Writers week 2015:

November 16-20

Writers' Week 2015: November 16–20

Each year, Writers’ Week brings together visiting writers of local and national interest, UNCW students, and members of the general public with an interest in literature and writing.

Check back soon for bios.

2015 Schedule (updated 10/07/15)

Read below for the list of presenters, including:

  • Terry Tempest Williams
  • James Campbell
  • Edward P. Jones
  • Tayari Jones
  • Jill McCorkle
  • Matthew Neill Null
  • Ilya Kaminsky
  • Sarah Messer
  • Jen Sahn, Orion magazine
  • Janet Silver
Book Arts:
  • Rory Sparks


2014 Schedule (updated 10/22/14)

Read below for the list of presenters, including:

Kathryn Miles

Kathryn Miles is an award-winning journalist and the author of three books: Adventures with Ari, All Standing, and Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy, which was just named a "must read" by Newsday. Her articles and essays have appeared in dozens of publications, including The Best American Essays 2009, History, Outside, Popular Mechanics, and UNCW's own Ecotone. She currently serves as writer-in-residence for Green Mountain College and as a faculty member for Chatham University's low-residency MFA program. She lives with her family in Portland, Maine.

Patrick Phillips

Patrick Phillips’ third book, Elegy for a Broken Machine, is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf in 2015. A recent Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellow in poetry, he is the author of two earlier collections, Boy and Chattahoochee, and translator of When We Leave Each Other: Selected Poems of Henrik Nordbrandt. His work has appeared in many venues, including Poetry, Ploughshares, the Nation, and The Pushcart Prize. His honors include the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Drew University.

Visiting Writers, Agents, and Editors

Chantel Acevedo has received many awards for her fiction, including the Latino International Book Award and an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship. She is the editor of the Southern Humanities Review, and the author of several novels, includingLove and Ghost Letters, A Falling Star, and The Distant Marvels, forthcoming from Europa Editions.


Belle Boggs  is the author of Mattaponi Queen, winner of the Bakeless Prize and finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her collection of essays, The Art of Waiting, and a novel, The Ugly Bear List, are both forthcoming from Graywolf Press.

Brock Clarke

Brock Clarke is the author of five books of fiction, the most recent of which are the novels Exley and An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England. His books have been awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize for Fiction, the Prairie Schooner Book Series Prize, a National Endowment for Arts Fellowship, and an Ohio Council for the Arts Fellowship. Clarke’s individual stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, the Virginia Quarterly Review, One Story, the Believer, the Georgia Review, New England Review, and the Southern Review, as well as in The Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South anthologies, and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. Clarke’s sixth book, the novel The Happiest People in the World, will be published in November 2014. He lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches creative writing at Bowdoin College and in the University of Tampa’s low-residency MFA program.

Sarah Creech

Sarah Creech, born and raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, grew up in a house full of women who told stories about black cloud visions and other premonitions. Her work has appeared in storySouth, Literary Mama, Aroostook Review, Glass, and as a finalist for Glimmer Train. She received an MFA from McNeese State University in 2008 and now teaches English and creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte. She currently lives in North Carolina with her two children and her husband, a poet. Season of the Dragonflies is her first novel.


Douglas Cutting is the broker in charge and vice president of real estate services of Garden & Gun LAND. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College, a master’s in creative writing from UNCW, a United States Coast Guard captain’s license, and real estate broker licenses in North Carolina and South Carolina. His work matches conservation-minded buyers with rural properties. Douglas spends his free time exploring duck, turkey, and fish habitats and writing stories about those exploits in magazines like Sporting Classics. He lives on Daniel Island near Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife, Jeni, and three-year-old son, Hunter.

Amrita Das

Amrita Das specializes in US Latino literature and culture and works with the construction of collective identities through literature. Her current research examines transnational Latino authors writing of Latin American issues. She also has an interest in contemporary post-modern Latin American and Caribbean literature, especially in issues of race, gender, and class. Amrita grew up and studied in India, and tries to bring her unique perspective to studying different cultures. She is the founder and organizer of Latino Book Club which promotes US Latino culture through its literature and supports bilingual literacy among children in the community through outreach programs. She is also the founder of the student theater group Puro Teatro and currently the faculty advisor to the group.

