NEPA Scene Staff

Pulitzer-winning poet and NPR book critic speaking at PA Writers Conference at Wilkes University Aug. 4-5

Pulitzer-winning poet and NPR book critic speaking at PA Writers Conference at Wilkes University Aug. 4-5
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From a press release:

Get your pens ready because Wilkes University’s Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing has announced the full program for the third annual Pennsylvania Writers Conference.

The two-day event celebrates all genres of writing and features workshops and panels with authors, editors, literary agents, and film producers. These sessions are offered from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4 and Saturday, Aug. 5, with a break for lunch.

Wilkes also announced that Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s “Fresh Air” book critic, will return to the conference for the second year. She will kick off the second day at 9 a.m. in the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center (239 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre). Corrigan also served as a juror for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

She joins the previously announced closing keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey. Trethewey, the author of three collections of poetry and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States, speaks on Aug. 5 at 7 p.m., preceded by a dinner for attendees in the Henry Student Center (84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre).

More than 24 sessions examining fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting will be offered during the two-day conference. The sessions will include:

Workshop: Turn Your Writing Research into a Successful Blog
Instructor: Gale Martin
Time: Saturday, Aug. 5, 2 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Learn how and why blogging your book research can yield unprecedented rewards and opportunities.

Craft Class: Writing for Stage vs. Writing for Page
Instructor: Jan Quackenbush
Time: Friday, Aug. 4, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 5, 10:30 p.m.-11:15 a.m.
This craft class will explore ways on how to achieve strong insight and vivid clarity.

Panel: You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania… Lit Mags
Panel: Donna Talarico, Mitch Sommers, Matthew Kabik
Time: Saturday, Aug. 5, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Literary magazine editors discuss their publications, processes and literary citizenship.

Craft Class: Getting Started with Historical Fiction
Instructor: Barbara Taylor, Scranton author
Time: Saturday, Aug. 5, 2 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
This class will examine research techniques geared toward historical fiction writers and explore how character, language, and style lend authenticity to this genre. Participants will discover strategies for creating a highly readable story.

Craft Class: New Poetic Forms: Found, Blackout, Paradelle, and More
Instructor: Vivannah E. Duncan
Time: Friday, Aug. 4, 2 p.m.-2:45 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 5, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
This interactive discussion will send you home with at least one poem written in a new style and ideas for many more.

An open mic and a poetry slam will be held on Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Henry Student Center ballroom. Participation in the open mic and poetry slam is open to all conference attendees and to the public for a $5 entrance fee.

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.

The conference registration fee is $145. College students with a valid school ID are $75.

For more information, call 570-408-4547. For conference registration, visit

Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university is on a mission to create one of the great small universities, offering all of the programs, activities, and opportunities of a large research university in the intimate, caring, and mentoring environment of a small liberal arts college at a cost that is increasingly competitive with public universities. The Economist named Wilkes 25th in the nation for the value of its education for graduates.

In addition to 43 bachelor degree programs, Wilkes offers 25 master’s degree programs and four doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing.