UMKC hosts two summer creative writing conferences

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) continues its service to community writers and readers with two annual writers workshops, tailored to fit a wide range of schedules and interests. Writers of all levels can attend each course for college credit or for noncredit.

The Mark Twain Writers Workshop will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each weekday between Monday, June 7 and Saturday, June 26 at 104 Cockefair Hall, 5121 Rockhill Rd. It will offer instruction in fiction, creative nonfiction, stage and screen writing and poetry from Robert Stewart and Michael Pritchett, both UMKC faculty members and widely-published writers. Noncredit or credit community participants are welcome.

Visiting speakers at this year’s Mark Twain Writers Workshop include nationally-prominent writers, such as novelist and story writer Lorraine Lopez, finalist for a 2010 PEN Faulkner award; poet Jo McDougall; fiction writer Thomas Fox Averill; publisher and poet Gloria Vando; radio host Angela Elam; and stage and screen writers Frank Higgins and Mitch Brian. Guest speakers and publishers will speak at this year’s featured workshop symposium, “Getting Published”.

“Each year at the Mark Twain Writers Workshop we have a lively mix of relative beginners and successful professionals among the student body,” said Robert Stewart, conference co-director. “That mix makes this gathering truly exciting.”

The New Letters Weekend Writers Conference will run from Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27 at Diastole – UMKC’s midtown conference center and retreat at 2501 Holmes St.

The conference will feature instruction on writing plays, TV and movie scripts, poetry, fiction and journalism. Students can receive workshop analyses and private manuscript consultations. In addition, they can join a large cast of professional editors, radio producers, novelists and essayists for chat sessions, lectures, career tips, readings, parties and a high-energy weekend.

Clancy Martin – a nationally award-winning writer and associate professor of philosophy in the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences – will present the keynote address at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 25.

“It’s uplifting,” Stewart said. “We immerse ourselves in the love of narrative, language and craft.”

The faculty will include prominent writers and editors, such as playwright Frank Higgins; poets Trish Reeves and Stanley E. Banks; fiction writers Catherine Browder and Matthew Eck; article and nonfiction writers Loring Leifer and Joe Miller; screen writer Mitch Brian; and special guests Linda Rodriguez and Katherine Karlin.

For more information about the New Letters Weekend Writers Conference or any noncredit option, contact the College of Arts and Sciences’ Continuing Education Division at (816) 235-2736. For more information about the Mark Twain Writers Workshop or credit registration, contact the Department of English at (816) 235-1307/1305 or the Office of Registration and Records at (816) 235-1125. For information on course content, contact the New Letters magazine office at (816) 235-1168/2610.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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