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'Saint Monkey,' author headlines West Virginia Writers’ Workshop; Spots still available

The West Virginia Writers’ Workshop will host nationally-known authors as it celebrates its 20th anniversary on the West Virginia University downtown campus July 21-24.

Visiting writers include Jacinda Townsend, award-winning author of “Saint Monkey,” a novel that follows the lives of two girls growing up in Eastern Kentucky’s African-American community after the Korean War. “Saint Monkey,” is the winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize as well as the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction.

The workshop is designed to give writers at any stage of their careers the opportunity to improve their craft. Participants will work with nationally and internationally acclaimed authors, editors and publishers in classes of no more than 12 students. The workshop will also feature readings, craft talks, writing exercises and a publishing panel.

Spots in the workshop are available until June 13. Those interested in participating can register on the Department of English website.

“This is great chance for writers at any stage of their careers to work on their craft with outstanding professional writers and peers from across the country,” Mark Brazaitis, professor of English and the workshop’s director, said. “Anyone with an interest in creative writing -- poetry, fiction, or nonfiction -- should sign up. No experience necessary.”

In addition to Townsend, this year’s visiting writers and workshop leaders are Shara McCallum, David Hassler, Howard Owen and Alonzo Lamont. They will be joined by WVU English professors Mark Brazaitis, James Harms, Renee Nicholson and Natalie Sypolt. 

For more information, contact Mark Brazaitis at 304-293-9707 or Mark.Brazaitis@mail.wvu.edu, or go to the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop webpage.