Now in its third year, Writers Weekend at Summerville, a conference for emerging writers, is an event designed to bring together emerging and established voices who share a love of and passion for reading and writing. Participants will learn from award-winning authors who will discuss elements of craft and share their published creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry. GRU faculty and local writers will also lead writing workshops for attendees seeking community and feedback. In addition, creative writing students will read from their work and discuss their experiences in the Creative Writing program at GRU.
Former presenters at the conference include Jerico Brown, Bronwen Dickey, Eric Smith, Michel Stone, Susan Tekulve, and Deno Trakas.
Phil Klay is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Iraq's Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. After being discharged, Klay received his MFA from Hunter College. He is the author of Redeployment (The Penguin Press), a powerful collection of short stories that takes readers to the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his book and public lectures, Klay explores the complex feelings of brutality, faith, guilt, and fear that a solider experiences during war, while also revealing the isolation and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming.
With his stark, realistic depictions of war, Klay's book has been praised as "one of the best debuts of the year" by the Portland Oregonian and author Karen Russell calls his writing "searing and powerful, unsparing of its characters and its readers." His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Granta, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, the New York Daily News, Tin House, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012.
For more information about Phil Klay, click here.
Wiley Cash's debut New York Times best-seller, A Land More Kind Than Home (William Morrow), is a literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small North Carolina town, and has been met with critical acclaim since publication. His stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Roanoke Review, and The Carolina Quarterly.
Cash holds a B.A. in literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina- Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. He and his wife currently live in West Virgina where he teaches fiction writing and American Literature at Bethany College. He also teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire University.
For more information about Wiley Cash, click here.
Harry Belafonte has called Aja Monet "The true definition of an artist." An internationally established poet, singer, performer, and educator, Monet's craft is an in-depth reflection of emotional wisdom, skill, and activism. The youngest individual to win the legendary Nuyorican Poet's Cafe Grand Slam title, she is recognized for combining her spellbound voice and powerful imagery on stage. Her books of poetry are Inner-City Chants & Cyborg Cyphers, (2015) and The Black Unicorn Sings (Penmanship books). In addition, she collaborated with poet/musician Saul Williams on the book Chorus: a literary mixtape (MTV books/Simon & Schuster). Her first CD, Scared to Make Love/Scared Not To, a testament to her creative lens and a social commentary on the discussion of love, was independently released through Bandcamp. Of Cuban-Jamaican heritage, Monet has performed at world-renowned venues including the Town Hall Theater, The Apollo Theater, the United Nations in New York City, and the NAACP's Barack Obama Inaugural event in Washington DC.
For more information about Aja Monet, click here.
PARTICIPATING GRU FACULTY
Simon Grant graduated from Clemson with an M.A. in English and from Queens University of Charlotte with an M.F.A. in fiction writing. His area of study is literature of the 50s and 60s, especially postmodern poetry and its relationship with surrealist poetry. He and his wife, Haley, were recently blessed by the birth of their son, Callum.
Anna Caroline Harris specializes in contemporary poetry. Her poems have appeared in Cellpoems, Poetry for the Masses, Mikrokosmos, and NakedCity magazine. At GRU, she advises Sand Hills literary writing, including Foundations in Poetry, Persona Poetry and Poetry Workshop. She holds degrees from Converse College (B.F.A.) and Wichita State University (M.F.A.).
Jared Hegwood has his Ph.D. in English with primary specialization in Creative Writing and secondary emphasis in Contemporary Literature. His fiction can be seen or is forthcoming in numerous print and online literary magazines including The Tulane Review, The Adirondack Review, The Yalobusha Review, elimae, Keyhole Magazine, The Manifest Review, Pindeldyboz, Night Train and others. His writing has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and his story Adjustments were named of 2004's Notable Short Stories by Story South. He teaches courses in popular genres such as the Graphic Novel and Science-Fiction/Fantasy, as well as Literature for the Creative Writer, humanities, and composition.
Wendy J. Turner, Ph.D., is a graduate of UCLA and teaches medieval history at Georgia Regents University. She is the author of Care and Custody of the Mentally Ill, Incompetent, and Disabled in Medieval England. She is the editor of 3 other books: Madness in Medieval Law and Custom, The Treatment of Disabled Persons in Medieval Europe with Tory Pearman, and Medicine and Law in the Middle Ages with Sara Butler. Turner is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on medieval mental health, law and medicine, and law and alchemy. Professor Turner also writes fiction and was the 2011 recipient of the Mark Sergura Austin Award for Best Fiction at the Harriette Austin Writers' Workshop at UGA for her novel, Falcon, Crow, Raven,Goodwitch.
For more information about the Creative Writing at GRU, visit our program's Facebook page.
Who can attend the conference?
Young adults (i.e., high school and college students) and adults of all ages are invited to attend the conference.
Do I need to register for the conference?
Registration for the 2015 conference is not required. However, advance purchase of tickets to Phil Klay's keynote address (Friday, April 17) is strongly encouraged, due to limited seating at the event. You may purchase tickets at philklay.eventbrite.com.
Is there a fee for attending the conference?
There is a charge for attendance at Phil Klay's keynote address (Friday, April 17); ticket purchase includes a copy of Klay's book, Redeployment, as well as a guaranteed seat at the event. All events on Saturday, April 18 are free and open to the public.
Where can I buy the author's books?
Books by our featured presenters will be available to purchase on-site, thanks to our partnership with The Book Tavern. Phil Klay, Wiley Cash, and Aja Monet will also give book signings throughout the weekend.
Will there be an opportunity to share my writing with others at the conference?
Yes. There will be two such opportunities. On Saturday afternoon, GRU faculty and local authors will lead workshops on a variety of subjects (e.g., creative writing and digital media, publication of poetry, flash fiction, and fantasy writing.) Saturday evening, the Summerville Writers (GRU's Creative Writing Club) will host a reading and open mic at The Book Tavern.
Will lunch be provided at the conference?
Jerry's Big Dog House, a food truck, will be on campus between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (Click here for a sample menu.) Attendees are responsible for purchasing their own lunch. Designated seating areas for lunch will be made available inside and outside of the JSAC.
If you are a vegetarian or have special dietary restrictions, please contact Anna C. Harris to discuss alternate arrangements for lunch.
Anna Caroline Harris, Director