4th Annual Fall Literary Festival
September 24-26, 2020, EST
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
Our hardworking planning committee began planning this conference in February. It seemed so far away, and then screeeee!–what a tailspin–but here we are, meeting on Zoom, and it’s really coming together. Just a few more weeks to register.
This year’s theme is In Many Tongues: Constituents of the Barbaric Yawp.
This year’s conference will be centered around writing and publishing, literary inclusion, translating and translation, dialect and dialog, atypical modes of speech, and the generational, political, ecological, and experimental elements that add to the wider literary conversation.
The conference will include creative readings, craft talks, workshops and panel discussions on writing, reading, teaching, performing, editing and publishing creative works. Highly acclaimed visiting faculty will share their experience and insights, and over 50 presenters from Ohio and beyond will speak on a variety of topics.
Lit Youngstown’s summer intern Danny Gage asked children’s author Janet Wong a few questions about her work and writing life. Janet will be a featured writer at the online 2020 Fall Literary Festival September 24-26.
DG: Do you think that being a lawyer, specifically at Universal Studios, is why you have an eagerness to write for children, as well as even teach them poetry? Did the setting you worked in as a lawyer make the career shift easier?
I think that my experience as a lawyer has transferred over to my writing career in three main ways.
First, it makes me kinder and more compassionate. I became ashamed of the way that doing my job was turning me into a mean person. Not every lawyer does mean things, but I did. In my job as Director of Labor Relations at Universal Studios Hollywood, I needed to fire a lot of people—and the sad part was that it started not to bother me.
Lit Youngstown’s summer intern Danny Gage asked novelist Quincy Flowers a few questions about his work and writing life. Quincy will be a featured writer at the online 2020 Fall Literary Festival September 24-26.
DG: Do your different experiences at the University of Houston and NYU influence your perspectives while writing?
This is an interesting way to put this question. I almost missed this part about different experiences and moved forward by describing how my experiences at UH and NYU, together, influence my writing to this day, which they positively do. But yes, they influence my writing in very different ways.
NYU’s Graduate Creative Writing Program was housed within the English Department when I arrived and was part of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which has specific requirements for graduation and full-time student consideration. All students in the program received special removal of one course requirement every semester so that we were taking two courses instead of the mandatory three. The argument was that we needed to have time to write. Part of what we were being offered was space to create.
Please join us in congratulating many of our 2015-2019 First Wednesday and Fall Fest writers whose new books are coming out without the usual book launches and other gatherings to mark this important event. If you would like to support these authors by purchasing a book, please follow the links below.
In this sassy, gorgeous book, Susana H. Case takes us on one helluva ride with a dead shark as fellow passenger, brought in from the beach and left on the floor of the N Train, its jaw decorated with a Metro Card, a cigarette and a can of Red Bull. The shark is just one of the stars of Case’s seventh volume of poems. Consider, as well, “Radiance,” a scorcher of a poem about a breast: “Lie with me, lie to me,/ until your tongue burns.” If you haven’t met up with Case’s work, it’s time you did.—David Tucker, author of Late for Work
High praise to Cherise Benton for designing this wonderful poster of the featured writers who have read for Lit Youngstown in our first five years. We are blown away by the talented writers who live among us or agreed to trek in to share their fine work. Continue reading →
The 4th annual Fall Literary Festival Sept. 24-26… all online. What will we miss? Hugs. Spontaneous conversations. Jazz. Cake. But we’ll do our best to create a welcoming, interesting and enjoyable conference. This year’s visiting writers and presenters are outstanding, with a range of topics, genres and styles.
Take a look at the conference lineup here. We’ve included audio clips of some of our presenters.
Who will enjoy the conference? Readers and writers of any experience level who are comfortable with adult themes. We have a special price for graduate students and part-time faculty, and this year we’re making it easy for faculty to bring their whole college or high school class.
Lit Youngstown’s summer intern Danny Gage asked poet Cynthia Atkins a few questions about her work and writing life. Cynthia will be a featured writer at the online 2020 Fall Literary Festival September 24-26.
DG: In what ways has your home, Southern Appalachia influenced your writing and your views on existence?
CA: I’m a native Chicagoan, by way of New York City, Brooklyn, and I wound up living in Rockbridge County, VA by way of love. I met my partner and hubby, Phillip at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. We fell head over heels, and so I moved to these parts 25 years ago. I guess this is my forever home now. I raised my son here and I feel I now have roots in these parts. But at first, I felt like a Yankee, very much a fish out of water—A proud feminist and a Jew, living in a college mountain town where Confederate flags still hang and so much Civil War history. Bathroom wallpaper had Civil War generals. As a Midwesterner, this was all foreign to me. So while this has been a peaceful and very loving community, I have often felt ‘an outsider’—Perfect strangers thought they had every right to ask me ‘what church I belonged to’—when I’d respond, “I’m a Jew”—a few mouths dropped open. As a writer, I’ve found I’ve never felt comfortable belonging to any one group or grouping. I felt like an outsider, which is probably why I am a writer. Continue reading →
We are excited to be hosting children’s and teen’s author Janet Wong at the Fall Literary Festival in September! To see why we’re so stoked, spend a moment listening to this interview with Janet and local, highly acclaimed children’s author Anthony Manna.
The third annual Lou Yuhasz Memorial Scholarship is open for submissions until March 31, 2020.
Each year, we award one $100 scholarship, and invite the recipient to read their work at the Fall Literary Festival, September 24-26. The winner and runner-up will receive free registration to the Festival.
If you will be a NEOMFA student in fall of 2020 and would like to compete for the prize, please send a cover letter and 10-page writing portfolio (name on cover letter only) to LitYoungstown@gmail.com. The deadline is March 31.
Lou was an enthusiastic writer and Lit Youngstown volunteer and participant, and we miss him. To honor his spirit, we created this scholarship, and are grateful for contributions to the scholarship fund, which will allow us to offer this award well into the future.
2019 scholarship recipient: Steven Caumo, selected by NEOMFA Professor Craig Paulenich and alumnus James Winter
2018 scholarship recipient: D.T. McCrea, selected by NEOMFA Professor Robert Miltner and alumna Amy Sparks.