GCSU MFA Faculty-led Writing Workshop Series sponsored by Allied Arts  


 Workshops take place virtually on Zoom from 12pm - 2pm and cost $75 per workshop.

October 3: Creative Nonfiction with Kerry Neville


The Meditative Essay

This workshop will focus on writing a short meditative essay, where “nothing happens” and everything happens. During this pandemic, many of us have stayed at home and slowed our pace. How might we elevate ordinary experiences and transform them on the page into what Virginia Woolf called “moments of being”?


Dr. Kerry Neville received her PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She is the author of the short fiction collection, Remember To Forget Me, and of the award-winning short fiction collection, Necessary Lies.  She is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and The Fix. Her essays and stories have been named Notables in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. She has twice received the Dallas Museum of Art Prize for Fiction, and has also been awarded The John Guyon Prize in Literary Nonfiction,The Texas Institute of Letters/Kay Cattarulla Prize for the Short Story, and the Short Story Book of the Year Prize from Independent Publisher Magazine. She is faculty for the FrankMcCourt/University of Limerick Summer Writing School. She was a 2018 Fulbright Scholar and taught in the M.A. Creative Writing Program at University of Limerick in Ireland.



October 10: Poetry with Laura Newbern


“Discovering Home in a Poem”

 In this workshop exploring the link between language and memory, we’ll read some home-going poems and then compose one ourselves.


Laura Newbern's collection of poems, Love and the Eye, won the 2010 First Book Award from Kore Press. She’s also received the prestigious Writer's Award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, which recognizes outstanding emerging women writers. She teaches poetry workshops, poetics, and other courses. Laura is currently the Editor of Arts & Letters. Her poems have been published in such journals as The Atlantic, Poetry, TriQuarterly and other journals. Newbern also expresses her creative interests through black and white photography.



October 17: Fiction/Creative Nonfiction with Chika Unigwe

Where is the Drama? Lessons I've Learned From My Mother 


Growing up with my mother, my siblings and I were tormented by her detailed questioning of us whenever we had the misfortune of receiving her guests in her absence. She was never satisfied with "Mrs. X came to look for you, she said  to tell you XYZ." My mother wanted you tell her what Mrs. X wore, her tone when she spoke, her body language. My mother was my first writing teacher and this workshop is my attempt to pass on her very useful lessons on how to tell a compelling story


Dr. Chika Unigwe is the author of Better Never than Late, De Zwarte Messias, Night Dancer, On Black Sisters Street, De Feniks, Meulenhoff-Manteau, and two children's Readers, Ije at School and A Rainbow for Dinner. Her short stories have appeared in different anthologies including in Watchlist, New Daughters of Africa, and Lagos Noir. Her fellowships include but are not limited to a  Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the Bellagio Centre, Italy , a UNESCO-Aschberg Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Centre in Umbertide, Italy, a SYLT Fellow in Germany and a writing fellow at Cove Park, Scotland. She was a special guest lecturer at Tubingen University, Germany, and a Bonderman Assistant Professor of Practice at Brown University.  She has won a BBC short story competition, a commonwealth short story prize, has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing and awarded a 2016 Pushcart Prize Special Mention. In 2012, she won the $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa's most important literary prize. She has judged literary prizes including the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.



October 24: Poetry with Kerry James Evans

Just Outside Your Door: A Poetry Workshop About Place

In this workshop, we will read and discuss poems that examine the various aspects of place, and through a variety of writing exercises, we will explore the role of place in our lives, whether it's where we grew up, a favorite park, a house of worship, where we call home, or a place entirely unique to us. Our goal will not be to write the most groundbreaking poem this age has ever seen, but to engage in the world in which we live--to examine it, to celebrate it, to discover and wonder at its mystery.


Dr. Kerry James Evans is the author of the poetry collection, Bangalore, a Lannan Literary Selection. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writers' Conference, and he has taught poetry workshops, poetic forms and theory, and other courses at Florida State University and at Tuskegee University where he was an Assistant Professor. His poems have appeared in Agni, Narrative, Ploughshares, and other journals.



October 31: Fiction/Creative Nonfiction with Peter Selgin


Your First Page: A First Page Workshop*

The workshop will focus exclusively on first pages—fiction or nonfiction (memoir/personal essay) of works-in-progress, and will demonstrate just how much can be gleaned from analyzing and discussing first pages: how much a first page can tell us about our own and others' works-in-progress, and how getting a first page just right can carry us a long way toward the success of a work as a whole. *Participants should bring with them a first page (one double-spaced 12 pt. page or about 350 words) of a work of narrative prose: a short story, personal essay, or the beginning of novel or memoir. 


Peter Selgin’s latest essay collection, The Kuhreihen Melody (Serving House Books) was named a finalist for the 2019 BIG OTHER Book Award for Nonfiction and an excerpt from his novel Duplicity was a finalist for the 2019 Craft First Chapter Contest. His memoir, The Inventors, (Hawthorn Press) was named a Best Memoir of 2016 by Library Journal. His essay, “My New York: A Romance in Eight Parts,” was chosen by Paul Theroux for inclusion in Best American Travel Writing, 2014. His memoir, Confessions of a Left-Handed Man: An Artist’s Memoir (University of Iowa Press, 2011), was short-listed for the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize; the title essay was selected for Best American Essays 2006. He is the author of Drowning Lessons (University of Georgia Press, 2008), winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Fiction; Life Goes to the Movies, a novel, two books on the craft of fiction writing, and several children’s books.

Chika Unigwe pic.jpg

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