Fiction writer Jeffrey Condran made an appearance at the Kellogg Writers Series at the University of Indianapolis’ in the Schwitzer Student Center, Room 010 on Nov. 5. The event, hosted by the UIndy English 478 course Literary Arts Programming, took place from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
According to the biography provided on the UIndy event calendar, Condran is the author of the novel “Prague Summer,” published in 2014 and the short story collection “A Fingerprint Repeated,” published in 2013.
His work has been honored with several awards, including The Missouri Review’s William Peden Prize and Pushcart Prize nominations. He lives in Pittsburgh where he is involved with multiple jobs.
“I am an assistant professor of English at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a creative writer on staff, but then I also cofounded Braddock Avenue Books, which is an independent literary publisher of novels and short fiction,” Condran said.
He also said that he does a little bit of everything at Braddock Avenue Books, but he is mostly the acquisitions editor.
Condran, who had a full house at the event, expressed his pleasure in reading “Prague Summer” at UIndy and answering questions from the audience.
“I thought it [the audience] was wonderful. It’s always great to look out and see a full crowd, especially since that was a pretty big room,” Condran said. “You can tell when an audience is engaged, when they’re laughing at the funny parts, and so it was a very responsive audience.”
Condran kept his expectations for the reading open, since this was not his first.
“I had no expectations whatsoever,” he said. “If you do 10 readings, six of them will be wonderful and four of them will be complete disasters, and you just never know which it’s going to be.”
Condran has traveled to Washington D.C., Boston, New York, Cleveland and many other cities in the United States since “Prague Summer” came out. He said that going to a reading has many benefits.
“Part of it is that when you write a book and have it published, it’s fun and engaging to go and meet the people who might be your readers a little bit,” he said. “There’s some writers who don’t enjoy reading, but I do. I’ve found that it’s a really great way to engage somebody who’s maybe thinking about buying your book but isn’t sure because, you know, books are expensive. So if I can come out and make them feel like I write to them, and they feel that connection to me and towards the book differently than they would on their own, then, obviously, that helps to sell the book.”
Senior political science major Kaylie Pickett said that more people should go to KWS and recommended reading the author’s work before coming.
“When you read a book, it becomes a part of your own life, and then to have the person up there that created those memories, essentially memories, for you . . . it’s a cool experience,” she said.
Poet, English Professor and Founder of the KWS Elizabeth Weber emphasizes the importance of KWS to the public.
“I used to teach, and I’ll probably teach it again, [English] 102, Western World Literature. I give my students extra credit if they go [to KWS] and write up what they thought about it,” she said. “A lot of them [the students] thought that it was going to be really boring and [say] that they wouldn’t have gone unless I had given them credit. Afterwards, they say they really liked it, better than they thought they would, and they would do it again. So, in other words, give it a chance.”
The final reading of the first semester will be today at 7 p.m. in UIndy Hall A in the Schwitzer Student Center. The reading will feature journalist Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated George Dorhmann. LP credit will be available to those who attend.