Annual Writers’ Week Celebrates the Written Word Oct. 31-Nov.4

Monday, October 31, 2016

The UNCW Department of Creative Writing will once again welcome a slate of distinguished authors, editors, alumni and guests for its annual Writers’ Week, Oct. 31-Nov 4.

Students, faculty, staff and community members with an interest in literature, writing and the publishing process are invited to join in the workshops, panel discussions and readings, free of charge. Sessions will cover a range of genres, including fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and aspects of the craft of writing and publishing.

In addition to the many notable author readings, there are two career panels for aspiring writers and an environmental writing panel, which will include the screening of the documentary “Wrenched” about eco-activist Edward Abbey.

“This is our most diverse Writers' Week ever,” said May-lee Chai, assistant professor of creative writing and the 2016 Writers’ Week coordinator. “We have award-winning prose authors who are globally recognized, as well as renowned Southern writers and environmental poets. We are also happy to welcome a spectacular publishing panel, representing the best from the New York City publishing world."

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mei Fong and Lamba Award-winning novelist Chinelo Okparanta will jointly deliver the Buckner Keynote Reading at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 in CIS Room 1008.

Fong is the author of One Child: The Past and Future of China's Most Radical Experiment (Houghton Mifflin), which exposes the history and aftermath of China’s “one-child policy” and its impact on the global economy. As a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, she covered Hong Kong and China, winning a shared Pulitzer for her stories on China’s transformative process ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Fong's stories on China’s migrant workers also won a 2006 Human Rights Press Award from Amnesty International and the Hong Kong Correspondents Club. She is currently a Fellow at the New American Foundation.

Okparanta is the winner of an O. Henry Prize and two-time winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Her novel, Under the Udala Trees (Houghton Mifflin), was a 2016 NAACP Image Award nominee and Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award in Fiction nominee. Her debut short story collection, Happiness, Like Water (Houghton Mifflin), was named on the list of The Guardian’s Best African Fiction of 2013. Okparanta was born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria before immigrating to the U.S. with her family at the age of 10. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and currently teaches at Bucknell University.

Other noted presenters include Clare Beams, the new debut author from UNCW's Lookout Books. O, the Oprah Magazine, has named her story collection, We Show What We Have Learned, as one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.” She has published in One Story, Ecotone, The Common and Kenyon Review. In addition, she has received special mention in The Best American Short Stories 2013 and The Pushcart Prize XXXV.

Additional information about Writers’ Week, visiting authors, agents, editors, publishing professionals, career panelists and a detailed schedule of events are available online.

--Caroline Cropp