Amy Ferris is a woman of her words

Co-founder of the Milford Readers and Writers Festival will join free panel on women writers


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  • Amy Ferris and Sean Strub (Photo by Marilyn Rosenthal)



By Amy Ferris

Films:
"Mr. Wonderful," 1993 — Screen writer and Associate Producer (available on Amazon)
"Funny Valentines," 1999 — Screen writer (available on Amazon)
"Rooster and the Queen," 2018, Associate Producer
Books:
"A Greater Good" (young adult novel), Houghton Mifflin, 2002
"Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis," 2009, Seal Press
"Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories that Kept Us Small," edited by Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter, 2012, Seal Press
"You are a Magic Maker; Post Coffee — Pre Wine)," 2014, Create Space Independent Publishing Platform
"Shades of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue," edited by Ferris Ferris, 2015, Seal Press


By Marilyn Rosenthal

— Back in the day, when Urban Refugee Magazine, owned by Michael and Carly Workstel, was publishing for the literary crowd in Milford, Amy Schor Ferris submitted a piece called “Men-O-Pause.”

Ferris’s editor at that time was Judy White, who is the moderator of the Women of Our Words Panel at the Milford Readers and Writers Festival later this month. White told Ferris, "I don’t want to change you voice.” To which Ferris responded, “I have a voice?”

Yes, she certainly does have a voice. This is particularly hilarious since Ferris has one of the loudest, far-reaching, creative voices championing the voices of other women.

“I love writing about (all things) women," she writes. "I love championing and supporting and encouraging and inspiring women, and my fervent wish (and prayer) is that all women awaken to their greatness: using their lives fully, with passion, compassion, determination, hope, self-fullness, humor, truth, authenticity power, boldness, kindness, and forgiveness. I want women to forgive themselves for all those old antiquated belief systems that were instilled and engraved in their lives by others who just didn’t know any better.”

Ferris exudes warmth and love. She might kiss you on the lips or hold your face cupped in her hands. For that moment she is concentrating entirely on you, and you feel like you are the most important person in the world. She is true-blue, transparent, and not a phony. She is also in-your-face when arguing for what she believes in. A shower of expletives may rain from her mouth, in between some perceptive words, if she's objecting to a political statement that she declares misogynistic or racist. She combines provocative rhetoric with the encouragement of women’s voices and enormous humility. There is no hubris in this woman, which is astounding, considering her many accomplishments in writing, editing, screen writing, and film producing.

'Marrying George Clooney'The article “Men-O-Pause” actually gave birth to her book, "Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis," published by Seal Press in 2009. She credits Brooke Warner, her then-editor, and Krista Lyons, the publisher of Seal Press who midwifed the book.

Ferris’s following is international as well as national. It really took off after "Marrying George Clooney" was published. Jody Feagan, head of the prestigious San Miguel Writers Conference and Literary Festival in Mexico said to Ferris, “You’re coming here and creating panels for us because you have an incredible following."

She went in 2009, and in 2010 and 2011 she went back again. Since then, she has created many more women’s panels for women’s conferences, especially in the United States. She is part of a circle of women who are not afraid to share their circles.

She’s a perfect fit for coordinating with Judy White on the free Women of Our Words Panel at the Milford Readers and Writers Festival. Last year, Ferris joined a panel on women’s memoirs. This year it will be women talking about film, fiction, and non-fiction.

Last year's panel was held at the Waterwheel Restaurant, which was packed. People sat on the floor, shared seats, and just about hung from the rafters. This year the panel will be at the Milford Theatre, 114 East Catherine St., Milford, which holds 300. You can join them from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30.

Ferris is in demand to sit on various boards of directors. But it may be the one she's most proud of is the Milford's own Readers and Writers Festival, which she helped create as a co-founder with Suzanne Braun Levine, Robert Levine, and Sean Strub. She's truly a star who lights up any room when she walks into it.

“She is one of the most generous people I know," Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writes Press said of Ferris. "She is a champion of women, of authors, of writers, and a change-maker whose energy, ideas, and support of others make everyone she touches want to be a better person.”

For more about the Women of Our Words panel and other events at the festival, visit milfordreadersandwriters.com.

Related stories "Vietnam chronicler Frances FitzGerald to talk about writing in a man's world": https://bit.ly/2PPdQnV

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