Wilkes University


Wilkes University in Mesa to Offer Arizona Creative Writers Conference

Conference will kick off master of arts degree in Creative Writing

Wilkes University's graduate creative writing program will host a writer's conference on Dec. 13 featuring sessions on fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting and playwriting. The event also will serve as an instant decision day for students interested in enrolling in a new weekender version of its low residency Master of Arts program at the Mesa Center for Higher Education beginning in 2015. Applicants will be able to find out if they are admitted to the program that day.

The conference will offer writers’ sessions from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cost to attend is $5 for students, and $10 general admission.  An all-collegiate poetry slam will follow at 7 p.m.  The slam is open to any college student with a valid student identification.  Cash prizes will be awarded at $200 for first place, $150 for second place, and $75 for third place. 

“We love the creative energy found in the Valley,” said the program’s co-founder and director, Bonnie Culver. “We are looking for regional writers and organizations to partner with us in this new venture.” 

To assist in coordinating these efforts, Wilkes has hired national/international slam poet Jeremiah Blue as its events coordinator for the creative writing program.  Blue is a long-time slam host and area events coordinator for the annual Copper State Slam.  He is coordinating the December conference and will announce a series of workshops for 2015, all to be held at the Mesa site. 

Prospective students can bring writing samples to the conference to receive an instant admissions decision.  The new weekender format will allow students to take classes in screenwriting, playwriting, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by taking classes online and meeting in person once a month. 

To register for the conference or poetry slam, email cwritingmesa@wilkes.edu. For more information on the M.A. degree, contact Bonnie Culver at bonnie.culver@wilkes.edu or (570) 408-4527.  

Wilkes was one of four colleges invited to participate in the H.E.A.T. (Healthcare, Education, Aerospace, Technology/Tourism) Initiative for Economic Development in Mesa, designed to increase college opportunities and spur economic growth.  Wilkes began offering its MBA program in Mesa in 2013, and will offer bachelor’s degrees in 2015 along with the M.A. in creative writing. Wilkes is located in the Mesa Center for Higher Education, 245 W. Second St. in Mesa.