UNION – A rare opportunity to learn writing from one of America’s most popular New York Times bestselling authors will be offered when internationally acclaimed bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry visits Liberty Hall Museum on Thursday, Oct. 24 for an exclusive History Matters engagement.
The all-day event will begin with a V.I.P. luncheon from 1 to 2:30 p.m., followed by Berry’s writing workshop, Lessons from a Bestseller, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The workshop, which focuses on “The Four C’s” of story structure, will also include a light reception and meet-and-greet with the author. Admission to the workshop is $65 for the general public, and $55 for museum members; the fee for those wishing to attend the luncheon and the workshop is $100, with all proceeds to benefit Liberty Hall Museum through History Matters.
An ardent advocate of the necessity of historic preservation, Berry has served as spokesman for the American Library Association’s National Preservation Week for two consecutive years, and is the founder – along with his wife, Elizabeth – of History Matters, a foundation devoted exclusively to the preservation of the history so intrinsic to Berry’s bestselling novels. To date, History Matters has raised more than $500,000 through lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners, and Berry’s hugely popular writers’ workshops, which have been attended by an estimated 2,000 writers, aspiring writers, and readers.
Past beneficiaries have included the P.T. Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut; the Lincoln Log Cabin in Charleston, Illinois; historic cemeteries in Raleigh, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, and Jekyll Island, Georgia; the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut; museums in Seattle, Washington and Pleasanton, California; historic buildings in Beaufort, South Carolina and Berryville, Arkansas; and the rare book collection for the Library of Virginia and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
A native of Georgia, Berry studied law at Mercer University, and worked as a trial lawyer for three decades, holding elective office for nearly half that time. He is a founding member and former co-president of International Thriller Writers, which boasts a membership of over 2,000 thriller writers worldwide, and currently sits on the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Advisory Board. He is the recipient of the 2013 Poets & Writers’ Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, as well as this year’s Spirit of Anne Frank Human Writes Award; previous distinguished winners include playwright Arthur Miller and New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof.
Berry’s wildly popular Cotton Malone adventures, stand-alone thrillers and short-story originals are available in 51 countries, have been translated into 40 languages, sold 15 million copies, and frequently top the New York Times and international bestseller lists, garnering critical praise for their masterful blend of history and suspense. His latest novel, The King’s Deception, has been hailed as “smart” and “chilling” by the Providence Journal, and was recently singled out as “an excellent thrill ride while you also get a wonderfully enjoyable history lesson” by The Huffington Post.
Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University chronicles more than 240 years of American history. The museum also houses extensive collections of furniture, ceramics, textiles, toys and tools owned by seven generations of the Livingston and Kean families. The Firehouse Museum, built in 2004, houses three antique fire engines, including a rare 1911 American LaFrance Metropolitan Steam Engine. Tours of Liberty Hall run Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the hour; the last tour departs at 3 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $8 for Kean alumni, and $6 for children and seniors. Kean students and faculty are free.
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