50th Annual Writers' Festival

We are very excited to celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Writers' Festival! Join our distinguished guests, who are returning to the Festival, for one or more of our events. Please note that each of these events are free and open to the public, with no ticket required.


Welcome back to Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove,1992 Writers' Festival guest, and playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger '02, 2012 and 2018 Writers' Festival guest!

We hope to gather together in person, and will update the schedule with more detail when we have more information.

ritadove.jpg         goldfinger2.jpg


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, Anita Desai, Terrance Hayes, Claudia Rankine, Cristina Garcia, Joy Harjo, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o 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.