Tag Archives: Writers Weekend

Writers Weekend at Summerville brings National Book Award winner to GRU

The Third Annual Writers Weekend at Summerville, which begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 17, with a reading and signing by National Book Award-winner Phil Klay, is a literary event geared for writers.

Unlike the Sandhills Writers Series, which in the past has enjoyed a substantial budget and has targeted such luminaries as Ray Bradbury and Maxine Hong Kingston, the Writers Weekend at Summerville focuses on writers who are early in their careers or have recently started a new chapter in their career; writers who could connect with the current writing students and those the school is looking to recruit.

“The students are young, they’re full of enthusiasm and energy, and they really want to make writing a career,” said Assistant Professor Anna Harris, who is the director of the event. “So we wanted to put them in touch with people who remembered what that felt like, not people who had become successful and had lost touch with what it means to be an aspiring writer and a student writer.”

The ultimate intent, she said, is to grow the creative writing program, which has already expanded substantially over the last few years. The addition of several new classes, some course revisions, and some extra opportunities for student writers to work on and share their craft, has sparked so much interest that Harris said the department is in the process of hiring a creative nonfiction specialist who would teach workshops similar those being taught in poetry and fiction.

“One of the things that I think is atypical for an undergraduate creative writing program is the fact that we have a course called Literature for the Creative Writer,” Harris said. “It’s a literature class, but it’s geared for creative writing students and people who want to learn to think and read like a writer instead of reading like a critic.”

Writers and critics alike have both been vocal about their admiration for Phil Klay, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran who wrote “Redeployment.” As the only ticketed event of the weekend, the Friday night keynote is sure to be a popular one. Tickets are $16 and $28 depending on whether an audience member wants a paperback or hardcover copy of the book.

Proceeds will be shared between the Book Tavern, Augusta’s independent bookseller, and the Writers Weekend at Summerville.

Saturday, which has free events running from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., will feature a craft lecture by Klay and presentations by fellow writers Wiley Cash and Aja Monet, each of whom represents a different style of writing.

“We have a very eclectic, diverse group of people coming to campus, and that was international, because we’re trying to target a bunch of different populations,” Harris said.

And for those who like the informality of Saturday’s sessions, the Summerville Campus will be hosting the similarly structured Georgia Literary Festival the first weekend in November.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, click here.

Writers’ Weekend at Summerville slated for March 22-23


Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown

The Georgia Regents University Department of English and Foreign Languages will present the 2013 Writers’ Weekend at Summerville from 1 to 10:30 p.m. March 22 and from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. March 23 at the Jaguar Student Activities Center.

Aspiring writers will learn from award-winning authors who will discuss the elements of the craft and share their published children’s literature, creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry. Participants seeking feedback on their own writing can also register for individual critiques with one of the authors. In addition, GRU Creative Writing faculty will lead Emerging Writers Workshops for high school students seeking individual or group feedback.

Participants can earn one continuing education unit (CEU) through the GRU Division of Professional and Community Education.

Michel Stone
Michel Stone

“Writers’ Weekend at Summerville is the result of extensive effort and planning to grow the GRU Creative Writing program and to revive Augusta’s writing community,” said Anna Harris, Lecturer in English Studies at GRU. “This event is designed to bring together emerging and established voices who share a love of and passion for reading and writing. We are especially lucky to have two rising literary stars to help us in this endeavor: poet Jericho Brown, whom Claudia Rankine described as a ‘devastating genius,’ and novelist Michel Stone, whose work was likened to that of John Steinbeck by ‘Library Journal.’ We hope this year’s event marks the beginning of an annual ‘must do’ for Augustans and our friends in the surrounding area.”

Authors and writing instructors participating in the Writers’ Weekend at Summerville include:

  • Jericho Brown’s first collection of poetry, “Please,” won the 2009 American Book Award and has received praise since its release. Brown is currently working on his second collection of poetry, “The New Testament.”
  • Deno Trakas has published fiction and poetry in more than two dozen journals, including the “Denver Quarterly,” “Oxford American,” and the “Louisville Review.” His most recent book, “Because Memory Isn’t Eternal: A Story of Greeks in Upstate South Carolina,” was published in 2010.
  • Michel Stone’s debut novel “The Iguana Tree” received a starred review from “Publishers Weekly” and an IPPY Award as one of the top novels published in 2012 by an independent publisher. The book was also named a spring 2012 “Okra Pick” from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association.
  • Christine Hurley Deriso has written professionally for more than 25 years. Her work includes her award-winning children’s book, “Dreams to Grow On,” followed by tween novels “Do-Over,” “The Right-Under Club” and “Talia Talk;” the young-adult novel, “Then I Met My Sister;” and the self-help book, “Green Tea and Beyond,” co-written with GRU Cell Biologist Stephen Hsu.
  • Wendy J. Turner is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on medieval mental health, law and medicine, and law and alchemy.  She 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.”
  • Jared Hegwoods fiction can be seen in “The Yalobusha Review,” “The Adirondack Review,” “The Manifest Review,” “Juked,” “Keyhole Magazine,” “Night Train” and others. His fiction has twice been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and his first collection of short fiction, “Marriages of Convenience,” will be published by Burnt Bridge Press in Spring 2013. He teaches writing at GRU.
  • f. Simon Grant is the co-founder of the literary journal “Collective Exile.” His short fiction has been published in “Prose Axe.” He teaches writing at GRU.
  • Paul Sladky has contributed to several works, including “Reference Guide to Short Fiction,” “Language Quarterly” and “Instructor Resource Manual: The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing.” He teaches writing at GRU.
  •  Anna Caroline Harris’ writing has appeared in “Cellpoems,” “Mikrokosmos,” “Poetry for the Masses,” and “Metro Spirit” and “NakedCity” magazines. She teaches composition and creative writing, and advises “Sand Hills” magazine, at GRU.

Writers’ Weekend at Summerville is co-sponsored by GRU Student Activities and the Division of Professional and Community Education. To register, visit https://aceweb.aug.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?~~132CDWW2013. The registration deadline is March 22, and the cost varies. Registration is free for GRU students and can be up to $80 for local residents with a manuscript for review.