F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference returning to St. Paul


In 2017, the International F. Scott Fitzgerald Society Conference will return for only the second time to Minnesota’s capital city.

St. Paul will host the week-long conference June 25 through July 1, 2017.

A centennial celebration of Fitzgerald’s roots and beginnings in St. Paul, his continued influence on writers all across the world; putting a spotlight on those who have followed in his footsteps, and the “theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches that consider his writing in a new light and innovative approaches to teaching his oeuvre,” the conference will be a comprehensive look at the author’s life, work, and impact. Tours of relevant sites around the city will also be available.

Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul in 1896, and the city played a major role in many of his works. Many of his settings, including those in his magnum opus, The Great Gatsby, were based on St. Paul and the people met here.

But more important than place, his strong, poetic prose,

“And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

his reflections on youth and innocence, and his still-relevant portraits and criticisms of America’s (unofficial) class system have ensured his place in literary history.

(Baz Lurhman’s interpretation of those lines in 2013’s The Great Gatsby, is worth a watch well.)


This year’s theme, “Was student – am now writer,” is based on a line taken from Fitzgerald’s military discharge interview, emblematic of his officially dedicating his life to writing. For those interested in presenting a piece, focus on Midwestern influences (like those of Fitzgerald) or local sites specific to Fitzgerald’s work, toss in a few youthful themes, the deadline to submit your proposal to fitzinstpaul17@gmail.com is unfortunately passed (November 1, 2016). But more information about participating in the event can be found at the conference website, www.fitzgerald2017.org.

And even if you aren’t a writer, it’s still worth joining the celebration of one of the most influential and iconic people ever to come from St. Paul, Minnesota.