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Wilkes University Creative Writing Program Announces Pennsylvania Writers Conference Aug. 5-6

jay parini headshotWilkes University’s graduate creative writing program is sponsoring the Pennsylvania Writers Conference, celebrating all genres of writing and featuring workshops and panels with authors, editors, literary agents and film producers. Guest speakers include Maureen Corrigan, book critic on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air, and Scranton native, poet, novelist and biographer Jay Parini. The conference will take place at Wilkes University on Aug. 5-6.

The conference opens on Friday, Aug. 5, with an open mic and a poetry slam at 7 p.m. in the Henry Student Center ballroom, 84 West South Street. Participation in the open mic and poetry slam is open to all conference attendees and to the public for a $5 entrance fee.The public may attend only the open mic and poetry slam by registering in advance and paying the $5 entrance fee.  

Writing panels and workshops begin on Sat., Aug. 6 at 9 a.m. with an opening session featuring Maureen Corrigan and continue until 5 p.m. with a break for lunch. Throughout the day, conference attendees will have a choice of workshops focusing on poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting and screenwriting. The keynote address will be delivered by Jay Parini at 7 p.m. preceded by a dinner for attendees in the Henry Student Center.

Conference attendees interested in applying to the Wilkes graduate creative writing program will be able to receive an instant decision on their application at the conference.

Early bird conference registration is $100 until June 30, 2016; college students with a valid school ID are $40. After June 30, registration is $130 for non-students. For more information, please call 570-408-4547. For conference registration, visit www.wilkes.edu/PWC.

A writing competition will be held for conference attendees. Those who wish to participate may submit a five-page sample of their work in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction for a $5 submission fee, with prizes in each genre awarded after the keynote speech. Prizes will be $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place. Pre-registration is required for the writing contest, may include more than one piece in each genre, and has a submission deadline of July 22. Entries will be judged by Wilkes University faculty and alumni.

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air, is a critic-in-residence and lecturer at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to maureen corrigan headshotMystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. She also served as a juror for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. She is the author of So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures, and a literary memoir, Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading! She is also a reviewer and columnist for The Washington Post’s Book World. In addition to serving on the advisory panel of The American Heritage Dictionary, she has chaired the Mystery and Suspense judges’ panel of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Jay Parini is an accomplished writer in several genres and is known for his novels, poetry, and biography. His biographies include Robert Frost: A Life which won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for best nonfiction in 2000; One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner, which was a New York Times bestseller, and Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal. His 1990 novel The Last Station, about the final days of Leo Tolstoy, was adapted into an Academy Award nominated film. Benjamin’s Crossing, a New York Times Notable Book of the year in 1997, is a historical novel about Jewish critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin’s escape from Nazi occupied France. His poetry has appeared in a wide variety of magazines, including The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and Poetry. As a journalist, Parini is a regular contributor to CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian and GQ. He is a 1993 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. With roots in northeast Pennsylvania -- he was born in Pittston, Pa., and grew up in Scranton -- Parini now teaches at Middlebury College, where he is the D.E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing.


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