03/15/2011 09:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Story Week 2011 Brings Famous Authors to Chicago

If you love literature, then consider clearing your schedule this week. Columbia College's Story Week 2011 is a six-day festival jam-packed with readings, discussion panels, workshops, book signings and performances from authors, poets and playwrights. This annual festival has been celebrated for the last 15 years, becoming a major source of literary inspiration for the Chicago community.

Story Week 2011 kicked off on Sunday with narrative performances from several writers followed by music from DJ White Russian and Seeking Wonderland. Throughout the rest of the week, authors, playwrights and other literary professionals will make appearances at one of the Story Week 2011 venues.

One of the festival's notable events will include a reading, discussion and book signing from three major authors - Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife), Gerard Woodward (I'll Go to Bed at Noon) and Karen Tei Yamashita (I Hotel) - on Tuesday night at Harold Washington Library. On Wednesday, the Metro will host "Literary Rock and Roll," with a reading and singing from Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), a comedy performance and tunes by DJ Dream Team. The whole event wraps up on Friday night at Lincoln Hall with "Chicago Classics," where guests from the local literary community will read excerpts from works by some of Chicago's famous authors.

Aspiring writers should also take note of this festival for its extremely useful resources and seminars. For example, attend a full-time fiction writing class on Tuesday, a panel of the future of publishing on Wednesday or a playwriting workshop on Thursday. Best of all, each of the Story Week 2011 events is free and open to the public.

March 13 - 18

Check the festival schedule for event times and locations.