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Drexel Writing Festival

The Drexel Writing Festival takes place annually during the Spring Quarter. This year's schedule of events is listed below. All events are free and open to the public and will take place in the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at 3401 Filbert Street in Philadelphia unless otherwise noted.

May 21, 2018

Pearlstein Gallery | 3401 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

12 p.m.

Novelist Kate Moretti Reading
Kate Moretti will be reading from her latest book, "The Blackbird Season", discussing her path to publication—including small press to traditional publishing—and her unexpected rise to the NYT bestseller list. Q&A to follow. Kate Moretti is the New York Times Bestselling author of four novels and a novella, including "Thought I Knew You", "While You Were Gone", "Binds That Tie", "The Vanishing Year", and "Blackbird Season". Her first novel "Thought I Knew You", was a New York Times bestseller. Her books have called "chillingly satisfying." (Publisher's Weekly) with "superb" closing twists (New York Times Book Review).

Introduction by novelist and Drexel professor Nomi Eve.

1 p.m.

Open with the Dead Body: How to Capture the Reader from the First Page
Mystery/Suspense novels should open with a bang! The old greats are still great but readers’ attention spans have changed. Classic mystery novels that focus on setting and atmosphere no longer grab your audience’s attention and no longer make it out of the slush pile! Join this workshop led by acclaimed novelist Kate Moretti and learn the tips and tricks of the pros, analyze the openings of some of the current, hottest suspense books ("Gone Girl", "Girl on the Train", "In the Woods") and learn to write a captivating opening to a modern mystery novel.

2 p.m.

Has Medicine Failed the Intersex Community (and can literature save it)?
I.W. Gregorio, PhD, author of the Lambda Literary Award Finalist, "None of the Above", discusses her journey from urologist to young adult writer to intersex advocate. In a wide-ranging presentation that includes a Q&A, she'll talk about how writers can create the world they want to see, and discuss the challenges of writing books for social change.

I. W. Gregorio, PhD, is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, "None of the Above" (Balzer & Bray / HarperCollins), which was optioned for a TV series by A&E Studios. She is proud to be a board member of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, and is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books™.

Introduction by Drexel Professor Deirdre McMahon.
Sponsored by the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Drexel’s Women’s and Gender Studies.

3 p.m.

MAYA Magazine’s Launch Reading
Come celebrate with Drexel English Department’s literary journal as they host a reading to honor the launch of the Maya 2018.

4-7 p.m.

English Department Readings and Award Ceremony followed by a Reception
Join us for this annual event honoring the strongest writing by Drexel undergraduate students, hosted by Drexel professors Gail D. Rosen and Fred Siegel.

Reception with food and drink to follow.

May 22, 2017

Pearlstein Gallery | 3401 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

12 p.m.

Micro-Workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction
Chose two out of three genres (poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction) to explore in quick, exciting sessions where you will create new work on the spot!

Short story author Robert Finegan will lead the fiction workshop. Poet and novelist Harriet Millan will lead the poetry workshop. Kathy Volk-Miller, co-editor of Painted Bride Quarterly, and director of Drexel’s graduate program in publishing, will lead a workshop in creative non-fiction.

1 p.m.

Writers Room presents Tripod: People, Places, Portraits
Participants in this Canon sponsored project - undergraduate students, local high school students and community members - will be presenting on the group projects that they have created, using words and photographs to collaboratively document the West Philly neighborhoods and the lives they are living within them together. See the photos and hear about the stories and the project.

Hosted by author and Drexel English professor Kirsten Kaschock.

2 p.m.

Developing a Virtual [Writing] Self: Creating a Blog or Personal Site
In this hands-on workshop, attendees will take steps toward creating a blog or personal website that promotes/features a topic of interest. While we’ll discuss technologies and platforms, this workshop will focus on content—written or multimedia—as well as attendees blog or site’s purpose, audience and context.

Led by Scott Warnock, Drexel Professor and Vice President of the Global Society for Online Literacy Educators.

3-5 p.m.

Fun, Form, and Fact Checking: The 3 F’s of Writing
Pennoni Honors presents a panel to explore improvisational techniques designed to start writing, methods to shape writing for publication, and ways to ensure accuracy in final written works. Participants include an improviser, an editor and a fact-checker. Reception to follow.

Participants include editor Marina Lamanna, and professors Gail Rosen, Kathleen Volk-Miller and Fred Siegel.

5 p.m.

Playing with Food: Using Everyday Material to Evoke Complex Human Experience
The study of food is unique—the only (safely) fully multi-sensory area of investigation that does not merely benefit from, but relies on all disciplines. In this session we start with simple culinary objects and use them to write to the rich complexity of human experience.

Drexel Culinary Arts professor Jonathan Deutsch and Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, professor of English Education at Columbia University will lead.

6-8 p.m.

Beyond Words: Exploring Fresh Forms of Storytelling in New Experimental Video Games
Drexel’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio (EGS) presents a demonstration of two brand new groundbreaking games created by Drexel students that explore innovative storylines through visual narrative and text. Following the demonstration, participants will get a chance to play the games and ask the game designers questions. Pizza will be served.

Hosted by Drexel’s EGS Program Manager Corey Arnold.

May 23, 2017

Pearlstein Gallery | 3401 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

12-1:30 p.m.

Play it Forward: Exercises in Powerful Communication
This highly interactive, playful workshop involves encourages participants to better understand how they communicate both in real-time and on social media platforms. The facilitator utilizes free writing, music and "Theatre of the Oppressed" exercises as tools to surface beliefs, attitudes and biases that shape and seed effective communication.

Archivist and editor Steven Fullwood joins us from New York City to lead this dynamic workshop.

2-4 p.m.

Yolanda Wisher: A Reading and Workshop
Poet Yolanda Wisher will perform her unique verse, followed by a workshop where participants will develop new work. Yolanda Wisher is the author of "Monk Eats an Afro" (Hanging Loose, 2014) and co-editor of the anthology Peace is a Haiku Song (Philadelphia Mural Arts, 2013). A Pew Fellow, Cave Canem Fellow and Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, she is currently the 2017-2018 CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Germantown.

This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program.

4 p.m.

When Pigs Fly: The CHOP-Drexel Animation Collaborative
The story of how four incredible kids at CHOP taught Drexel students and their professors a little something about life, imagination and how to tell a good story. Join us for the on-campus premier of four original animated shorts written and directed by CHOP patients working closely with Drexel students from Westphal and CoAS, followed by a Q&A.

Novelist and Drexel professor Nomi Eve, and Drexel professor and animator Nicholas Jushchyshyn will host.

5 p.m.

Songwriter’s Slam: The Essence of Writing a Song
Heard of a Poetry Slam? Well, get prepared for a Songwriters Slam. Experience the essence of what it takes to compose the lyrics and music to produce that 4 minute gem.

Young aspiring artists will perform live in an intimate setting, and also be part of a short Q&A on the process of Songwriting.

Marc Offenbach, professor in Drexel’s Music Industry Department, will host.

6 p.m.

The Spectrum of Communication: Supporting Communication with those on the Autism Spectrum Using Play-Like Techniques
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are challenged in the areas of communication, social skills and repetitive behaviors. Many different strategies are used to help those with ASD overcome these challenges. Students from Drexel’s ABA program will walk participants through some of these play-like strategies while teaching more about the diagnosis of ASD.

Bridget Blakely, Drexel Professor of Education, will host.

For more information about the Drexel Writing Festival please contact Henry Israeli at