Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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The 2010 Emerging Writers Festival

April 14 - 16, 2010

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.

2010 marks the ninth 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 14-16, and features writers Beth Bachmann, Elna Baker, Jericho Brown, Philipp Meyer and Lydia Peelle.

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.

The 2010 Emerging Writers

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Beth Bachmann

Beth Bachmann's first book, Temper, was selected by Lynn Emanuel as winner of the AWP Award Series 2008 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry and recently won the 2010 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.

Her poems appear in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Tin House, among other journals, and have been anthologized in Alice Redux: New Stories of Alice, Lewis and Wonderland and Best New Poets 2005 and 2007.

She holds graduate degrees from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and Concordia University in Montreal and teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University.


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Elna Baker

Elna Baker was born in Tacoma, Washington. She moved overseas when she was nine, and grew up in Madrid, London and New York City-where she attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Her parents now live in Siberia where her father runs a titanium factory. When she goes home to visit she runs down the halls of the factory and knocks things over while chanting, "it's Daddy's factory!" in a pretentious British accent.

When Elna used to answer the dreaded, "What do you do?" question she'd say: "actress" or "comedian." Now she says, "writer." In honor of this switch she purchased a bunch of button down cardigans and glasses.

As a comedian and storyteller, Elna has performed with The Moth, on This American Life, Studio 360, BBC Radio 4, at the Upright Citizens Brigade, The PIT, The Magnet and at many other comedy clubs throughout New York City.

Her show If You See Something, Say Something premiered at the NY Fringe Festival and under the direction of her mentor Elizabeth Swados, she also created Mexican-Mormon (La Mama Etc.) and A Book of Over-Dramatic Confessions.

She's written for Elle Magazine, Glamour, Five Dials and The Onion. She also appeared in The New Yorker...or a really bad picture of her did, but hey, that counts. In 2007 and 2008 Elna was awarded residencies at Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony. Penguin published her book, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, Oct. 15th, 2009.


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Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown worked as the speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans before receiving his PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston.

The recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, a Bunting Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, and two travel fellowships to the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, he has served as assistant poetry editor at Callaloo. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Norton Anthology of African American Poetry, The Iowa Review, jubilat, Oxford American, and several other journals and anthologies.

Brown teaches creative writing as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of San Diego. His first book PLEASE won the 2009 American Book Award.


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Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer grew up in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore, the son of an artist and an electrician turned college science instructor. The neighborhood, Hampden, had been devastated by the collapse of various heavy industries, and crime and unemployment were rampant. Meyer attended city public schools until dropping out at age 16 and getting a GED. He spent the next five years working as a bicycle mechanic and occasionally volunteering at Baltimore's Shock Trauma Center.

At age 20, he began taking classes at a variety of colleges in Baltimore and decided to become a writer. He also decided to leave his hometown, and at 22, on his third attempt at applying to various Ivy League colleges, he was admitted to Cornell University. He graduated with a degree in English and a mountain of debt and headed for Wall Street to pay off his student loans.

After getting a job with the Swiss investment bank UBS, Meyer did training in London and Zurich and was assigned to an elite group of derivatives traders, jokingly referred to as the "genius desk." After several years at UBS, he'd paid off most of his student loans and decided to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. When his savings ran out he took jobs as an emergency medical technician and construction worker. He was preparing for a second career as a paramedic when he received a fellowship at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, TX.

Shortly after moving to Austin, Meyer learned that Hurricane Katrina was about to hit New Orleans. After loading his car with medical supplies he drove all night and arrived in New Orleans in the middle of the hurricane. He spent two days doing emergency medical work for a local police department.

In 2008 he received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. He has also received fellowships or residencies from Yaddo, Ucross, Blue Mountain Center, and the Anderson Center for the Arts. He believes that the representation of internal consciousness is one of literature's most important capabilities; much of his writing is influenced by the work of pioneers such as Joyce, Faulkner, Woolf, and Hemingway, as well as contemporary writers like James Kelman.

