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Features

Baran-Unland 7 local writers to bring you 'The Covid Chronicles'

Members of WriteOn Joliet invited to share fictional accounts of 2021

Members of WriteOn Joliet who submitted stories to The Covid Chronicles include (back from left): Duanne Walton of Morris, Holly Coop of Joliet, Sharon Houk of Joliet and (front from left) Tom Hernandez of Plainfield (WriteOn Joliet co-leader), James Pressler of Park Forest and Colleen Robbins of Joliet.
Members of WriteOn Joliet who submitted stories to The Covid Chronicles include (back from left): Duanne Walton of Morris, Holly Coop of Joliet, Sharon Houk of Joliet and (front from left) Tom Hernandez of Plainfield (WriteOn Joliet co-leader), James Pressler of Park Forest and Colleen Robbins of Joliet.

If you thought 2020 was interesting, have you wondered what 2021 will look like?

Will the coronavirus still be disrupting daily life? How greatly will the world change – and will those changes be for better or for worse?

Will those changes be permanent? Will we embrace them or mourn them?

We're about to tell you.

Or rather, seven authors from WriteOn Joliet will share their most imaginative takes of how the COVID-19 pandemic might shape the upcoming year.

We're calling these "The Covid Chronicles: Fictional Accounts of 2021." And it's a pretty unique offering from a community publication.

A couple months ago, Shaw Media, the parent company of The Herald-News, reached out to me and asked if members of my writing group (I co-lead WriteOn Joliet) would like to write a short work of fiction based on this question: What will the year look like a year from now?

Seven writers, including me, responded to the challenge.

This makes all the stories in "The Covid Chronicles" different in tone, structure and genre.

You'll read about social commentary, romance, humor, a new world order, crime, a hint of the supernatural and – yes – we even have one story about zombies.

Contributing authors are Holly Coop, Tom Hernandez, Sharon Houk (S. Houk), James Pressler, Colleen H. Robbins and Duanne Walton.

And me.

The stories are free to read – if you're a subscriber to the LocalLit newsletter.

The LocalLit newsletter is a free weekly newsletter that connects local writers to local readers through free short stories and reviews of local books.

All stories are original, short, family-friendly and submitted by local writers. Books reflect a variety of genres and writing styles.

"The Covid Chronicles" will be a seven-week bonus newsletter for LocalLit subscribers. The first story will go out next week, so if you want to read them all, you'll have to sign up soon.

The LocalLit newsletter comes straight to your email inbox. You only need to sign up. We do the rest.

To sign up for the free LocalLit newsletter, visit theherald-news.com/newsletter/locallit/#//.

WriteOn Joliet is a welcoming, diverse group of writers of varied skills, interests and experience.

WriteOn Joliet is also an active group with partnerships with the Joliet Public Library and The Book Market in Crest Hill.

For more information about WriteOn Joliet, including the group's anthologies and works by its published authors, visit writeonjoliet.com.

Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor at The Herald-News. Contact her at dunland@shawmeia.com or 815-280-4122.

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