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About Authors on Stage

Authors on Stage at the Wellesley College Club

Twice a year, WCAB's Authors on Stage invites you to a program of engaging presentations by three authors discussing how they came to write their recently published books.

After every program, Authors on Stage donates proceeds from each program to the Wellesley College library. Since its founding in 1981, Authors on Stage has donated over $200,000 to the library, thanks to our loyal audiences of local residents and alumnae. Because of the current pandemic, our Fall 2020 Authors on Stage program will be online and free of charge.

Under normal circumstances, programs take place at the Wellesley College Club, with coffee starting at 9:45 a.m. and the program at 10:30. Admission is $27. After the program, the authors autograph copies of their books—available for purchase at a discount. Stay for lunch for $16 (including tax and tip). Several weeks before each program, the names of the books and authors are published on this WCAB website and in the invitations sent to our mailing list. (To join the mailing list, contact authorsonstage@gmail.com.)

Our next program
Tuesday, December 8th, 10:30-11:30 am - Register, and more details here!

Our previous programs
For a list of books and authors since 1981, click here.

 

Our committee

These are the Wellesley alumnae who bring you Authors on Stage. If you think you might like to join us, contact aos@wellesleyboston.com.

Baughman, Mary - Co-Chair WCAB Liaison & Publicity
Canellos, Jean - Arrangements
Clay, Kathleen (Kathie) - Reservations
Gavis, Jane - Book Sales
Gaylin, Karen - Labels
Harper, Anne - Member at Large
Hunt, Janice - Member at Large
Hunt-Zylstra, Lia - Moderator; Authors
Kreinsen, Suzanne - Co-Chair; Authors
Landergan, Mary - Authors
Maccini, Leigh - Member at Large
Parker, Faith - Book Sales
Randall, Alison - Member at Large
Schwartzman, Toby - Treasurer; Book Sales
Sterling, Blythe - Program Brochure and Mailing
Triant, Diane - Mailing Lists
Ward, Elaine - Publicity
Wickwire, Gina - Authors
Zannetos, Jennifer - Reservations


Authors on Stage—A Brief History

Diane Speare Triant ‘68 From its opening program in 1981, “Authors on Stage” has kept book lovers filling the reservations mailbox and buying first-edition volumes. The popular benefit has showcased more than 200 writers, ranging from best-selling celebrities like Stephen King to Boston art critic Sebastian Smee to award-winning writers like Ian Frazier and Megan Marshall.

One of the founders of Authors on Stage, Wellesley College alumna Janice Hunt '52, frequently reiterates the committee’s credo: “At each program, we try to feature one author you do know, one author you should know, and one author you will know.” In 1980, Hunt assembled a small group of Wellesley alumnae with the idea of carrying on the tradition of the popular but recently defunct Hathaway House Book Series, moderated by Robert Hale.

As manager of Hathaway House Bookstore (now Stuart Swan Furniture) in Wellesley Square, Hale was a well-known literary figure with a large following. He agreed to continue moderating the program for Authors on Stage, bringing current writers of quality and note to Wellesley to speak about their recently published works and enabling audiences to buy them at a discount with personalized autographs. In 2000, Lia Hunt Zylstra, the daughter of the program’s founder, became moderator of the event.  

Through the decades, town-gown audiences have seen selected Authors on Stage works rocket to prominence: The late Roger Fisher’s Getting to Yes has become a standard in the MBA curriculum; Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, adapted to film, earned a “best picture” Oscar nomination; and Julia Glass’ Three Junes won the National Book Award.

The three presenters at each program have shared numerous insights on the writing life and the writing craft. Pulitzer-Prize finalist and Wellesley native Adam Haslett—who wrote a draft of his collection You are Not a Stranger Here in Clapp Library—explained his partiality to the short-story form: “You can have an entire experience of a life captured in a single reading,” he said. “You can raise the stakes quickly and put in great emotional force which would not come out in a novel until the end.”

Such rich literary talk will doubtless keep the Authors on Stage faithful returning to the College Club for many years to come.    


To receive an invitation to each program, with information about the authors and books and a reservation form, join our email list: authorsonstage@gmail.com.