2017 Panel Discussions!

Our program for our panel discussions… is complete!

Come join us in the Main Reading Room of the Flint Public Library, 1026 E. Kearsley Street, for a series of discussions with scholars, writers, and publishers.

Please take a look at our program below and scroll further for some more information on the specific panels to be offered.  Bios on specific panelists and moderators follow.

The panel discussions will take place on Saturday July 22nd from 1-5pm in the Main Reading Room on the first floor of the Flint Public Library, 1026 E. Kearsley Street.

Finding a Home for Your Writing
You’ve reached the point in your project where it feels complete and ready for readership. So what’s next? Where does this piece belong and how do you get it there? Hear from a panel of editors, writers, and self-publishing pros on the tools and techniques for publishing prospects.
Moderator: Katie Curnow. Panelists: Scott Atkinson, Tom Powers, Chris Ringler, Anne Trelfa

Journalism and Literature: A Complementary Kinship
Many writers find themselves “genre jumping” between journalism, with its rigorous inverted pyramid, its factual 5Ws and an H and attempts at clear-eyed objectivity — and other kinds of writing. Some find the requirements of journalism limiting. But others find it liberating and useful, complementing their creative work. And the tools from the creative realm can also make journalism compelling and readable. In a world where journalism is under attack, the time is right for a discussion of journalism’s crucial and honorable place in the writer’s repertoire.
Moderator: Jan Worth-Nelson. Panelists: Scott Atkinson, Bob Campbell, Anna Clark, Bob Mabbitt

The Other Flint: Telling Flint Stories from Multiple Perspectives
Northside. Southside. Eastside. Westside. Multifaceted. Distinctive. This is Flint. A writer’s factory where poetry and prose are forged from the raw materials of place and one’s imagination. From fiction to nonfiction to poetry or oral storytelling, panelists will explore the various ways of writing about their portion of this place, called Flint.
Moderator: Bob Campbell.  Panelists: Erica Britt, Kelsey Ronan, Jan Worth-Nelson

The Craft of Sound: Poetry Performance
This panel will explore the art of poetry performance and give the audience an opportunity to hear from local artists about how they approach their work lifting language from the page.
Moderator: Dr. Joyce Piert. Panelists: Nic Custer, Kala Wood, Quinton Robinson

Living Literature with the Youth of Flint
Come join students from the Flint Public Library’s Teen Writers Workshop and the Flint Youth Theatre for a glimpse at how youth in our community are engaging literature today. Students from the Teen Writers Workshop will officially present their 2016-2017 anthology, Darkness SandWitch, published by the Flint Public Library and Gothic Funk Press. Students from Flint Youth Theatre will share a performance adapted from the work of Newberry-award winning author and 2017 Flint Literary Festival featured reader Christopher Paul Curtis.
Moderators: Connor Coyne, Brittany Reed. Panelists: Students from the Teen Writers Workshop and Flint Youth Theatre

Scott Atkinson has been obsessed with the intersection of journalism and literature since he took his first magazine writing course at MSU. Now teaching journalism and writing himself at UM-Flint, he was editor of the 2016 Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology. His freelance work has appeared in the New York Times, Writer’s Digest, Vice, and several other publications.

Erica Britt is an Assistant Professor of Sociolinguistics in the English Department at UM-Flint. She teaches courses in linguistics and language variation. Her work focuses on the use of African American Language in public and political speech. She is also working on an oral history project about life in Flint, Michigan.

Bob Campbell is a former electrician for AC Spark Plug and former newspaper reporter. He has been a staff writer for East Village Magazine, the Flint Journal, the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Detroit Free Press. His nonfiction has appeared in Belt Magazine, and he has a piece forthcoming in Forge Literary Magazine.

Anna Clark is a journalist in Detroit. Her writing has appeared in ELLE Magazine, The New York Times, the Columbia Journalism Review, Next City, and other publications. She edited A Detroit Anthology and wrote Michigan Literary Luminaries, a book about the state’s literary culture. She is director of applications for Write A House, a nonprofit that renovates vacant homes in Detroit and gives them away to writers, and also has been a writer-in-residence in Detroit schools. Her forthcoming book about Flint, water, and cities will be published in April 2018 by Metropolitan Books. She has an MFA degree in fiction writing from Warren Wilson College.

Nic Custer is a poet and emcee. He is the author of Nothing Works, Everyone Labors and host of Flint’s Support Your Local Poet open mic, which will be held at 9 pm the first Saturday in August at Churchill’s bar (340 S. Saginaw St.).

Bob Mabbitt served as managing editor for two Flint-based publications: The Uncommon Sense and Broadside. In addition to journalism, he writes poetry and short fiction, and has written about the relationship between community media and community activism.

Tom Powers has written widely about his home state of Michigan. His published work includes Natural Michigan: A Nature Lover’s Guide to 228 Attractions, Michigan State and National Parks: A Complete Guide, Michigan Rogues Desperados & Cut-throats: A Gallery of 19th Century Miscreants, In the Grip of the Whirlwind: The Armistice Day Storm of 1940, and Stick ’em Up: Michigan Bank Robberies of the 1920s & 1930s, published this spring.

Kelsey Ronan grew up in Flint, Michigan. Her fiction and journalism have appeared or are forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, New Ohio Review, Utne Reader, Kenyon Review, Midwestern Gothic, Belt Magazine, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Former writer-in-residence of the Hub City Writers Project, she lives in Detroit with a bird, a cat, and a philosopher.

Jan Worth-Nelson is editor of East Village Magazine, an unexpected and serendipitous third (or fourth) career. She wrote the novel Night Blind, and taught at UM – Flint for 26 years. Her work has appeared recently in Belt, Rhino, The Michigan Poet, Hypertext, Midwestern Gothic and The MacGuffin, as well as in Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology. She has lived in Flint for 36 years.