Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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The 2009 Emerging Writers Festival

April 15-17, 2009

The Emerging Writers Festival at Franklin & Marshall College is a three-day celebration of the work of talented and promising younger American writers. Each year, the Festival brings five fine younger writers to campus all at once for three days, giving them opportunities to mix often and informally with students and with one another.

2009 marks the eigth year of the Festival, which has grown into a treasured tradition at the College and a nationally recognized honor for the writers who are invited to participate.  This year's Festival will run from April 15th-17th.

The Emerging Writers Festival is generously supported by Richard and Edna Hausman, parents of a Franklin & Marshall graduate and tireless and generous supporters of the arts at the College.

Festival Organizers

The planning committee for the Emerging Writers Festival 8 consists of six English department faculty members and ten students from disciplines across the College who show a strong interest in contemporary writing and have been nominated for the committee by its faculty members.

The 2009 committee includes:


  • Dave Bleeker
  • Bridget Brennan '09
  • Meagan Cooney '10
  • Christina Fortin '09
  • Adam Gould '10
  • Brian Hughes '09
  • Madison Kille '11
  • Kelsey MacArthur '09
  • Julia Mitchell '10
  • Sam Price '09


  • Katie Ford
  • Sands Hall
  • Amy Moreno
  • Brian Silberman
  • Jeff Steinbrink
  • Kerry Sherin Wright

The 2009 Emerging Writers

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A native of southeast Pennsylvania, K. A. Hays is the author of Dear Apocalypse (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2009). Her poems have appeared in such venues as The Missouri Review, Poetry Northwest, Best New Poets 2007, Gray's Sporting Journal, New Orleans Review, and The Southern Review. "The Way of All the Earth," a poem from her recently released first book, was selected for The Best American Poetry 2009. Hays's verse translations of Paul Verlaine's La Bonne Chanson have appeared in The Hudson Review and The New Formalist, and she is working with the poet and translator Keith Waldrop on a manuscript of Verlaine's early poems. Hays' short stories have appeared in Gulf Coast, Fugue, Cimarron Review, and other magazines. She read English literature at Bucknell and Oxford universities, earned an M.F.A. in the Literary Arts at Brown, and currently holds the 2007-2010 Stadler Emerging Writer Fellowship at Bucknell University. She is at work on a second collection of poetry, work from which has appeared in The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.

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Shane McCrae went to school at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Harvard Law School. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The American Poetry Review, Agni, African American Review, Colorado Review, The Anglican Theological Review and others. His first chapbook, One Neither One, was published in February by Octopus Books

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LAURA van den BERG

Laura van den Berg was born and raised in Florida. She earned her MFA from Emerson College. Her fiction has or will soon appear in One Story, StoryQuarterly, Boston Review, The Indiana Review, American Short Fiction, The Literary Review, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008, and Best New American Voices 2010, among others. Her stories have also received awards from Glimmer Train, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and L Magazine. The recipient of the 2007 Dzanc Prize, Laura's first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, will be published by Dzanc Books this November. Laura has taught writing at Emerson College, Grub Street, and in PEN/New England's Freedom to Write Program. Formerly an assistant editor at Ploughshares, she is currently an assistant fiction editor at West Branch.

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Jaed Coffin is the author of the memoir A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants, which chronicles the time he spent as a Buddhist monk in his mother's native village of Panomsarakram. His forthcoming book, Roughhouse Friday, documents the year he fought as the middleweight champion of a barroom boxing circuit in Alaska. Jaed has been awarded a Ron Brown Grant, a James Meyer Grant, an Island Institute Resident Fellowship, and a Maine Literary Award in Nonfiction. He lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches at University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing.

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Dash Shaw is the cartoonist of Bottomless Belly Button and the webcomic BodyWorld which will appear in print form soon from Pantheon Books. He is also a regular contributor to the Fantagraphics quarterly comics anthology Mome. Besides making comics, he also dabbles in animation and painting. He was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1983; grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit his website to view more of his work:


The 2009 Schedule

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 

Opening Night Reading featuring Shane McCrae and Jaed Coffin
8:00 PM
Green Room Theater

Opening Night Post-Reading Reception
9:30 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Craft Workshop with Laura van den Berg
9:30-10:20 AM

Craft Workshop with Shane McCrae
10:30-11:20 AM

Craft Workshop with Jaed Coffin
4:30-5:30 PM
All in Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Readings by Katie Hays, Dash Shaw and Laura van den Berg
8:00 PM
Green Room Theater

Friday, April 17, 2009

Craft Workshop with Dash Shaw
10:00-11:00  AM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Craft W0rkshop with Katie Hays
11:15-12:15 AM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Lunch with our writers
12:15 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Panel Discussion with all the Emerging Writers
1:30-3:00 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Bye-Bye Barbecue
3:30 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House