Writers Conference Draws Novelists, Poets, Journalists

Writer R. Kelley Bonn analyzes a poem during the Wesleyan Writers Conference June 17. The annual Writers Conference welcomes new writers, established writers, and anyone interested in the writer's craft.

Michael Dirda, a longtime book columnist for The Washington Post, led a seminar on literary journalism during the Writers Conference. He is the author of a memoir and four collections of essays.

Alexander Chee, who teaches fiction at Amherst College, taught a seminar on novel writing. He is a recipient of the 2003 Whiting Writer's Award, a 2004 NEA Literature fellowship, and a 2005 MacDowell Colony fellowship.

Participants attended daily sessions, which included a short lectures, discussions and writing exercises. Topics included fiction writing, new media, publishing, poetry, documentary film, writing about the arts, novel writing and more.

Publisher Pamela Dorman '79, vice-president of Pamela Dorman Books/Viking of New York, N.Y. spoke at a Publishing Panel June 17 in World Music Hall. In her more than 20 years at Viking Penguin, Dorman acquired and edited the multi-million copy #1 bestsellers "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards, "Bridget Jones's Diary" by Helen Fielding and "The Deep End Of The Ocean" by Jacquelyn Mitchard, which was the first selection of the Oprah Book Club, along with many other fiction and non-fiction bestsellers.

Jeffrey Harrison, in back, center, leads a seminar on poetry June 17. Harrison is the author of four full-length books of poetry. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Yale Review, Poets of the New Century, and in many other magazines and anthologies. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Participants were encouraged to discuss their work with other writers at the conference. (Photo by Lauren Valentino '10)

Olivia Drake

Olivia (M.A.L.S. '08) is editor of the Wesleyan Connection newsletter and campus photographer. I have two dogs, five chickens and 30 house plants. I like snow, photographing firemen and enjoying "stinky" cheeses. Send me your story ideas to newsletter@wesleyan.edu. 

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