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5 Things to Know About the Drexel Writing Festival



May 18, 2018

Think the Drexel Writing Festival is only for English majors? Not true. Here’s why you should come to the festivities on May 21 – 23, 2018.

1. Like we said, it’s not just for writers.

A screenshot of a video game created in Drexel’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio
A screenshot of a video game created in Drexel’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio

Discover where cutting-edge storytelling and video games intersect. Learn to write song lyrics or hear aspiring young artists take the stage. With event topics spanning health, gender studies, blogging, gaming, music and more, the 17-event lineup has something for everyone. And we do mean everyone: All events are free and open to the public!

Check out:

  • Has Medicine Failed the Intersex Community (and can literature save it)? – May 21 @ 2 p.m.
  • Beyond Words: Exploring Fresh Forms of Storytelling in New Experimental Video Games – May 22 @ 6 p.m.
  • Songwriter’s Slam: The Essence of Writing a Song – May 23 @ 5 p.m.

2. You’ll rub elbows with some big names.

Yolanda Wisher, CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and former Philadelphia Poet Laureate
Yolanda Wisher, CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and former Philadelphia Poet Laureate

Drexel Writing Fest will feature an impressive lineup of some big-name creatives and prolific storytellers and researchers on Drexel’s faculty. You’ll sit down with the likes of New York Times-bestselling novelist Kate Moretti, 2017 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia Yolanda Wisher, surgeon and young adult author I. W. Gregorio, MD, and more. Hear how they got published, compare notes on process, or just swap stories with the people behind the craft.

Check out:

  • Novelist Kate Moretti Reading – May 21 @ 12 p.m.
  • Has Medicine Failed the Intersex Community (and can literature save it)? – May 21 @ 2 p.m.
  • Yolanda Wisher: A Reading and Workshop – May 23 @ 2 p.m.

3. Play is encouraged.

From kitchen utensils as story prompts, to theatrical warm-up exercises, to play-like communication strategies for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, this year’s events make it clear that play can be a powerful tool for connection and communication. You can also play around with words in DWF’s interactive, high-intensity micro-workshops. With sessions in fiction, poetry, songwriting and creative non-fiction, you’ll be thinking, experimenting and creating in a variety of forms.

Check out:

  • Playing with Food: Using Everyday Material to Evoke Complex Human Experience – May 22 @ 5 p.m.
  • Play it Forward: Exercises in Powerful Communication – May 23 @ 12 p.m.
  • The Spectrum of Communication: Supporting Communication with those on the Autism Spectrum Using Play-Like Techniques – May 23 @ 6 p.m.
  • Micro-Workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction – May 22 @ 12 p.m.

4. Creative student work will take center stage.

“Smarties” by Emerald Smucker, cover art for 2018’s Maya literary magazine
“Smarties” by Emerald Smucker, cover art for 2018’s Maya literary magazine

This year, Maya literary magazine published its 51st issue of undergraduate expression in literature and artwork. With 150 pieces by 70 students, the 2018 issue is bigger and bolder than ever. Celebrate the new release with the Maya student board, then stick around for readings, awards and a reception hosted by the English and philosophy department.

Check out:

  • Maya Magazine’s Launch Reading – May 21 @ 3 p.m.
  • English Department Readings and Award Ceremony – May 21 @ 4 p.m.

5. Amazing things can happen.

Sometimes medicine balls levitate, winged creatures banish their foes, and a pig with a striking similarity to Stevie Wonder plays the piano — or at least, they do in the short films created by CHOP patients and Drexel students through the CHOP-Drexel Animation Collaborative. Other times, familiar sights are transformed with little more than a camera, a notebook and an artistic eye. Writers Room students and community members have been documenting life in West Philadelphia in collaboration with Canon Solutions America — opening the door for some pretty amazing work.

Check out:

  • When Pigs Fly: The CHOP-Drexel Animation Collaborative – May 23 @ 4 p.m.
  • Writers Room presents Tripod: People, Places, Portraits – May 22 @ 1 p.m.

All Drexel Writing Fest events will take place in the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at 3401 Filbert Street. View the full line-up here.