Save the Date 

2020 Emerging Writers Festival 

April 8-10, 2020

Each spring, the English Department at Franklin & Marshall College hosts its annual Emerging Writers Festival, dedicated to championing the work of writers early in their careers. Since its inception in 2002, the Festival has been a collaborative effort between students and faculty, bringing people together across the campus community and beyond for readings, workshops, and the opportunity to mix, formally and informally, with some of the country’s most exciting new literary talents. Over the years, we have helped to launch the careers of more than seventy writers, and more than twice that number of students have served on our organizing committees. Generously supported by Edna Hausman P'85 and Richard D. Hausman '50, P'85, the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House, and the Office of the Provost, the Emerging Writers Festival is a marquee event in F&M’s literary year.


EWF 2019 in Review

  • Emerging Writers Festival featured writer
  • Emerging Writers Festival featured writer
  • Emerging Writers Festival featured writers
  • Emerging Writers Festival featured writer
  • Emerging Writers Festival featured writer
  • EWF T-shirt designed by Mike Fink, Office of College Communications
  • EWF Bye Bye BBQ
  • EWF committee

2019 Emerging Writers

  • 2019 Emerging Writers Festival featured writer

Derrick Austin


Derrick Austin is the author of Trouble the Water (BOA Editions). A Cave Canem fellow, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, New England Review, Gulf Coast, The Nation, Tin House, and other anthologies and publications. He was a finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.


  • 2019 Emerging Writers Festival featured writer

Elizabeth Byrne '07

YA Fiction

Elizabeth Byrne grew up in New Jersey and holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a bachelor's degree from Franklin & Marshall College ('07). During the week, she works for a group travel company, planning programs in Germany and Switzerland. Her office windows look onto the cemetery where Emily Dickinson is buried, and all the lovely and weird things admirers leave for her there. Liz lives and writes in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Grave Keepers is her first novel.


Photo credit: Mike Wall

  • 2019 Emerging Writers Festival featured writer

Jeannie Vanasco


Jeannie Vanasco is the author of The Glass Eye. Featured by Poets & Writers as one of the five best literary nonfiction debuts of 2017, The Glass Eye was also selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, an Indies Introduce Pick, and an Indie Next Pick. Her second memoir, Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl, will be published in 2019 by Tin House Books. Her other nonfiction has appeared in the Believer, the New York Times, the Times Literary SupplementTin House, and on She lives in Baltimore and is an assistant professor of English at Towson University. 


Photo credit: Theresa Keil

  • 2019 Emerging Writers Festival featured writers

Tillie Walden

Graphic  Novel

Tillie Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, TX. She is a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies and is the creator of the Eisner award winning memoir Spinning as well as 4 other graphic novels. She currently lives in Los Angeles.  


Photo credit: AnneMarie Rogers

  • EWF Logo Standalonemark
  • 2019 Emerging Writers Festival featured writer

Weike Wang


Weike Wang is a graduate of Harvard University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry and her doctorate in public health. Her first novel, Chemistry, received the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, Ploughshares' John C. Zacharis Award, and a Whiting Award. A “5 Under 35” honoree of the National Book Foundation, Weike currently lives in New York City.

Photo credit: Saavedra Photography

Emerging Writers Festival 2019 Schedule of Events

READINGS will be held in the Green Room Theatre on Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 pm.  

Wednesday, April 10 

Derrick Austin
Jeannie Vanasco
Elizabeth Byrne '07

Thursday, April 11 

Tillie Walden
Weike Wang

Immediately after the READINGS, a   reception will be hosted at the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House.

CRAFT TALKS will be held in the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House throughout the day on Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12.  

Thursday, April 11
10:00 am - Jeannie Vanasco
1:00 pm - Derrick Austin
2:30 pm - Elizabeth Byrne '07

Friday, April 12
9:30 am - Tillie Walden
11:00 am - Weike Wang

There will be a PANEL DISCUSSION with all writers on Friday, April 12 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House.

After the PANEL DISCUSSION, the Emerging Writers Festival will wrap up with the fun and festivities of the BYE BYE BBQ.


All events are free and open to the public.

