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West Virginia Writers' Workshop to feature West Virginia poet laureate and winner of prestigious fiction award

West Virginia’s poet laureate and the winner of the prestigious Drue Heinz Literature Prize will be instructors at this summer’s West Virginia Writers’ Workshop. The workshop, in its 22nd year, will be held on West Virginia University’s downtown campus from July 19 to July 22.

West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman, the author of “Believe What You Can” and more than a dozen other books, and Leslie Pietrzyk, whose short-story collection “This Angel on My Chest” won the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, will give craft talks and readings and facilitate discussions of participants’ work.

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

Mark Brazaitis
Mark Brazaitis

Registration for the workshop is now open now. Participants can sign up at

“This is a great opportunity for writers in our community – and from all over the country – to work with outstanding professional writers,” said Mark Brazaitis, a professor in WVU’s Department of English and the workshop’s director. “Anyone with an interest in creative writing—poetry, fiction and nonfiction—is encouraged to sign up. No experience necessary. Beginners are welcome.”

Brazaitis will also be a workshop leader. He is the author of seven books, including “The Incurables: Stories,” winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize, and “The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala” winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award. Other faculty members include Natalie Sypolt, whose debut collection of short stories, “The Sound of Holding Your Breath,” will be published in November 2018 by WVU Press, and WVU Master of Fine Arts in creative writing student Jordan Carter.

For more information, contact Mark Brazaitis at 304-276-8846 or or visit the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop website at

Tagged with English