traveled to more than 70 countries on various assignments, he took another journey to follow the steps of Michael Rockefeller and compose his newest novel, Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art. Rockefellers death had been ruled a drowning, but rumors of him being ceremonially killed and eaten by local Asmat tribe surfaced and lingered in Hoffman’s mind. After deciding to follow the trails of this mystery, Hoffman travelled the same route leading to the Asmat’s in attempt to find those who knew the missing pieces of history DSCN3389[7]and to understand the spirituality behind cannibalism and other Asmat rituals. Hoffman’s presentation was brought to life with pictures and videos from his journey, bringing context to a vastly unexplored, inaccessible world. The audience seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief when they learned that the Asmat’s are now almost all Catholic and have left behind the rituals of cannibalism; although wouldn’t that have made for an undeniably dangerous story? Hoffman spent his time living with members of the tribe and learning by observation until he felt he gained enough trust to begin asking  the questions that eventually revealed the Asmat’s side of the Michael Rockefeller mystery.

If you missed Hoffman and are thinking “Oh no, I missed my chance to go to a Thurber House event,” don’t worry, we have events all the time! In fact, Life is a Wheel webBruce Weber will be here Wednesday, April 9th as the next featured author in our 2014 Winter/Spring Evenings with Authors series. Weber is the New York Times bestselling author of As They See ‘Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires and long time New York Times staff member. At 57 he decided to take a trip (his second, actually) across the country on a bike. His newest book, Life is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America chronicles that trip and his pedal-powered desire to learn more and gain new perspectives on the world.


Click here for more information or to order tickets.



J.A. Jance Recap

March 12, 2014


New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance celebrated the publication of her 50th book with us on Monday. The 9th book in her Ali Reynolds series, Moving Target, takes readers on an exciting journey as Ali tracks a ruthless killer to England.  Jance showed her vibrant storytelling abilities as she recalled memory after memory, each with a connection to her stories and characters. A few years ago, she learned that it isn’t until post publication that she uncovers whom in her life a new character represents, and how those discoveries have helped her let go some of the most difficult parts of her past. She discussed the excitement she feels when she is able to connect her characters in unexpected ways by finding small pieces of their personalities, and bringing them to life with a new plot twist. Jance shared the often unknown stream of consciousness that goes through an authors mind as they make choices while writing, making this a very special event for the many fans in the audience.


Monday, March 31 Carl Hoffman comes to Thurber House to discuss Savage Harvest: A tale of Cannibals, Colonialism & Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art. Having traveled to more than 70 countries on assignment for just about every travel publication you can think of, Hoffman has seen and done it all. Click here for more information or to order tickets online. 


Summer Camp at Thurber

March 4, 2014

Friends, Thurberites, Parents of Potential Campers, lend me your ears.

Although the season seems to come earlier and earlier every year, there is no wavering in our excitement to announce that registration for 2014 Thurber Summer Writing Camp is officially open!


I know your immediate reaction is one of two things: Stop reading to go to the website and register (you know our camp fills fast) OR stop reading because this does not pertain to you.

Before you do either, let me explain why our camp is so great and important to this community.  Thurber House offers a chance for students in grades 2-8 to explore the realm of creative writing beyond the classroom. We have the opportunity to supplement what they are learning in school with a form of writing that allows a young writer’s imagination to stretch beyond limits. We pride ourselves in being a unique and encouraging experience, helping to instill a sense of confidence and love for writing and learning.

Now, if you don’t know anyone who is in 2nd – 8th grade, that’s okay. You can stop reading after this paragraph. To help keep our programming available to all students, we offer scholarships for summer camp to families with financial need. We hope that although you can’t send a camper to us, you will consider making a donation to help a student come to camp whom otherwise may not be afforded the opportunity. Click here for more information about how to make a donation (and make sure to tell us that it’s for summer camp).

This all sounds great, right? So you are probably asking, who should attend our camp? Good question. Each summer we have a wide range of “types” of students come through our doors. Someone who is a good fit for our program is someone who loves to think up stories and ideas. Regardless of whether that someone is an extremely loquacious writer, or a writer looking to get better at putting those great ideas down on paper, that someone will fit in well here. If you’re unsure, give us a call at 614-464-1032 ext. 13 and we would be happy to discuss our camp with you.

