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How to Build a Better Literary Panel Discussion

14648.jpgHow do you build a better literary panel discussion? The NY Observer talked to a star-studded line-up of literary experts at the opening gala for the PEN World Voices Festival, getting some varied answers to that burning question.

New Yorker festival organizer Rhonda Sherman explained that journalists and authors David Remnick, George Packer, and Adam Gopnik are some of the best moderators in the business. PEN American Center President Francine Prose (pictured) recalled a recent panel that lasted, amazingly, five-and-a-half hours.

Sherman also offered this sage advice: “In general, it’s not a party unless there’s blood on the floor … There needs to be tension on a panel. You need to have some disagreement. If everyone agrees on the panel, it’s a total snooze-a-thon.” (Via Literary Saloon)

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