Alison Hawthorne Deming

Alison Hawthorne Deming’s most recent book is Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit. She is the author of four nonfiction books and four poetry books, the most recent of which is Rope. Her first book, Science and Other Poems, won the Academy of American Poets' Walt Whitman Award. She is the Agnese Nelms Haury endowed chair in environment and social justice at the University of Arizona and teaches in the creative writing program. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and Grand Manan, New Brunswick.

Rochelle Hurt

Rochelle Hurt is the author of The Rusted City, published in the Marie Alexander Poetry Series at White Pine Press (2014). Her work has been included in Best New Poets 2013, and she has been awarded literary prizes from Crab Orchard Review, Arts & Letters, Hunger Mountain, and Poetry International. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published in journals like Mid-American Review, The Southeast Review, The Kenyon Review Online, Versal and Image. She holds an MFA from UNCW, and is currently a PhD student in the Creative Writing program at the University of Cincinnati. http://rochellehurt.com


Randall Kenan's first novel, A Visitation of Spirits, was published by Grove Press in 1989. Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, a collection of stories, was published in 1992 to wide critical acclaim. He is also the author of Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, and The Fire This Time. He recently edited and wrote the introduction to The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin.

Anna Lena Phillips

Anna Lena Phillips is editor of Ecotone. She formerly served as senior editor and book review editor at American Scientist magazine, and was a founding editor of the online journal, Fringe. A Pocket Book of Forms, her letterpress-printed, travel-sized guide to poetic forms, is forthcoming this fall. Her projects and pursuits are documented at todointhenewyear.net.

Emily Smith

Emily Louise Smith is director of the Publishing Laboratory and founder and publisher of Lookout Books and its sister magazine, Ecotone. She teaches Books & Publishing, Bookbuilding, and Publishing Practicum, among other courses. With a background in advertising and development, Emily began her publishing career as an assistant to former CEO of HarperCollins Canada and Pub Lab founder, Stanley Colbert. After earning her MFA in poetry, she went on to work as an editor, designer, and publicist for Hub City Press, and in 2007, returned to UNCW to direct the department’s publishing certificate program and teaching press.


Mark Spitzer is the Editor in Chief of the award-winning Toad Suck Review, which is published out of the University of Central Arkansas, where he is an associate professor of creative writing. Spitzer is a multi-genre writer and the author of 20 books, including Season of the Gar (U of AR Press), Chum (Zoland Books), and Bottom Feeder (Creative Arts). Upcoming books include Return of the Gar (U of North Texas Press), Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West (U of Nebraska Press), and the eco-novel Garapaima (Moonwillow Press). Look for Spitzer on reruns of the Animal Planet series River Monsters. For more info, go to sptzr.net

Beth Staples

Beth Staples is the assistant director of the Publishing Laboratory at UNCW, and Associate Editor for Ecotone and Lookout Books. She joined the UNCW faculty from The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University where she managed the literary journal Hayden’s Ferry Review and the Center’s other publications from 2007 to 2012. She has taught classes and given lectures on editing, publishing, and fiction writing at various universities and conferences, and received her MFA in fiction writing from Arizona State.


Heidi Lynn Staples is the author of four volumes, including Noise Event (Ahsahta, 2013). Her debut collection, Guess Can Gallop, won the New Issues Poetry Prize, and her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, McSweeney’s Sestinas, and Ploughshares. She is assistant professor of English at Piedmont College in Athens, Georgia.

Patrick Thomas

Patrick Thomas serves as the managing director for Milkweed Editions in Minneapolis. He acquires and edits books for the nonfiction list, manages marketing and promotion, while also managing a range of organizational operations, including tasks in finance, inventory, and distribution. He studied English and environmental studies at St. Olaf College.


Jay Varner received his MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  His first book, Nothing Left to Burn, was published by Algonquin Books in 2010. His essays have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Oxford American, Lake Effect, and other places. He teaches writing at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia

See our archive of Writers' Week presenters.

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