 Emerging Writers Festival Alumni

EWF 1 / 2002 

Steven Raleigh Byler, Fiction

Meghan Daum, Nonfiction

Julie Otsuka, Fiction

Christine Perrin, Poetry

Joe Wenderoth, Poetry

EWF 2 / 2003

Brock Clarke, Fiction

Miranda Field, Poetry

Major Jackson, Poetry

Sebastian Matthews, Nonfiction

Susan Steinberg, Fiction

EWF 3 / 2004

Jeffery Renard Allen, Fiction

Erin Belieu, Poetry

Ted Genoways, Poetry

Peter Orner, Fiction

Vendela Vida, Nonfiction

EWF 4 / 2005

Samina Ali, Fiction

Gabe Hudson, Fiction

Brad Land, Nonfiction

Sabrina Orah Mark, Poetry

Jon Pineda, Poetry

EWF 5 / 2006

Catherine Barnett, Poetry

Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Poetry

Alix Ohlin, Fiction

Lewis Robinson, Fiction

Sean Wilsey, Nonfiction

EWF 6 / 2007

Cynthia Cruz, Poetry

Lauren Groff, Fiction

Amaud Johnson, Poetry     

 Jay Kirk, Nonfiction

Kevin Moffett, Fiction

EWF 7 / 2008

Remica Bingham, Poetry

Rachel DeWoskin, Nonfiction

Ilya Kaminsky, Poetry

Emily Rapp, Nonfiction

Jess Row, Fiction

EWF 8 / 2009

Jaed Coffin, Nonfiction

K.A. Hays, Poetry

Shane McCrae, Poetry

Dash Shaw, Graphic Fiction

Laura van den Berg, Fiction

EWF 9 / 2010

Jericho Brown, Poetry

Beth Bachmann, Poetry

Elna Baker, Nonfiction

Lydia Peelle, Fiction

Philipp Meyer, Fiction

EWF 10 / 2011

Elyse Fenton, Poetry

Alex Taylor, Fiction

Grace Krilanovich, Fiction

Jason Fagone, Nonfiction

Henry Wolfe, Songwriting

 EWF 11/2012

Rebecca Makkai, Fiction

Christine Hemp, Poetry

Jamaal May, Poetry

Megan Mayhew Bergman, Fiction

Anna Moench, Playwriting

EWF 12 / 2013

Jeffrey Pethybridge, Poetry

Louise Krug, Nonfiction

Paul Bogard, Nonfiction

Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi, Fiction

 Caitlin Horrocks, Fiction



  • Emerging Writers Festival

EWF 13 / 2014

Claire Vaye Watkins, Fiction

Christopher Merkner, Fiction

Amy Leach, Nonfiction

Greg Wrenn, Poetry

Caryl Pagel, Poetry

  • 2015 EWF Committee and Writers

EWF 14 / 2015

Arna Bontemps Hemenway, Fiction

Ansel Elkins, Poetry

Sampson Starkweather, Poetry

Kristin Dombek, Nonfiction

Chisa Hutchinson, Playwriting


  • The 2016 Emerging Writers Fest crew!

EWF 15/2016

Kerry Howley. Nonfiction

Robin Coste Lewis, Poetry

Julia Pierpont, Fiction

Suzanne Scanlon, Fiction/Nonfiction

Phillip B. Williams, Poetry


  • EWF 2018

EWF 16/2017

Garnett Cadogan, Nonfiction

Franny Choi, Poetry

Indra Das '08, Fiction

Meghan Kenny, Fiction

Kristen Radtke, Graphic Fiction

  • Group photo of committee and writers.

 EWF 17/2018

Raymond Antrobus, Poetry

Mandy Berman '09, Fiction

Tessa Fontaine, Nonfiction

Sarah Gerard, Fiction and Nonfiction

Chinaka Hodge, Poetry and Playwriting

  • EWF Committee Members

EWF 18/2019

Derrick Austin, Poetry

Elizabeth Byrne '07, YA Fiction

Jeannie Vanasco, Nonfiction

Tillie Walden, Graphic  Novel

Weike Wang, Fiction

News and Events

Story 4/2/2019

Emerging Writers Festival to Spring Forth, Celebrate Budding...

A group of promising writers who are early in their careers will arrive on the Franklin & Marshall College campus April 10-12 to host and attend a series of readings, craft talks and panel...

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Story 4/4/2017

Four New Faces, and One Familiar One at 2017 Emerging...

In a typical year, the Emerging Writers Festival (EWF) welcomes five fresh faces to the Franklin & Marshall College campus for three days of dialogue about the art and craft of writing. This year is...

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Story 4/4/2016

Five Writers, Three Days, One Rewarding Event

For 15 years, Franklin & Marshall College's Emerging Writers Festival has been bringing five young writers to campus for three days of intensive workshops and intimate readings, giving students a...

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Story 4/14/2015

Emerging Writers to Meld and Shift Words at Annual Festival

The 14th annual Emerging Writers Festival, a three-day literary event that brings five rising guest writers to campus, begins Wednesday, April 15. The featured writers are Kristin Dombek, Ansel...

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