J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Biographers’ International in Boston, 16-18 May

The Biographers International Organization (B.I.O.) will meet at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, on 16-18 May. The organization, only five years old, is the only society devoted to writing and reading biographies, probably the most popular form of historical writing published today.

The conference description I received said:
We’re going to listen to panels about creating suspense in nonfiction, working with the families of famous people, writing about marginalized ones, engaging the imaginations of young people, entering the world of publishing, and bringing our work to the attention of everyone. We’ll ask questions of them, disagree and discuss at social hours, and meet like-minded people we’ll probably never forget.

In groups we’re going to visit—just to name a few—the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Houghton Library at Harvard, the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the Boston Athenaeum. You get to choose which ones you visit.
And of course the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library will be next door.

The organization will give its annual award to Stacy Schiff, author of A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2005) and biographies of other people from other times.

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