KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Leading American and international writers are to explore the literature of the future, alternate and imagined worlds, utopias and the unknown during the 30th annual Key West Literary Seminar.

Scheduled Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 5-8, the seminar is themed “Yet Another World: Literature of the Future.” Most presentations are to take place at Key West’s historic San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval St.

Approximately 20 novelists, journalists, poets, essayists and others are scheduled to speak. Among them are Margaret Atwood, whose masterful fiction includes “The Handmaid’s Tale” and  “The Year of the Flood”; Jennifer Egan, who recently earned a Pulitzer Prize for “A Visit from the Goon Squad”; Michael Cunningham, winner of Pulitzer and PEN/Faulkner awards for “The Hours”; James Gleick, author of the bestselling The Information: A History, a Theory, a Floodamong others; and Joyce Carol Oates, award-winning writer of enduring fiction including “We Were the Mulvaneys.”

The seminar begins with a keynote presentation set for 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5. The presentation is titled “Why is it Always Now?” and features Douglas Coupland, whose work includes the novel “Generation X” and a biography of Marshall McLuhan, and William Gibson, whose critically acclaimed fiction envisioned and explored aspects of the cyberspace environment.

Subsequent days feature readings, lectures, informal talks, panel discussions, book signings, receptions and gatherings where attendees and authors can mingle. Highlights are to include a Friday evening presentation by Atwood and Valerie Martin, author of “Mary Reilly” and other notable books.

Eight writers’ workshops are planned Sunday through Thursday, Jan. 8-12, in conjunction with the seminar.

While the 2012 seminar is sold out, each year’s program includes Sunday afternoon presentations open to the public. These include readings and commentary by several of the seminar’s featured writers, and admission is free with first-come, first-served seating.

Event information: or 888-293-9291

Key West visitor information: or 1-800-LAST-KEY


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