Wilkes University


Wilkes University’s Pennsylvania Writers Conference Offers Workshops and Certificate Programs July 31 – Aug. 3

The Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program will offer certificate programs in Arts in Education and Literary Publishing and seven workshops covering fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry and screenwriting in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Writers Conference. The workshops, which will be held daily from July 31 to Aug. 3, are a prelude to the conference being held on Aug. 4 and 5.

The seven workshops and certificate programs will roll out July 30 with a reception hosted by the creative writing program for students to meet the faculty. The workshops are scheduled for July 31 through Aug. 3. Each day will feature a three- or four-hour morning and afternoon workshop, so students can enroll in more than one workshop. Exact times for each workshop will be determined.

Two noncredit certificate programs are being offered on July 30 – Aug. 3 in literary publishing for $675 and arts in education for $475. These certificate programs are available for three graduate credits, which satisfies Act 48, at the cost of $1,500 per certificate.

The cost for each workshop is $395, which includes an all-access pass for the two day Pennsylvania Writers Conference on Aug. 4-5. All-access passes include the Aug. 4 open mic/poetry slam, hosted by Wilkes alumnus Jason Carney, and dinner on Aug. 5, followed by the keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey.

For more information, please call 570-408-4547. For conference registration, visit www.wilkes.edu/PWC.

Certificate: Literary Publishing
This certificate course is geared toward students interested in exploring career opportunities in the burgeoning field of literary publishing, featuring visits by professionals working in all areas of the publishing world.

Instructor: Philip Brady
Philip Brady's latest book is To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet. He has published three previous collections of poems, a memoir, and a book of essays, and has edited a book on James Joyce and an anthology, Poems & Their Making: A Conversation. He has won the Ohio Governor's Award, an Ohioana Award, a ForeWord Magazine Gold Medal, the Snyder Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, five Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, and a Thayer Fellowship. He is a distinguished professor at Youngstown State University and executive director of Etruscan Press.

Certificate: Arts in Education
Learn how to establish a writers’ workshop, or take the workshop model to the next level. Generate ways to manage grading, and walk away at the end of this course with practical lesson plans that can be incorporated into the district’s curriculum.

Instructor: Barbara J. Taylor
Barbara J. Taylor is a 30-year English teacher in the Pocono Mountain School District and a published author with an MFA from Wilkes University. Her most recent novel, All Waiting Is Long, is the sequel to her debut novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, which was named a “Best Book of Summer 2014” by Publishers Weekly.

Pennsylvania Writers Conference Workshop Descriptions:

Creative Nonfiction: Types and Techniques
The class will begin with a survey of creative nonfiction forms followed by a discussion of the elements of craft and craft/technique workshops. At the end of the week, each participant will meet with the workshop leader for a private critique.

Instructor: J. Michael Lennon
J. Michael Lennon is the late Norman Mailer’s archivist and editor, and has written and edited several books about him, including The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing and the biography Norman Mailer: A Double Life. He has also edited The James Jones Reader, and was co-producer of the PBS documentary, James Jones: From Reveille to Taps. He is the co-founder, with Bonnie Culver, of the Wilkes MA/MFA Program, and has taught in the program since 2005.

Fiction: People and Place
Characters and setting are essential to the story. Through reading, writing, and discussion, the class will explore methods to use the physical environment as a characterization tool. Each student will workshop twice; following their in-class critiques, students will meet with the instructor for individual conference.

Instructor: Nicole Dennis-Benn
Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel, Here Comes the Sun, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, an NPR Best Books of 2016, an Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Entertainment Weekly and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016 and a BuzzFeed Best Literary Debuts of 2016, among others. Dennis-Benn has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College where she now teaches as visiting faculty in the MFA fiction program.

Fiction: Wonder, Disbelief, and Fantastic Fiction: Writing the New Supernatural, Dark Fantasy, and Fabulist Genres
A discussion of the craft of the new genres will lead to each participant creating a project pitch, a step sheet, a complete synopsis, and the opening pages to a short story or first chapter. After brief readings and critiques, participants will be ready to draft a full-length story, novella, or novel on their own. 

Instructor: Lenore Hart
Lenore Hart is the author of seven novels, including Waterwoman, Ordinary Springs, Becky, The Raven's Bride, and the editor of the fiction anthology The Night Bazaar. Her YA and children's books are The Treasure of Savage Island and T. Rex at Swan Lake. She's a faculty member of the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program, and the Ossabaw Island Writers Retreat in Georgia. 

Keeping Them Up All Night: Crafting The Thriller, Adventure, And Military Action Genres
The class includes a discussion of the requirements and vocabulary of the genre, followed by crafting an elevator pitch, a scene outline, a short chapter outline, and the opening pages of a novel. After workshop readings and critiques, writers will leave with the basic tools to continue work on a full-length project.

Instructor: David Poyer
David Poyer’s military career included service in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific, Pentagon, Arctic, and Middle East. His 40-plus books include the Tiller Galloway diving adventures, the Dan Lenson novels of the modern Navy and Marine Corps, and Ghosting,The Whiteness of the Whale and On Politics and War, with Arnold Punaro. He’s currently a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, publisher at Northampton House Press, and a member of the faculty at the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program.

Memoir: Creating the World of Your Memoir
This workshop will focus on issues for memoir writers including perspective, choosing events, finding a theme, when to tell and when to show and choosing details. There will be work on narrative, reflection and issues of privacy.

Instructor: Judy Mandel
Judy L. Mandel is the author of The New York Times best seller, Replacement Child –a Memoir. She is a writing coach, teacher, freelance editor and senior editor at Kaylie Jones Books.

Poetry: Putting Together a Chapbook
Each participant will begin a narrative poem to be completed and read aloud on the final day in class. In addition, there will be readings to increase participants’ ability to conceive a chapbook.

Instructor: Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr
Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr is a poet, playwright and writer of fiction and non-fiction. She has returned from South Africa where she presented a paper at the 40th Anniversary Conference of Africa Literature Association on the South African exile community in New York City. Her latest work, Autobiography of the Lower East Side, is a novel in linked stories published by Northampton Press.

Screenwriting: 5 Films/4 Days
The workshop includes a deep reading and look at five films that will concentrate on structure. The workshop will focus on what structure means, and how to use it.  

Instructor: Ross Klavan
Ross Klavan is the writer of the film Tigerland, starring Colin Farrell, and the novel Schmuck. Klavan has written screenplays for New Regency, Paramount, Miramax, A&E, TNT and Walden Media, among others. His voice acting can be heard in over 100 films, and he is a former reporter for WINS Radio, RKO Network, LBC Radio in London. He is a member of the Writers Guild, SAG, AFTRA and a former member of Four Walls Alternative Art Group.