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West Virginia Writers' Workshop expands focus to health and healing

In the midst of ongoing 21st century health care challenges, authors are supporting patient care and overcoming discrepancies in doctor-patient communication through narrative medicine.

Area authors can learn about narrative medicine at the 21st annual West Virginia Writers Workshop July 20-23 at West Virginia University .

In addition to its traditional focus on fiction, nonfiction and poetry, the 2017 workshop will feature talks, readings and classes on health and healing. 

Mark Brazaitis

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

Visiting writers and lecturers will include West Virginia poet and children’s book author Marc Harshman, who will kick off the event with a talk entitled “The Poetry of Healing,” as well as narrative medicine faculty from Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.

Other faculty members include novelist Courtney Angela Brkic, a professor at George Mason University; poet Geffrey Davis, a professor at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and the author of “Revising the Storm,” winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; and David Hassler, a poet and nonfiction writer who directs Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center.  

The workshop is designed to give writers at any stage of their careers the opportunity to improve their craft in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Participants work with nationally and internationally acclaimed authors, editors and publishers in classes of no more than 14 students. In addition, the workshop features readings, craft talks, writing exercises and a publishing panel.

Registration is open now at