UMKC hosts two summer creative writing conferences

KANSAS CITY, MO. – 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 6 and Friday, June 24 at 104 Cockefair Hall, 5121 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, Mo. It will offer instruction in fiction, creative nonfiction, stage and screen writing and poetry from New Letters editor Robert Stewart and novelist Michael Pritchett, both faculty members in the UMKC College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of English and widely-published writers. Noncredit or credit community participants are welcome.

Visiting speakers at this year’s Mark Twain Writer’s Workshop include nationally-prominent writers, such as children’s fiction writer Diane Bailey, 2011 Poets’ Prize winner Tony Barnstone, screenwriter Mitch Brian, broadcasting personality Angela Elam, novelist Mary Troy and Kansas City Star critic Robert Trussell. The Mark Twain Writer’s Workshop also will feature a symposium, “Getting Published,” with guest speakers and publishers.

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

For more information about the Mark Twain Writers Workshop and credit options, contact the Department of English at (816) 235-1307 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 New Letters Weekend Writing Conference will run from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26 at Diastole – UMKC’s midtown conference center and retreat at 2501 Holmes St.

Albert Goldbarth, a two-time National Book Critics Circle Award winner, essayist, poet and novelist, will present the keynote address at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 24. The conference also 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.

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

The faculty will include such prominent writers and editors as playwright Frank Higgins; poets Trish Reeves and Stanley E. Banks; fiction writers Catherine Browder and Matthew Eck; article and nonfiction/article writers Loring Leifer and Joe Miller; screenwriter Mitch Brian; and Kansas City Star arts writer Steve Paul.

For more information about the New Letters Weekend Conference and credit options, contact the College of Arts and Sciences’ Continuing Education Division at (816) 235-2736. For information on course content, contact the New Letters magazine office at (816) 235-1168.

New Letters is published by the University of Missouri-Kansas City and distributed worldwide. Subscriptions are available for $22 per year (four issues), with discounts for longer subscriptions. To order, call (816) 235-1168, email visit

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 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. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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