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Writers’ workshop with national reach features local authors

Saturday, July 12 kicks off the 29th annual summer program of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop.

In full disclosure, I am the executive director of the workshop, but even if I weren’t, I’d devote a column to it anyway. The workshop, originally started by Antioch College in 1987, and operating as an independent 501c3 nonprofit since 1992, has a long and storied history. Though remaining an independent nonprofit, in 2009, the workshop joined in a partnership with Antioch University Midwest in Yellow Springs.

Authors who have taught at the workshop each summer in Yellow Springs include luminaries such as Joyce Carole Oats, Sue Grafton, William Least Heat Moon, Elizabeth Strout and John Grogan, just to name a few.

This year’s keynoter (July 12, 7 p.m.) and Sunday Morning Creative Writing Craft instructor is Andre Dubus III, critically-acclaimed and best-selling author of “Dirty Love,” “Townie,” and “House of Sand and Fog,” which was an Oprah Book Club pick and a finalist for the National Book Award, as well as other books.

The keynote, which will be delivered at Antioch University Midwest (900 Dayton St., Yellow Springs,) is Saturday July 12 at 7 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Additionally, the summer program includes readings by this year’s workshop faculty. These readings are also free and open to the public, and held at 7 p.m. at Antioch University Midwest:

  • • Sunday, July 13: Readings by Matthew Goodman, Tara Ison, Erin Flanagan, Julie Moore.
  • • Monday, July 14: Readings by Mike Mullin, Marly Youmans, Eileen Cronin, Mardi Link.
  • • Tuesday, July 15: Readings by Chris DeWeese, Katrina Kittle, Gayle Brandeis, Hallie Ephron.

The workshop is able to provide the above free events, as well as other free events throughout the year, thanks to a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

Attendees are writers who want to learn more about the creative writing craft and make connections in the creative writing community; many are from the region, but a good percentage are from across the country (and in some years, from around the world.)

Though registration for the full week program is closed, those interested in attending the following programs “A La Carte” may register at through Tuesday July 8:

  • One day “Saturday Seminar” focusing on finding inspiration, setting goals, and staying motivated as a writer — Saturday, July 12, 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m.
  • Creative Writing Craft session, led by Andre Dubus III — Sunday, July 13, 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
  • Morning Only classes in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and professional skills for writers led by a variety of facult — Monday July 14 to Friday, July 18, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

All of the above classes will be held at Antioch University Midwest.

This year’s faculty includes writers from around the country as well as talented local authors Grace Curtis (“The Surly Bonds of Earth”), Chris DeWeese (“The Black Forest”), Erin Flanagan (“It’s Not Going to Kill You”), Katrina Kittle (“Reasons to be Happy”), Kristina McBride (“The Tension of Opposites”), Cyndi Pauwels (“40 and Out,” debut novel forthcoming this fall), and Tim Waggoner (“The Nekropolis Archives”). Read more about these authors’ backgrounds and works in their bios on the faculty page of the workshop’s website.

In addition to its partnership with Antioch University Midwest and grant support from the Ohio Arts Council, Antioch Writers’ Workshop receives support and sponsorship from the Dayton Daily News, WYSO 91.3 FM, Books & Co. at The Greene, Greyden Press, Boston Stoker and Current Cuisine.

And on a personal note… I hope to see you at the keynote and/or free evening readings! The Antioch Writers’ Workshop has long been a major part of my own literary life and I hope you’ll make it part of yours, too.

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