The West Virginia Writers’ Workshop will be celebrating its 17th anniversary when it hosts writers from around the country on West Virginia University’s downtown campus July 18-21.

The workshop is designed to give writers at any stage of their careers, from beginner to published, the opportunity to improve their craft. Participants work with nationally and internationally acclaimed authors in classes of no more than 12 students. In addition, the workshop features readings, craft talks and writing exercises aimed at helping participants hone their skills.

This year’s visiting writers and workshop leaders are Elizabeth Graver, Sandra Meek, and Peter Makuck. WVU faculty members Mark Brazaitis, James Harms, Renee Nicholson and Natalie Sypolt will join them.

The authors’ readings are free and open to the public.

The readings begin Thursday, July 18, at 8 p.m. in room 130 of Colson Hall with Mark Brazaitis, the author of “The Incurables: Stories,” winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Award, and Sandra Meek, a recent recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship and the author of the poetry collection “Road Scatter.”

WVU Master of Fine Arts graduates Renee Nicholson and Natalie Sypolt, the authors of numerous published stories, poems, and essays, will read Friday, July 19, at 1:30 p.m. in E. Moore Hall.

Elizabeth Graver, the author of the recent novel “The End of the Point” as well as three previous novels and a book of stories, will read with James Harms, the author of 10 collections of poems, including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated
“Comet Scar,” Friday, July 19, at 8 p.m. in room 130 of Colson Hall.

The readings will conclude Saturday, July 20, at 1:30 p.m. in room 130 of Colson Hall with Peter Makuck, a poet and fiction writer whose most recent book is “Allegiance and Betrayal.”

“These are all terrific writers who will give dynamic and entertaining readings,” said Brazaitis, professor of English who directs the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop. “Anyone interested in great writing should attend.”

Forty-five writers from around the country, including 12 high school students from West Virginia, will be participating in the workshop.

“The high school students are very talented writers,” Brazaitis said. “We are fortunate to be able to offer them all full scholarships to the workshop. In addition to having a terrific experience over the four days, the high school students also get to see what a great school WVU is.”

For more information, contact Mark Brazaitis at 304-293-9707 or or go to the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop Web site at



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