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Young Writers' Institute at UTK Now Signing Up for Free Day of Workshops

Sign-ups are open for the 2011 Young Writers' Institute, which is set for Saturday, March 26, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus. The 18th annual YWI is a free, one-day event that offers creative writing workshops for high school teachers and their students.

The day will consist of breakfast, morning workshops, lunch at UT's Baker Center with musical entertainment by RB Morris, afternoon workshops, and an open-mic session during which students will share their creations.

YWI, directed by Dr. Marilyn Kallet, UT professor of English, and co-directed by Dr. Jessie Janeshek, lecturer of English, is completely free to all teacher and student participants. Space is limited. Interested high school teachers and students may find out more information, including how to enroll, by contacting Janeshek at by February 11, 2011.

Teacher workshops include "Memoir Writing," taught by Karen Salyer McElmurray and "Using Creative Writing in the Composition Classroom" taught by Charlotte Pence.

Student workshops include "Poetry," taught by Joshua Robbins and Darren Jackson; "Fiction," taught by Terry Shaw, Tawnysha Greene, and Adam Prince; "Performance" (open to both students and teachers), taught by Kali Meister; "Writing the Vampire," taught by Kierstyn Lamour; "Songwriting," taught by Sean McDougle and RB Morris, and "Editing the Literary Magazine," taught by Pamela Uschuk.

All workshops will be instructed by regional writers and UTK graduate students, all of whom have published widely.

McElmurray is traveling to Knoxville from Georgia to take part in YWI. Her newest novel, The Motel of the Stars, (Sarabande Books) has been nominated for The Weatherford Prize in Fiction, was a Lit Life Novel of the Year for 2008 and was named Editor's Pick by Oxford American. She is also the author of Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother's Journey, recipient of the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction, as well as Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Georgia College and State University, McElmurray is Creative Nonfiction Editor for Arts and Letters: A Journal of Contemporary Culture.

Uschuk's work has appeared in over 200 journals and anthologies worldwide. Her books include Finding Peaches in the Desert, Scattered Risks and Crazy Love, which won the American Book Award in September 2010. Uschuk also writes and publishes nonfiction articles and has been a regular contributor to journals such as Parabola and Inside/Outside. She is the Visiting Writer at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville for the spring 2011 semester and is currently residing in Knoxville with her husband, the poet William Pitt Root.

Pence is author of the book The Writer's Path: Creative Exercises for Meaningful Essays, a Ph.D. candidate in creative writing at the University of Tennessee, and former editor of Grist: The Journal for Writers. She also has an anthology forthcoming with University Press of Mississippi titled Lyrical Traditions: The Intersections Between Poems and Songs.

Morris, poet, singer, songwriter, musician, playwright and actor, hails from Knoxville, Tennessee. In the 1980s he edited an arts and literary tabloid, Hard Knoxville Review, which attracted a following in this country and Europe. He is a published poet: Early Fires, Littoral Zone, and The Man Upstairs. Morris served as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee from 2004-2008, and was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2009.

Shaw (student workshop-fiction) is the author of the novel The Way Life Should Be and will teach a workshop entitled "Lying Well: The Art of Fiction."

Published January 26, 2011

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