He and his fiancee' currently split their time between Texas and upstate New York, where Philipp is an avid outdoorsman, a member of a volunteer fire department, and enjoys tinkering with anything mechanical.


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Lydia Peelle

Lydia Peelle was born in Boston. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, One Story, Epoch, The Sun, Orion, and elsewhere, and has won an O. Henry Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and had been twice featured in Best New American Voices.

Her debut story collection, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing, was published by Harper Perennial in July 2009, and received an honorable mention for the 2010 PEN/Hemingway Award.

A National Book Foundation "5 under 35" honoree, Peelle is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Virginia, and has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the Ragdale Foundation. She now lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 2010 EWF Schedule

Wednesday, April 14

Opening Night Reading featuring Lydia Peele and Jericho Brown
8:15 p.m., Miller Recital Hall

Opening Night Reception
9:30 p.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Thursday, April 15

Craft Talk featuring Jericho Brown
10 a.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writiers House

Common Hour: Emerging Writers Festival Sampler featuring All Emerging Writers
11:30 a.m., Mayser Gymnasium

Craft Talk featuring Lydia Peele
4:30 p.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Second Night Reading featuring Phillp Meyer, Beth Bachmann and Elna Baker
8:15 p.m., Miller Recital Hall

Second Night Reception
9:30 p.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Friday, April 16

Craft Talk featuring Phillip Meyer
10 a.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Craft Talk featuring Elna Baker
11:15 a.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Craft Talk featuring Beth Bachmann
1:30 p.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Panel Discussion featuring All Emerging Writers
3 p.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Bye Bye Barbeque
4:30 p.m., Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

FAQs for our visiting writers

General Information

  • Writers receive an honorarium, plus travel and lodging.  We provide all meals during their visit and any transportation they need.

Expectations and Responsibilities

  • giving an evening reading, with one or two of the other Emerging  Writers
  • offering a craft workshop
  • attending and taking part in one of our workshop courses  (1:30-4:20, or some part thereof)
  • attending readings and talks given by the other EWs whenever possible
  • taking part in the socializing that is so much a part of EWF: receptions, lunches, dinners, informal mixing with students, staff,  other EWs.  (EWs should understand that they'll be wined, dined, and well-treated, and that many of our students will be familiar with their work by the time they get here.)

Emerging Writers from Past Festivals

Here’s a list of all of our Emerging Writers, from EWF 8 (2009) to EWF 1 (2002).

EWF 8 (2009)
Katie Hays
Shane McCrae
Laura van den Berg
Jaed Coffin
Dash Shaw

EWF 7 (2008)
Remica Bingham, Poetry
Rachel DeWoskin, Nonfiction
Ilya Kaminsky, Poetry
Jess Row, Fiction
Emily Rapp, Nonfiction

EWF 6 (2007)
Cynthia Cruz, Poetry
Lauren Groff, Fiction
Jay Kirk, Nonfiction
Kevin Moffett, Fiction
Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Poetry

EWF 5 (2006)
Catherine Barnett, Poetry
Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Poetry
Alix Ohlin, Fiction
Lewis Robinson, Fiction
Sean Wilsey, Nonfiction

EWF 4 (2005)
Samina Ali, Fiction
Gabe Hudson, Fiction
Brad Land, Nonfiction
Sabrina Orah Mark, Poetry
Jan Pineda, Poetry

EWF 3 (2004)
Jeffery Renard Allen, Fiction
Erin Belieu, Poetry
Ted Genoways, Poetry
Peter Orner, Fiction
Vendela Vida, Nonfiction

EWF 2 (2003)
Brock Clarke, Fiction
Miranda Field, Poetry
Major Jackson, Poetry
Sebastian Matthews, Nonfiction
Susan Steinberg, Fiction

EWF 1 (2002)
Steven Raleigh Byler, Fiction
Meghan Daum, Nonfiction
Julie Otsuka, Fiction
Christine Perrin, Poetry
Joe Wenderoth, Poetry