Around the Writers’ Table

Announcing Islanders Write 2023.

— Illustration by Kate Feiffer

After you’ve filled up on fried dough, taken a spin on the Ferris wheel, and marveled at the fireworks, The MV Times invites you to switch gears and join us at Featherstone Center for the Arts for Islanders Write 2023. The writers’ festival, which explores the art, craft, and business of writing, will begin on the evening of Sunday, August 20, and will continue throughout the day of Monday, August 21.

The event, which is free of charge, will feature panel discussions, writing workshops, author signings, food, and other happenings. We expect to have an engaging series of conversations that will be informative and illuminating, and workshops focused on the nuts and bolts of publishing and the craft of writing. The full schedule for the event will be announced in June.

We like to think of Islanders Write as locally sourced. Our speakers are writers and publishing professionals with ties to the Vineyard. (In fact, many of them have written novels with chapters, if not entire books, set on the Vineyard.) We bring together everyone from bestselling authors to newly published writers to discuss, debate, and deliberate on writing and the writing life.

Last year’s speakers included filmmakers, journalists, novelists, memoirist, self-help authors, playwrights, cookbook authors, and children’s book authors. They were Pulitzer prizewinners, a Tony awardwinner, a MacArthur Genius Award recipient, a NAACP Image Award winner, a James Beard awardwinner, bestselling authors, midlist authors, and first-time novelists. We believe the discussion about writing is enhanced by a wide swath of voices from people in different phases of their writing life.

MV Times publisher Peter Oberfest invites the Island community to join in on the conversation: “We’re excited to be sponsoring another Islanders Write, honoring writers, writing, and reading on Martha’s Vineyard. The panels and workshops are gifts from The Times to the community — please join us.”

We are delighted to announce that Edgartown Books will be joining us this summer. They will be onsite selling books by Islanders Write authors and hosting the book signings. “Edgartown Books has worked very hard to be a home for Island writers, so it’s just a natural extension for us to be part of Islanders Write, an opportunity for which we are so excited, a wonderful chance to expand our efforts to support the incredible literary talent on this Island,” said Mathew Tombers, manager of Edgartown Books.

For those of you who haven’t been to Edgartown Books recently, I highly encourage you to stop by. For me the best bookstores are the ones you walk into for one book and walk out of with two books — the one you wanted and a book you had never heard of before that is about to become one of your favorite reads of the year — and in recent years, Edgartown Books has become that kind of bookstore. Yes, you can find the bestsellers, and the talks of the town there, but you can also find more obscure gems. They also have a vast collection of books published by Vineyard authors, and a terrific selection of children’s books. And I know from personal experience, if they don’t have the book you’re looking for, they will happily order it for you.

We are also thrilled to announce that Scottish Bakehouse will be returning to Islanders Write with their delectable pastries, sandwiches, salads, and snacks. This makes it easy to grab a quick bite between panel discussions and workshops, or if you’d rather, to take some time and enjoy lunch connecting with other event attendees. Scottish Bakehouse will be onsite for the entire day on Monday.

Be sure to mark your calendars and save the date for Islanders Write 2023. We look forward to seeing you there. For more information and a look back at Islanders Write 2022, please check out

“Around the Writers’ Table” is a column about writers and writing on the Vineyard. Please email with your writing-related news.