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
2019 Emerging Writers Festival
April 10-12, 2019
2018 Emerging Writers
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)
Photo credit: Naomi Woodis
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.
Photo credit: Martin Bentsen
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 Rumpus, Creative Nonfiction, Seneca Review, Pank, and other journals. She has been teaching writing and performance inside prisons in Alabama and Utah for five years.
Photo credit: Claire Marika Buys
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.
Photo credit: Levi Walton
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, PBS, NPR, CNN, C-Span, and in two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry.
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
Thursday, April 5
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.
Emerging Writers Festival Alumni
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