Fall Literary Festival 2019

3rd Annual
Fall Literary Festival
Youngstown, Ohio
October 4-5, 2019

Early bird registration is just $40 for both days. Register at this low rate through July 31!

Register Today »






This year’s festival will feature accomplished visiting writers, a book fair, a caucus for literary arts nonprofits, panels on many aspects of the literary arts, craft talks, workshops and readings in fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Book Fair

Kenyon Review
Northeast Ohio of Fine Arts
The Poet’s Haven
Sheila-Na-Gig online/Sheila-Na-Gig Editions
Stranded Oak Press

Visiting Writers


Nin Andrews’s poems have been published in Ploughshares, Agni, The Paris Review, and four editions of Best American Poetry.  The author of seven chapbooks and seven full-length poetry collections, she has won two Ohio individual artist grants, the Pearl Chapbook Contest, the Kent State University chapbook contest, the Gerald Cable Poetry Award, and the Ohioana 2016 Award for poetry. She is also the editor of a book of translations of the Belgian poet, Henri Michaux, called Someone Wants to Steal My Name.  Her next book, The Last Orgasm, will be published by Etruscan Press in 2020.


Chris BarzakChristopher Barzak is author of the Crawford Fantasy Award novel, One for Sorrow, made into Jamie Marks is Dead, a Sundance feature film. The Love We Share Without Knowing was a finalist for the Nebula Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Wonders of the Invisible World, (Knopf, 2015) received the Stonewall Honor Award from the American Library Association. He is author of two collections: Birds and Birthdays, surrealist fantasy stories, and Before and Afterlives, supernatural fantasies, which won Best Collection in the 2013 Shirley Jackson Awards. He teaches fiction writing in the NEOMFA program at YSU.

erica_cardwellErica N. Cardwell is a culture critic, and radical educator based in New York.  She received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College and is a 2015 LAMBDA Fellow. Born on a full moon in Dayton, Ohio, Erica was raised in Amish Country, Pennsylvania. She has been a proud New Yorker for 19 years. Erica teaches English and Literature at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY) and a Social Justice capstone in the Gural Scholars Program at The New School. She has taught composition, literature, and creative writing at various colleges universities including Barnard College and UC Berkeley. Prior to this, she worked in youth development and arts administration at the Hetrick-Martin Institute for six years. Her writing has appeared in The Believer, Hyperallergic, Rewire, The Feminist Wire, Bitch Media, The London Progressive Journal, Contact Sheet 187: Light Work Annual, Green Mountains Review, Triangle House Review and elsewhere. In 2017, Erica received a scholarship from Vermont Studio Center as a writer in residence. Erica writes about Black women and Black artists.


Jill Christman is the author of two memoirs, Darkroom: A Family Exposure (winner of the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction) and Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood, as well as essays in magazines such as Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, True Story, and O, The Oprah Magazine. She teaches creative nonfiction writing at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she also serves as a Senior Editor for River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative.



CroleyHeadshot.sp19Michael Croley Michael Croley was born in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. He is the author of Any Other Place, a collection of stories.The recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature in 2016, his work has appeared in a number of publications, including Narrative, The Paris Review Daily, LitHub, and Kenyon Review Online. He teaches creative writing at Denison University.

george ella lyonGeorge Ella Lyon (pictured here with her fourth grade teacher), Kentucky Poet Laureate (2015-2016), has published in many genres, including poetry, picture books, novels, short stories, and a memoir. Her poem “Where I’m From” has gone around the world as a writing model. Recent collections include She Let Herself Go (LSU, 2012) and Many-Storied House (University Press of Kentucky, 2013). Lyon makes her living as a freelance writer and teacher. She and her husband, musician and writer Steve Lyon, have two grown sons.


Philip Memmer is the author of five books of poems, most recently Pantheon (Lost Horse Press 2019). His previous collections include The Storehouses of the Snow (Lost Horse Press 2012) and Lucifer: A Hagiography (Lost Horse Press 2009), winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry. His work has appeared in such journals as Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Poetry London, in many anthologies, and in the Library of Congress’s “Poetry 180” project. He is Executive Director of the Arts Branch of the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, where he founded the Downtown Writers Center in 2001. He is also Executive Editor of Stone Canoe, and Associate Editor for Tiger Bark Press.



Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (forthcoming 2020), The Sound of Listening (essays, 2018), Sand Opera (poems, 2015), Pictures at an Exhibition (poems, 2016), I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (translations 2015), and others. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, six Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Hunt Prize, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Watson Fellowship, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University.

Please join us in thanking our Fall Literary Festival sponsors: the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Nancy Beeghly, Barbara Brothers, the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Youngstown State University College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Youngstown State University English Department

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The second Lou Yuhasz Memorial Scholarship is open for submissions.

15541501_10154954949284391_8637914403878757999_nEach year, we will award one $100 scholarship, and invite the recipient to read their work at the Fall Literary Festival, Oct. 4-5. The winner and runner-up will receive free registration to the Festival.  The 2018 scholarship recipient was D.T. McCrea, selected by Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Professor Robert Miltner and alumna Amy Sparks. This year’s judges are to be determined.

If you will be a NEOMFA student in fall of 2019 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 June 15.

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.

Lou’s daughter Jamie offered us this tribute.

Lou Yuhasz was a writer, a husband, a father, a friend, and above all, a teacher. He graduated from Youngstown State University in 1999, with a BS in Secondary Education, concentrating on comprehensive communication. In his senior year, he was the assistant news editor at the Jambar covering the Academic Senate as YSU made the transition from quarters to semesters. He taught as a substitute for a year for Youngstown City Schools, before taking a job at a large health insurance company.

After ten years, and at the age of 48, Lou’s passion for creative writing and teaching led him to quit his job and join the NEOMFA program. Shortly after beginning school, he was diagnosed with stage II cancer of the esophagus. That didn’t stop him though, and he excelled in his classes.

His passion for his school and the program was contagious, and so was the happiness the NEOMFA brought him.  I’ve read a lot of my father’s work throughout my life, but something very special happened when he joined the NEOMFA program.

He was a husband of 26 years, and raised two daughters. His support for his family was unparalleled. His office looked like something out of a Lovecraft novel, with tentacles and gargoyles scattered between the bookshelves housing various scifi and horror novels. He loved to write and tell stories, as well as teaching others the ability to create what they loved.  He would be proud and honored to have this scholarship enable people to follow their passion.

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Visiting Faculty Past Festivals:

2018: Lesley Nneka Arimah, Jeanne Dutton, Jon Kerstetter, Jacqueline Lipton, Dave Lucas, Craig Paulenich, Judith Vollmer

2017: Nin Andrews, Christopher Barzak, Kelly Bancroft, Suzana H. Case, Denise Duhamel, Robert Olmstead, Margo Taft Stever

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