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.


Save the Date 

2018 Emerging Writers Festival 

April 4-6, 2018

2018 Emerging Writers

  • Raymond Antrobus - 2018 Emerging Writers Festival

Raymond Antrobus


Raymond Antrobus is a British Jamaican poet, performer, editor and poetry educator born and bred in East London, Hackney. He is one of the world’s first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word Education from Goldsmiths University. In 2017 he became one of the first recipients of the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. He is also a Complete Works 3 fellow.   His poems have appeared in The Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine (US) among others. His latest publication is To Sweeten Bitter (Out-Spoken Press, 2017) 

Website:  www.raymondantrobus.com

Photo credit: Naomi Woodis

  • Mandy Berman '09 - 2018 Emerging Writers Festival

Mandy Berman '09


Mandy Berman was born and raised in Nyack, NY. She received an undergraduate degree from Franklin & Marshall College and an MFA in Writing from Columbia University. Her first novel, Perennials, was published by Random House in 2017. She teaches writing at the College of Staten Island and lives in Brooklyn, where she is working on her second novel.

Website:  www.mandyberman.com

Photo credit: Martin Bentsen

  • Tessa Fontaine - 2018 Emerging Writers Festival

Tessa Fontaine


Tessa Fontaine spent five months as a performer in the last American traveling sideshow, where she ate fire and charmed snakes. Her book about that adventure, The Electric Woman, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in Spring 2018. Her work has appeared in The RumpusCreative Nonfiction, Seneca Review, Pank, and other journals. She has been teaching writing and performance inside prisons in Alabama and Utah for five years.

Website:  www.tessafontaine.com

Photo credit: Claire Marika Buys

  • Sarah Gerard - 2018 Emerging Writers Festival

Sarah Gerard

Fiction and Nonfiction

Sarah Gerard is the author of the essay collection Sunshine State, the novel Binary Star, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times first fiction prize, and two chapbooks, most recently BFF. Her short stories, essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, Granta, Vice, BOMB Magazine, and other journals, as well as anthologies. She’s been supported by fellowships and residencies from Yaddo, Tin House, PlatteForum, and Ucross. She writes a monthly column for Hazlitt and teaches writing in New York City.

Website:  sarah-gerard.com

Photo credit: Levi Walton

  • EWF Logo Standalonemark
  • Chinaka Hodge - 2018 Emerging Writers Festival

Chinaka Hodge

Poetry and Playwriting

Chinaka Hodge is a poet, educator, playwright and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, she graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May of 2006, and was honored to be the student speaker at the 174th Commencement exercise. In 2010, Chinaka received USC’s prestigious Annenberg Fellowship to continue her studies at its School of Cinematic Arts. She received her MFA in Writing for Film and TV in 2012. In the fall of that year, she received the SF Foundation’s Phelan Literary Award for emerging Bay Area talent. Chinaka was also a 2012 Artist in Residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA. In January 2013, Hodge was a Sundance Feature Film lab Fellow for her script, 700th&Int’l.  In June of 2013 Chinaka began as a first year fellow at Cave Canem’s prestigious summer retreat.

For over a decade, Hodge has worked in various capacities at Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project, the nation’s leading literary arts non-profit.  During her tenure there, Chinaka served as Program Director, Associate Artistic Director, and worked directly with Youth Speaks’ core population as a teaching artist and poet mentor. She has acted in comparable capacities in New York and Los Angeles at Urban Word NYC and Get Lit: Words Ignite.  When not educating or writing for the page, Chinaka rocks mics as a founding member of a collaborative Hip Hop ensemble, The Getback. Her poems, editorials, interviews and prose have been featured in Newsweek, San Francisco Magazine, Believer Magazine, PBSNPR, CNN, C-Span, and in two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry.

Website:  chinakahodge.com

Photo credit: Stephen Hawk

Emerging Writers Festival 2018 Schedule of Events

READINGS will be held in the Green Room Theatre on Wednesday, April 4 and Thursday, April 5 at 7:30 pm.  

Wednesday, April 4 
Mandy Berman '09
Raymond Antrobus
Tessa Fontaine

Thursday, April 5 
Chinaka Hodge
Sarah Gerard

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 5 and Friday, April 6.  

Thursday, April 5
10:00 am - Mandy Berman '09
1:00 pm - Raymond Antrobus
2:30 pm - Tessa Fontaine

Friday, April 6
9:30 am - Chinaka Hodge
11:00 am - Sarah Gerard

There will be a PANEL DISCUSSION with all writers on Friday, April 6 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.

EWF 2017 

  • EWF 2018

 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 



EWF 13 / 2014

Claire Vaye Watkins, Fiction

Christopher Merkner, Fiction

Amy Leach, Nonfiction

Greg Wrenn, Poetry

Caryl Pagel, Poetry

EWF 14 / 2015

Arna Bontemps Hemenway, Fiction

Ansel Elkins, Poetry

Sampson Starkweather, Poetry

Kristin Dombek, Nonfiction

Chisa Hutchinson, Playwriting 


EWF 15/2016

Kerry Howley. Nonfiction

Robin Coste Lewis, Poetry

Julia Pierpont, Fiction

Suzanne Scanlon, Fiction/Nonfiction

Phillip B. Williams, Poetry



EWF 16/2017

Garnett Cadogan, Nonfiction

Franny Choi, Poetry

Indra Das '08, Fiction

Meghan Kenny, Fiction

Kristen Radtke, Graphic Fiction


News and Events

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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