Arts at UNCW

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Writers' Week 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
“Writers’ Week began almost 20 years ago as an initiative to bring new creative resources to both students and the larger community… we consider it as a part of the curriculum, but also as community outreach. The goal is to bring in both celebrated and new writers, who are diverse and exciting, contributing to the cultural activity of the university and of the Wilmington area.”

Mark Cox- UNCW Professor, Writers' Week Event Coordinator

My first Writers’ Week came and went in what felt like the blink of an eye! I couldn't help but get caught-up in the rising excitement as it drew nearer, listening to the praise of those who had already experienced it. Still, the inspiration and the sense of community caught me by surprise.

The week began with writing exercises led by MFA students Hannah Horn, EJ Schwartz, and Steph Beckner. This was followed by a Literary Citizenship panel comprised of UNCW professors Melissa Crowe, Sayantani Dasgupta, Clyde Edgerton, David Gessner, and Melody Moezzi. The discussion centered around ethical choices and intentional participation in the literary community.  

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Inara Verzemnieks

Throughout the week, diverse authors of fiction, nonfiction and poetry were shuttled to UNCW to give craft talks, readings and Q&A sessions. These writers lectured, shared inspiration, and guided writing exercises, sharing as much insight as their allotted time allowed. Guest writers included Ayana Mathis, George David Clark, Katie Farris, Cameron Dezen Hammon, Tomás Morín, Etaf Rum, and Inara Verzemnieks.

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Tomás Morín & Etaf Rum

Beth Staples, Anna Stein, Morgan Davis, Emily Smith and Laurie Corral spoke with Wilmington’s writing community about the more technical aspects of writing such as interfacing with book agents, creating relationships with publishers, and the process of editing work.

On Thursday there was a reading by UNCW’s creative writing BFA students. The week then closed with an alumni reading and panel in which current MFA student Lindsay Lake moderated a discussion with former MFA students Adam Gnuse, Katie O’Reilly, Leah Poole Osowski, and Eric Tran as they shared their work and answered questions about life after the MFA.

Community Reviews

“What I most appreciate about Writer’s Week is the caliber of writers that our school gets to come in. Hearing such great writers as Ayana Mathis, Etaf Rum, Katie Farris, and George David Clark speak, and getting a peek into their minds and processes is infinitely helpful and always exciting.”  —  Vasilios Muschuris, UNCW BFA junior, Fiction

“Writers week 2019 was a fantastic platform for writers to challenge our ways of writing… I enjoyed the presenters’ level of craftsmanship, credentials and the creative ways in which they engaged the audience in writing activities and Q&A sessions. It was very well organized. I enjoyed feeling invited as a part of the community.”  — Christine Moughamian, Writer, NC Writers’ Network Regional Representative, Organizer of Wilmington Write to Publish Group

  “It’s always a joy to see writers that you don’t get to see every day- writers that are serious about their craft and successfully living as writers. It’s inspiring and magical to hear them read their work aloud and talk about their writing process.” — Dani Overby, First Year Fiction MFA Student

“It’s exciting to return to a community I love and that supported me for three years during my MFA, and to continue to learn from the panels this week. It was definitely an honor to be invited to speak!" — Adam Gnuse, Writer, UNCW MFA Fiction Alumni, guest speaker

“The craft talk by Inara Verzemnieks resonated [with me]. I loved the intersection between the personal and research. [The chance to] immerse ourselves in writers, panels and craft talks is not something that all programs offer.”  — Sayantani Dasgupta, Author, UNCW Assistant Professor, Literary Citizenship Panelist


Personally, I was left feeling slightly winded yet inspired by the wide breadth of offerings. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a rich community and am already looking forward to Writers’ Week 2020.

— Cara Marsicano