45th Annual Writers' Festival

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.


Q & A with Richard Blanco, Dani Shapiro, and Charleen McClure ’10
Thursday, April 7, 1 p.m.
Luchsinger Lounge, Alston Student Center

Reading by Dani Shapiro
Reception and book signing to follow
Thursday, April 7, 4 p.m.
Winter Theater, Dana Fine Arts


Reading by Richard Blanco
Reception and book signing to follow
Thursday, April 7, 8 p.m.
Winter Theater, Dana Fine Arts


Reading by Charleen McClure '10
Reception and book signing to follow
Friday, April 8, 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.