The West Virginia Writers’ Workshop will be celebrating its 18th anniversary when it hosts writers from around the country on West Virginia University’s downtown campus July 17-20.

The workshop is designed to give writers at any stage of their careers, from beginner to published, the opportunity to improve their craft. Participants work with nationally and internationally acclaimed authors, editors, and publishers in classes of no more than 12 students.

In addition, the workshop features readings, craft talks, writing exercises, and a publishing panel aimed at helping participants hone their skills and see their work into print.

Spots in the workshop are open until June 2. Sign up can be done online:

“This is great chance for local writers to share their work with outstanding professional writers and peers from across the country,” said Mark Brazaitis, a professor in WVU’s Department of English and the workshop’s director.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in creative writing—poetry, fiction, or nonfiction—to sign up. No experience necessary.”

This year’s visiting writers and workshop leaders are Allison Joseph, Jon Tribble, David Hassler, Katherine Matthews, and Lynn Bartels. They will be joined by WVU faculty Mark Brazaitis, James Harms, Renee Nicholson, and Natalie Sypolt.

The authors’ readings are free and open to the public.

The readings begin Thursday, July 17, at 8 p.m. in room 130 of Colson Hall with Mark Brazaitis, the author of “The Incurables: Stories,” winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Award and the 2013 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose, and “Julia & Rodrigo,” winner of the 2012 Gival Press Novel Award; David Hassler, an anthologist, oral historian, memoirist, and the author of two books of poems, the most recent of which, “Red Kimono, Yellow Barn,” earned him the 2006 Ohio Poet of the Year prize; and Jon Tribble, a poet and managing editor of the “Crab Orchard Review “and series editor of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry.

WVU MFA graduates Renee Nicholson, the author of the soon-to-be-released book of poems “Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center,” and Natalie Sypolt, the author of numerous published stories, will read Friday, July 18, at 1:30 p.m. in E. Moore Hall.

Allison Joseph, the author of six collections of poems, including Imitation of Life and “My Father’s Kite,” will read with James Harms, the author of 10 collections of poems, including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated “Comet Scar,” Friday, July 18, at 8 p.m. in room 130 of Colson Hall.

The readings of published authors will conclude Saturday, July 19, at 1:30 p.m. in room 130 of Colson Hall with special guest readers. Participants in the workshop will have an open mike reading on Saturday night.

Matthews and Bartels are editors at PageSpring Publishing and will conduct a workshop and headline a publishing panel.

Workshop participants will include adults from around the country as well as 12 high school students from West Virginia.

“The high-school students are talented, promising writers,” Brazaitis said. “We are delighted to be able to offer them all full scholarships to the workshop. In addition to having a terrific experience over the four days, the students get to see what a great university WVU is.”

For more information, contact Mark Brazaitis at 304-293-9707 or or go to the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop Web site at



CONTACT: Mark Brazaitis, Professor of English

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