2013 Mar 11 The Cynic’s Literary Festival 2013
In Vino Veritas — Writing Wine Blurbs with Lindsay Carroll / 14:00 12th Mar / Lindsay Carroll
The secret to writing is rewriting. The secret to writing wine blurbs is typing whatever pops into your head. Learn the ins and outs of penning great wine label copy with vaunted oenophile Lindsay Carroll, head blurb writer for Great Wall Wine. She’ll teach us the secrets of selling even the worst-tasting fermented grape juice, regardless of whether it comes in a bottle, box or homemade jug, and what to do when we can’t actually taste the difference between two vintages. (Hint: Keep drinking until more adjectives come to mind.) This is sure to be a delicately layered event with hints of citrus and a woody, nuanced finish.100 rmb (includes all-you-can-drink Great Wall wine)
Lindsay Carroll is the head blurb writer for Great Wall and the founder of Stemware, an online communityof lushes. Her work has also appeared in Lonely Housewife and Inebriated magazine.
Tiger Moms and Dragon Dads / 19:00 13th Mar / Amy Chua
Let’s face it: We all want our children to go to Harvard,perform at the Kennedy Center and become an astronaut. But how? Amy Chua, the original Tiger Mom herself, will show us the way to help our children achieve all the things we never could. It’s easier than you think! Drawing on 3,000 years of ancient Chinese parenting wisdom, Chua outlines the 12 simple steps that will guarantee your child gets into an Ivy and becomes a violin or piano virtuoso (your choice!), all while double-majoring in medicine and computer science. The first 25 audience members will receive a copy of Chua’s upcoming book, I’ll Stop Being Disappointed When You Stop Being Disappointing, in which Chua covers how to handle the resentment and deep-seated self-esteem issues that surface once our children become fully autonomous individuals. 200 rmb
Amy Chua is the author of the best-selling Asian parenting guide/child-abuse memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and has changed more children’s lives than the Catholic Church.
Writing Fake College Entrance Essays for Rich Chinese Kids / 16:00 16th Mar / Steven Chan, Mark Siegel
Nowadays, more and more Chinese are studying abroad. That means the demand for fake college entrance essays has never been higher. Join Wall Street English veterans Steven Chan and Mark Siegel for an afternoon of fun and fabrication as the two share the secrets behind crafting the best fake entrance essays, resumes and personal statements for the Chinese kid paying your middleman company to send him abroad. Who cares if your student has never held a job or traveled outside of Beijing? With Chan and Siegel’s patented “Stephen Glass Method,” even the most cloistered bookworm can have a lifechanging experience volunteering for a youth based charity in Namibia. 80 rmb
Steven Chan and Mark Siegel are the co-founders of Mayflower Educational Consulting, a studyabroad company named after the boat that sent a hundred people across the ocean to their doom in the New World.
Writing Fake Teacher Recommendations for Rich Chinese Kids / 16:00 17th Mar / Steven Chan, Mark Siegel
Chinese Young Adult Fiction / 18:00 20th Mar/ Seth Grahame-Smith
A special event for our Chinese audience! Now that Mo Yan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, publishers are hungry for Chinese fiction, but none of that depressing stuff. Award-winning one-trick-pony Seth Grahame Smith will help you craft the first Chinese crossover hit by debasing high culture into a mishmash of transitory pop-culture references. Romance of the Three Kingdoms with zombies? Journey to the West with zombies? Dream of the Red Chamber with zombies? The possibilities are endless! Grahame-Smith will show you how to take any story and add werewolves, vampires, wizards, and teenage angst for maximum marketability. 150 rmb
Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of such bestselling gimmicks as Pride and Prejudice with Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,is living proof that the average American reader’s IQ is somewhere in the low two-digits.
Beijinx: Beijing Hijinx – The Crazy Adventures of a Crazy Expat / 19:00 17th Mar / Connor O’Toole
The name Connor O’Toole is synonymous with drinking, partying and promiscuity, but did you know that he kind of writes as well? In this long awaited debut, Connor takes us on a journey of what it’s like being an expat in China – the real China. No travelogues or literary non-fiction here, just an interminable series of barely different anecdotes that begin with alcohol and end
with regret.This event includes a panel discussion about developing reprehensible personas and alienating readers, moderated by George Ding. 80 rmb
Connor O’Toole is a freelance writer and the recipient of the 2012 Tucker Max Writing
This article originally appeared on page 88 in the March issue of the Beijinger.