Aspen Writers' Foundation

Since the winter of 1998, the Aspen Writers' Foundation has presented Winter Words, an annual author series that elevates the written word off the page and onto the stage. Over the years, dozens of literati, including Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award honorees, and bestselling authors, have engaged Aspen audiences after the lifts close during this "Après Ski for the Mind" program.

Aspen Public Radio and the Aspen Writers' Foundation are proud to bring you these podcasts to you.  

Memories of the Motherland

History, memory, personal stories, family ties … Two authors of Chinese descent discuss how China informs their writing, their understanding of the past and their worldview as Asian Americans.

Panelists: Lisa See, Sandra Tsing Loh

Moderator: Amy Kwei

Follow Your Obsession

"Write what you know” might be the most famous (and famously misunderstood) piece of writing advice, but Kafka had other ideas: “Don't bend; don't water it down . . . Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” Three writers weigh in on chasing their obsessions in their work.

Panelists: David Lipsky, Nino Ricci, Scott Lasser

Moderator: Barbara Dills

The Great Firewall

Join us in a conversation that explores censorship in China: how censorship affects the literature produced there, authors in their work, and the types of stories we hear from abroad.

Panelists: James Fallows, Yiyun Li

Moderator: Melissa M. Long

Publishing Industry Insiders Tell All

For those who live outside of Manhattan, the publishing industry can seem byzantine at best. How does it all work--and are eBooks really changing everything? Industry pros will give the inside scoop around breakout books, landing an agent and the impact of today’s technology on what (and how!) we’ll be reading tomorrow.

Panelists: Kathleen Anderson, Rebecca Saletan, Victoria Skurnick

Moderator:  Cathy O'Connell


Courting the Muse

When inspiration strikes, writing can feel as easy as turning on the faucet. But what happens when the well runs dry? Writers share tips for quieting the inner critic and coaxing the muse back into the room.

Panelists: Nino Ricci, Pam Houston, David Mason

Moderator: Julie Comins Pickrell

As Deborah Fallows so poignantly stated in her presentation for Google, “China is no one thing.” It is a place of myriad experiences and perspectives. This evening will introduce our Festival stars as they share personal stories from and about the motherland.

Panelists: Deborah Fallows, James Fallows, Yiyun Li, Sandra Tsing Loh, Lisa See

Moderator: Todd Breyfogle

The Truer Truth: Fact or Fiction?

We frequently hear writers talk about what is real versus what is true. But when is reality too limiting to illuminate the truth? And are some “true” stories more suited to a fictional or a nonfictional telling than others? Three authors discuss the risks and rewards of writing the stories of their lives as memoir versus fiction.

Panelists: Sandra Tsing Loh, David Lipsky, Pam Houston

Moderator: Andrew Travers