Jim Lafayette Writers Series

Jim Lafayette Writers Series

Jim sits in tux. His bright smile lights up the photo as he looks past the photographer at something on his right.

James Patrick Lafayette was born November 3, 1976 to Ann Marie (DeMontigny) and Patrick Lafayette.  Jim was joined by his sister Kate in 1980. At age four Jim was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy after showing signs of muscle weakness.

Jim’s father was an avid Science Fiction fan and introduced Jim to Star Wars at an early age.  Jim soon became a collector of Star Wars merchandise; a passion he continued until his death at the age of 26.  Jim attended Norwich Public Schools and Norwich Free Academy (NFA).  During Jim’s elementary years students wrote and illustrated books for the Young Authors program. Jim always penned a science fiction story with an open ending suitable for a sequel.  At NFA Jim enrolled in art classes as drawing fantasy and science fiction figures was another favorite pastime.  While a student at NFA Jim wrote a weekly column for the Norwich Bulletin called The Next Level, a video game review. Jim graduated from NFA in 1995. He continued writing The Next Level into his college years at Connecticut College where he studied art and literature.  Jim graduated in 1999 from Conn College with Honors in English. He presented the first science fiction thesis at Conn, Darwinian Themes in British Science Fiction. Upon graduation Jim wrote an animé review for Wizard Magazine.

Reading and writing science fiction allowed Jim to escape the confines of his wheelchair and travel to fantastic places in his mind.  Upon his death in 2002 Jim’s family chose to establish a memorial fund to share and continue Jim’s love of science fiction and fantasy with generations to come. 

Norwich native Faye Ringel, Ph.D., retired Professor of Humanities at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Otis Library volunteer, has been the driving force behind the Lafayette Author Series. Each year, she helps to organize and promote the event. Thank you, Faye, for all you do!

2023 Guest Author Edith Pawlicki

Edith Pawlicki is the author of the Fantasy series Immortal Beings, the Young Adult Science Fiction novel, Minerva, and the new Fantasy novel, A Magical Imperative. She discussed world-building, character development, plot, and how to turn a manuscript’s weaknesses into strengths. The talk was followed by Q&A. To learn more about the author, visit her website.

Previous Lafayette Writers

2022 – Zac Topping
2021 – Saran Pinsker Sarah Pinsker’s short story Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather made a clean sweep of awards in 2022, including the Nebula, Locus and Hugo Awards for best short story.
2019 – Leigh Ronald Grossman
2019 – Ken Schneyer
2018 – Paul Di Filippo
2017 – Julia Rios  
2017 – Erik Amundsen
2017 – Carlos Hernandez
2017 – C.S.E. Cooney Claire Cooney’s novel Saint Death’s Daughter won the 2023 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.
2016 – James Morrow
2015 – Dana Cameron Dana Cameron’s first novel, Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery has been made into a movie series for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. For more information, click here: Emma Fielding
2014 – Kit Reed 
2013- C. S. E. Cooney Bone Swans: Stories by C.S.E. Cooney, was winner of the 2016 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection.
2012 – Theodora Goss  
2011 – Kaaron Warren  
2011 – Madeleine Robins  
2010 – John Crowley  
2009 – Michael Bishop
2009 – Paul Di Filippo 
2009 – Greer Gilman
2008 – Don D’Ammassa    
2008 – Esther Friesner  
2008 – Leigh Ronald Grossman  

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