The next big question is when. Not to worry, here are our 2014 dates:


2-3 Grade ($100*)
12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
June 9-13, June 16-20

4/5 Grade ($175*)
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.,.
June 23-27, July 7-11, July 14-18

6-8 Grade ($175*)
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
July 21-25, July 28-August 1, August 4-8

All camp sessions are held at the Thurber Center, 91 Jefferson Avenue, next door to Thurber House. Enrollment is first-come, first-served, and each week of camp is limited to 40 students. Campers will be split into four groups of ten, with one counselor per group. Grade levels refer to the grade the student will be entering in the fall. 

*We do offer a limited amount of scholarship to those with financial need. See our website for more information about how to apply.

Hope to see you this summer!


There are lots of things happening at Thurber House…

March 3, 2014


During our most recent Evenings with Authors, New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author Claire Messud joined us to discuss her latest novel, The Woman Upstairs. Messud brought her characters to life in a riveting discussion with the audience. The main character, Nora Eldridge, is a reliable, but unremarkable, friend and neighbor, always on the fringe of other people’s achievements. But the arrival of the Shahid family—dashing Skandar, a Lebanese scholar, glamorous Sirena, an Italian artist, and their son, Reza—draws her into a complex and exciting new world. Nora’s happiness pushes her beyond her boundaries, until Sirena’s careless ambition leads to a shattering betrayal. Told with urgency, intimacy, and piercing emotion, this New York Times bestselling novel is the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed, and abandoned by a desire for a world beyond her own.


If you missed this event, don’t worry! J.A. Jance will be with us at the Columbus Museum of Art on Monday, March 10 to discuss her newest novel, Moving Target. The novel is the 9th in her popular Ali Reynolds series, which takes readers through the investigations of a former newscaster turned police officer, as she embarks on a journey to discover a ruthless killer.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets to J.A. Jance.

Wait! Wait! There’s more…
As of today, our Spring 2014 Adult Writing Workshops are officially open for registration.

April 7: Scene-making in Fiction
April 21: The Importance of Setting and Atmosphere in Fiction
April 28: The A, B, C’s of Starting Your Memoir
May 5: How to Jump Start Your Non-Fiction Through Memory Prompts
May 12: Getting Started in Creative Non-Fiction
May 19: Film Treatment as Creative Tool and Legal Device

Classes run from 6-8 p.m. at Thurber Center. Tuition is $40 per class. Click here to register or for more details on each class.

 Saturday, May 31Steve_Berry_webTime: 8:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Thurber Center, 91 Jefferson Avenue

Tuition: Various levels (go online for details)

Thurber House is proud to present a fiction writing Master Class with acclaimed thriller writer, Steve Berry. This is a unique opportunity to learn from an author whose books are international bestsellers. He will cover everything from plot development to dialogue, mood to character development, and so much more. Plus, his wife, Elizabeth Berry, director of the International Thriller Association ThrillerFest, will lead a workshop on the business of publishing today.

Click here to find out more information about this once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn from a master. There will also be a special event on Friday, May 30 where Steve will talk about his latest Cotton Malone novel, The Lincoln Myth.


Let’s talk about art and literature!

February 27, 2014

On Wednesday, March 5 at 2:00 p.m., Thurber House will participate in the Columbus Museum of Art’s exhibition: Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910. Susanne Jaffe, Creative Director of Thurber House, will discuss the literature and the writers of the Belle Epoque in Paris, as this period is often called. With Nannette Maciejunes, Executive Director of the Columbus Museum of Art, discussing the Lautrec and other artists of the period, the literary spotlight will focus on such classic names of French and world literature as Proust, Andre Gide, Gaston Leroux, the poet Apollinaire, and playwrights Edmond Rostand and Georges Feydau. The will show how the changing times in Paris, and the generation immediately before them, like Balzac, Zola ad Flaubert influenced a new style of writing in keeping with the popular sentiments of La Belle Epoque.

Subscribers to Thurber House’s Evenings with Authors Winter/Spring 2014 season are invited to attend the talk and see the exhibition at no charge by using the code word “Thurber” at the admissions desk. Advance registration is appreciated, so please click here to do so.


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