Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Top Writers to Come to Manhattanville for Annual Summer Event

Summer Writers' Week 2014Manhattanville College’s MFA in Creative Writing program will host the 31st annual Summer Writers’ Week on campus June 23 through June 27.

The event will offer workshops in different genres including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and children’s/young adult. The event is aimed towards aspiring writers at all stages of development as well as creative writing students from Manhattanville.

This year’s lineup of authors includes Ed Park, who will teach a fiction workshop  and is the author of the novel “Personal Days,” Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, who will teach a creative nonfiction workshop, is the author of “Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America,” Kashmira Sheth, author of “Boys without Names and Keeping Corner, will teach the children’s and young adult workshop, and Claudia Rankine, who will teach a poetry workshop is the author of the poetry collection “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.”

“We're incredibly excited about the guest professors we're bringing in this summer; poetry professor Claudia Rankine was just awarded the prestigious Jackson Prize, and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts’ book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award,” said Mark Nowak, director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

The writing workshops will take place during the mornings, and the afternoon sessions will focus on tips from literary agents and editors. There will also be faculty readings, book signings, and a student reading at the end of the week.

The event will also provide intensive writing workshops, including ‘Editing as Creation’ with Andrew Hsiao, the American editor of Verso Books, and ‘Writing as a Process of Discovery’ with Lee Stringer, author of “Like Shaking Hands with God” and two-time recipient of the Washington Irving Award. Participants can also sign up for an individual manuscript consultation with Esther Cohen, widely known as “The Book Doctor”.

Participants have a lot to gain from this experience because they get to reach out to top contemporary writers to help them with their writing and current projects, Nowak said. He emphasized how this experience benefits students in the MFA program, giving them opportunities that other emerging writers don’t usually get.

“I think it's a huge advantage for our students. Summer Writers Week and Fall Writers Weekend give our students an infusion of inspiration and ideas while they're being closely and carefully mentored by our regular faculty,” he said.

Camille Rankine, assistant director of the program, also highlighted how graduate students could take advantage of working with writers from all over the country and gaining a fresh perspective on their work.

“I think it's a very valuable thing to be able to get a different take on your work from a talented writer and experienced teacher, and to be exposed to new ideas about the craft of writing, she said. “And as a writer, the more exposure you have to different points of view, the more you see what's possible, the better it is for your work.”