90 Writers Participate in the Wesleyan Writers Conference

Both experienced writers and new writers participated in the 58th Annual Wesleyan Writers Conference June 11-15.

About 90 writers attended, including Wesleyan students enrolled in Summer Session courses.

Manuscript consultations and publishing advice were key parts of the program. Participants attended daily seminars in the novel, short story, poetry, and nonfiction (including memoir and literary journalism), and the program also included guest speakers, readings, workshops, panel discussions and talks with editors and agents.

Faculty and speakers at this year’s conference included award-winning fiction writer Amy Bloom ’75, author of the new novel Lucky Us; Roxana Robinson, short story writer and author of the new novel Sparta; Salvatore Scibona, author of The End, a finalist for the National Book Award; poet Michael Dumanis; and nonfiction writers/ journalists Lis Harris of Columbia’s School of the Arts, and William Finnegan of The New Yorker, whose recent coverage of Mexico received the Overseas Press Club Award for the best coverage of Latin America in any mediumThe group of editors and agents include alumni Vicky Bijur  Johnny Temple ’88, founder and editor of Akashic Books. View the full list of faculty, including bios, online here.

View photos of the event below (Photos by Olivia Drake):

Writing faculty Amy Bloom made remarks during the Writing Conference Introduction of Faculty and Fellows, June 12 in Mink Dining Hall.

Writing faculty Amy Bloom made remarks during the Writing Conference Introduction of Faculty and Fellows, June 12 in Mink Dining Hall.

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More than 90 writers participated in the Writers Conference.

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Participants attended daily seminars in the novel, short story, poetry and nonfiction writing.

 Writing faculty Lis Harris led sessions on "Nonfiction and Memoir Writing." She's taught the conference for 20 years. "It is always interesting to have a window into someone else's life. There is such a wide spectrum of experience that a lot of students bring in here. The work may be modest, but [there is a consistent will] to improve. The insight is really inspiriting," she said.

Writing faculty Lis Harris led sessions on “Nonfiction and Memoir Writing.” She’s taught the conference for 20 years. “It is always interesting to have a window into someone else’s life. There is such a wide spectrum of experience that a lot of students bring in here. The work may be modest, but [there is a consistent will] to improve. The insight is really inspiriting,” she said.

Writing Conference participants enjoy Lis Harris'  "Nonfiction and Memoir Writing" seminar.

Writing Conference participants enjoy Lis Harris’ “Nonfiction and Memoir Writing” seminar.

A Writing Conference participant takes notes.

A Writing Conference participant takes notes.

Writing Conference participants spoke about their own writing projects.

Writing Conference participants spoke about their own writing projects.

Fiction writer Salvatore Scibona taught sessions on "Novel and Short Story" during the conference.

Writing faculty Salvatore Scibona taught sessions on “Novel and Short Story” during the conference.

Writing Conference participants enjoy Scibona's talk.

Writing Conference participants enjoy Scibona’s talk.

Writing Conference participants enjoy Scibona's talk.

Participants were asked to introduce themselves and briefly discuss a book they currently read.

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Writing Conference participants enjoy Scibona’s talk.

Writing Conference Faculty Roxana Robinson taught "Novel and Short Story Writing."

Writing Conference Faculty Roxana Robinson taught “Novel and Short Story Writing.” She is the author of nine books, most recently a novel about a Marine coming home from Iraq. She’s taught at the Writer’s Conference since 1997.

Conference participants enjoy Robinson's lecture.

Conference participants enjoy Robinson’s lecture.

Writing Conference faculty Michael Dumanis taught a seminar on poetry.

Writing Conference faculty Michael Dumanis taught a seminar on poetry.

Conference participants discuss topics of poetry.

Conference participants discuss topics of poetry.

A conference participant takes notes during the poetry session.

A conference participant takes notes during the poetry session.

A representative from Broad Street Books sold copies of books written by the Wesleyan Writing Conference faculty.

A representative from Broad Street Books sold copies of books written by the Wesleyan Writing Conference faculty.

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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