Frequently Asked Questions
We try here to answer the questions we most often hear about the Lutheran Festival of Writing. Because not all arrangements are finalized yet, some of this information may change in the next few months, but we will do our best to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. If you have a question that is not covered here, please contact us.
What are the dates of Festival 2010?
October 29-31, 2010. Registration opens at 3:00 p.m. on the 29th in Luther College’s Center for Faith and Life. We conclude with the Reformation Day Festival worship service on Sunday morning, October 31, ending about noon.
Who can attend the Festival?
The Festival is for readers and writers—those who love to hear the word (in its largest sense) and to shape it into meaning, power, and beauty, for those who want to enrich and illuminate their lives with stories, poems, and memoirs. The Festival welcomes established and aspiring writers who are, or have been, associated with the Lutheran denomination. Some writers who will present are now active in the church, perhaps even writing for the church, and some are struggling with the church. The Festival also welcomes readers who are looking for a closer connection with writers, to learn more about their writing lives and vocations. We'll have formal and informal ways for readers to connect with writers. We also plan an open mike for students and panel discussions including Q & A from participants.
Do I have to be a writer to attend the Festival?
Absolutely not. The Festival is designed to be a place where readers and writers can come together to hear and discuss serious literary work, to share ideas, to talk about how literature can illuminate lives of moral purpose and religious faith, as well as raising issues of power and justice in the world. All people interested in the written word are welcome.
Do I have to be Lutheran to attend the Festival?
No. Here’s how we describe our gang: practicing, performing, sitting there waiting for the show; for, against, in and out of the church; hallowers of tradition and tradition upsetters; former, future, and next-of-kin Lutherans; those who like the idea of this festival, and those who want to express disagreement. We feel a tremendous sense of community at the Festival, but it is inclusive: Christians, observers of Christians, and Word Workers of all sorts are all welcome.
What is the schedule for Festival 2010?
The "Festival Program Schedule" page gives a tentative schedule of keynote presentations, readings, panels, and breaks. You can find information about our keynote speakers on our home page, and "Featured New Presenters" and "Featured Returning Presenters" pages give information about the writers and editors who will be on the program. Details continue to be added to the site, so keep checking it.
How much does it cost to attend Festival 2010?
The registration cost is $95 until October 22; the optional Saturday night banquet is $25. Visiting student registration is $25; $25 additional for the banquet. Luther College faculty, staff, and students are subsidized by the LFW Endowment and can register at no charge. Please note: After October 22, the late registration fee will be $120, plus $25 for the optional banquet.
How do I register for the Festival?
You can register by going directly to the secure, online registration form or printing out a mailable form. If you are having trouble registering, please email the Festival office.
What is included in a Festival registration?
A Festival registration includes all keynote presentations, as well as all break-out sessions, panels, and readings. The registration fee includes all coffee breaks as well as a Friday night reception, but it does not include meals and lodging. To attend the Saturday night banquet, you must include that reservation with your Festival registration, along with a $25 charge. Other meals are available in the Luther cafeteria, the Oneota Market, and Marty's Coffee Shop (all located in Dahl Centennial Union). For city dining options, click here.
FYI: The Festival banquet menu includes local, grass-fed beef, along with other local products.
How much is registration if I can attend Festival for only one day?
We are not able to provide reduced registrations for people who can attend Festival 2010 for only one day. Full registration is required to attend Festival sessions. But the three keynote sessions are free and open to the public.
How late can I register? We ask you to register by October 22 in order to pay the $95 registration fee. After that date, the registration fee will be $120, plus the $25 for the optional banquet. Please note that the motels will hold blocks of rooms for the Festival only until October 15.
If my plans change and I'm unable to attend, can I get a refund? If you cancel before the registration deadline of October 22, LFW will refund $50 of the $95 registration fee, and the full $25 banquet fee. After October 22, LFW can offer no refunds.
If I am a Luther College student, how can I be part of the Festival? First, you can register and attend at no charge to you, for which you can thank the English Department and the Lutheran Festival of Writing Endowment. We also need student volunteers to help with the festival. You can volunteer to share your dorm room with a visiting student attendee, monitor meeting rooms and time-keeping, help with registration, drive vans, etc. And you can read your creative writing at the open mike night. If you wish to attend the $25 banquet, with a reduced charge for those on a Luther meal contract, please email Jud Barclay (email@example.com) for instructions.
If I am a student from another college or university, how can I be part of the Festival?
We’d love to have you join us—the Festival is designed for students as well as the general public. Visiting student registration is $25, which includes all the keynote sessions, panels, readings, and break refreshments. The registration fee does not include meals (although we will have a complimentary continental breakfast for students on Sunday morning). If you wish to attend the Saturday banquet, it’s an additional $25. We make every effort to find housing for visiting students in the college residence halls--students are asked to bring their own sleeping bags and pillows.
If I am a secondary school teacher, can I certify my attendance for staff development credits at my school?
We welcome teachers and their students and are happy to provide a signature (for staff development credit) to certify that any registered participant attended the Festival.
Is on-campus housing available?
We will try to make on-campus housing available, only for students from other universities, colleges, and seminaries. On-campus housing is not available for other attendees, but we have a list of local hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfast inns on our accommodation page.
Will transportation be available from the hotels?
We will provide vans from the Festival hotels (The Heartland Inn, The Country Inn, The Hotel Winneshiek) in the mornings before the sessions begin and back to the hotels in the evening following the last session. Transportation will not be provided to and from the hotels during the day, but Decorah's taxi service, Hometown Taxi (563-382-3155) runs Friday 6:30 a.m.--6:00 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m.--8:00 p.m.; there is no taxi service on Sunday.
How do I get to Luther College?
Luther is located in Decorah, in the far northeast corner of Iowa at the crossroads of US Highways 9 and 52. Decorah is about 140 miles south of Minneapolis-St. Paul and about 125 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin. The closest airports are Rochester, MN (about 70 miles), LaCrosse, WI. (about 60 miles), and Cedar Rapids, IA (about 90 miles). Please also see the "Getting to the Festival" page.
How do I get on the mailing list?
By giving your email address and your other address information with your registration information, you will be on our list. Although we don’t send out regular information or a newsletter, we will use that email to let you know our plans for the next Festival.
How do you decide which authors to invite?
We are closely linked to the Lutheran Writers Project website, and many of our authors come from their list of subscribed writers. We also invite writers who teach at Lutheran Colleges. In addition, we take suggestions from attendees and presenters—many of our writers have been recommended to us. We are happy to hear your suggestions for future Festivals--email firstname.lastname@example.org.