Acclaimed writers from across nation lead local creative writing workshops Oct. 22-23

Oct 18, 2021 at 09:15 am by KoryWells

MTSU Write's annual Creative Writing Conference on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23

Creative writers of all genres from Middle Tennessee and beyond are invited to attend MTSU Write's annual Creative Writing Conference on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23. Events on Friday, Oct. 22, will be virtual, and on Saturday, Oct. 23, will be in-person on the campus of MTSU. Writers of all levels are encouraged to attend.

This year's conference theme is "Write to Heal'' and will feature workshops and presentations exploring what it means to heal—ourselves, our relationship to the environment and others, as well as our own writing practices—especially in light of the isolation and loss of the pandemic. MTSU Write director Amie Whittemore has recruited an all-star lineup of nationally recognized writers, many from the Nashville area.

The conference keynote, on Saturday, will be delivered by Tiana Clark, a former Nashville resident and MTSU Write alum who's nationally known for her writing in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Virginia Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, and many other publications. A 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, Clark is author of the poetry collection I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018) and Equilibrium (Bull City Press, 2016, both award-winning poetry collections. A graduate of TSU (BA) and Vanderbilt (MFA), Clark is currently the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College.

Virtual programming on Friday will include:

A public reading by MTSU Write alumni Angela Joynes and Julie Starr and mentors Jeff Hardin and Kory Wells, a former poet laureate of Murfreesboro, followed by a choice of sessions:

  • Saying Yes: the Healing Art of Collaboration with Carol Guess and Rochelle Hurt
  • Writing Into the Gap: Using Imagination to Move In & Out of (Gaps in) Memory with Jung Hae Chae
  • Writing into Darkness: Building Worlds with Shards, Fragments, and Fractures with Brendan Basham

In-person programming on Saturday will include:

A choice of morning sessions:

  • Festina Lente: Writing Brief Evocative Prose with Fred Arroyo
  • Writing the More-than-Human: Mindfulness and Creative Healing in Nature with Melissa Jean
  • When Life Becomes “Otherwise”: Writing through Grief with Donovan McAbee

A choice of afternoon sessions:

  • A Wound the Length of a Kiss with Joshua Moore
  • Moments Matter: How to Use Lessons from the Pandemic to Pace Our Stories with Katie A. Nelson
  • Decolonizing Grief Through Theopoetics: Healing Our Spiritual Selves with Meg Wade

Saturday's event includes lunch, Clark's keynote, and an optional Murfreesboro Mural and Art Walk and evening reception. 

Registration and more details

Attendees may register for either or both days of the conference. Registration is free for current MTSU Write students and MTSU students.

For more information and to register, see

About MTSU Write

MTSU Write is a from-home mentorship program offered by the MTSU English Department. Through a one-on-one mentorship model, it helps both new and experienced writers across the nation reach their goals in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and playwriting. Learn more at



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