44th Annual Writers' Festival

Quasquicentennial is a big word, and a big deal. We are privileged to be in the midst of one here at Agnes Scott. I doubt that any of us will be around to participate in another one here. Another thing that is nearly as big and celebrated in a grand manner is the Annual Writers' Festival. We are preparing for a rousing, thought provoking, edifying experience and really want you to be an active participant. Revive those “little darlings” that you have buried and breathe new life into them, and share them with the 44th Annual Writers' Festival. We have an amazing team of students, staff, guest authors and writers that are working to create an astonishing artistic journey. Creation can be challenging, messy, joyous, and insightful. Join us by submitting your works, by saving the date, by participating actively in this annual event. 

Writers, on your marks, ready set...go!  

"Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear” -- Ezra Pound

Martha Wallace, Class of '15

The design of the Writers' Festival seeks to reflect the writing process. This year we sought that process in the movement of Kristin Miller Hopkins’ artwork. The writing process is a process. And it is full of movement. Whether that means the revision process of moving paragraphs, or the flowing sound of the words as they’re read aloud, writing is never stagnant. It doesn’t stop even when the words are published as there will never be one interpretation of our work. What we write comes alive for our readers each time our work is read. The piece is constantly re-interpreted and re-imagined.

Just as Hopkins’s images retain their motion on the page, our guest writers are just as dynamic. Their writing flows with energy. We are thrilled to welcome for this year's Writer's Festival,  Tracy K. Smith, Chris Abani and Jennifer Bartell. Their work is full of the velocity and development that propel to move and move us in return. For this year's Writer's Festival please enjoy the flow. 

Cheryl Wollner, Class of '15


We are very excited about this year’s distinguished guests,

and we hope that 
you join us for one or more of the public events listed below.

Agnes Scott Festival Magazine Finalists Read Their Works
Tuesday, March 24, 5:00 p.m.
Luchsinger Lounge, Alston Student Center


Q & A with Chris Abani, Tracy K. Smith, and Jennifer Bartell ’05
Thursday, March 26 1 p.m.
Luchsinger Lounge, Alston Student Center


Reading by Chris Abani
Reception and booksigning to follow
Thursday, March 26, 4 p.m.
Winter Theater, Dana Fine Arts


Reading by Tracy K. Smith
Reception and booksigning to follow
Thursday, March 26, 8 p.m.
Winter Theater, Dana Fine Arts

Reading by Jennifer Bartell ’05
Reception and booksigning to follow
Friday, March 27, 2 p.m.
Winter Theater, Dana Fine Arts


Building on a long tradition of inviting distinguished writers to campus to read their works, teach, and talk with students, the Writers’ Festival began in the spring of 1972 with May Sarton as the headliner. A statewide writing contest for colleges and universities in poetry and fiction was the centerpiece of the event: the finalists’ works were published in the festival magazine, and the visiting writers selected the prizewinners in each genre. Readings and workshops with the visiting writers rounded out the program, which was open to the public as well as to the campus community.


Today, the festival maintains these founding traditions along with some new features: creative nonfiction and dramatic writing were added to the contest in the 1990s, an alumna writer is on the program almost every year, and one of the visiting writers gives a one-credit workshop for ASC student writers. 


From Eudora Welty, Reynolds Price, Richard Wilbur, and Margaret Atwood in the early days, to Rita Dove, Jane Smiley, Tim O’Brien, John Updike, Anita Desai, and Junot Diaz in more recent times, the festival has brought great writers to the college to inspire and challenge our students and our audiences. A link on the left of this page will take you to a complete list of festival guests.