Appomattox Regional Governor’s School’s popular Writers Fest returns

By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Email: Click Here
Posted: Feb. 7, 2018 | 12:50 p.m. 

PETERSBURG – The Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology, will host its popular Writers Fest on Sunday, February 11, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you love to read, or if you love literature of any kind: poetry, novels, essays, short stories, books of any kind, or the power of the written word; this is a totally-free annual event that you will not want to miss!

The Writer’s Fest will be held at the Governor’s School, located at 512 West Washington Street in Petersburg.

ARGS is an elite and prestigious institution of learning attended by advanced students from over a dozen communities, including the surrounding counties of Dinwiddie and Prince George, as well as cities such as Hopewell, Petersburg, and Colonial Heights.

This year’s ARGS Writer’s Fest is chock-full of events, activities, and workshops. You can go for a day full of words! You can go for one session or stay all afternoon. There will be a massive used book sale and bake sale all day. Everything will go for a buck. All proceeds will be going to help support visiting authors and the Literary Arts programs at the ARGS.

“When I first came to the school as the Department Chair for Literary Arts, I knew that I wanted to make the environment as professional, fulfilling, and as fun as possible,” Dr. Cindy Cunningham, an instructor at the school for over 15 years remarked. “Every college program for writing hosts some sort of Writing Conference or Festival; so, I decided to initiate such a program here at ARGS. In the beginning, I reached out mainly to authors I knew personally.  This has expanded each year as we bring in authors from across the nation.  We have hosted well-known novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and this year will be no exception.  I have kept the event free so that all students and the public at large may have access to this engaging and thrilling environment. I truly believe that writing can save lives; I hope everyone who experiences our event will feel the same way after attending.”

From 12:00 to 12:55, join Kris Spisak for Grammartopia, in the library. This is a game-show style panel, where two teams will battle it out over their language-use savvy in this entertaining and educational program. Even the audience will be invited to participate as the game seeks out the best communicators and celebrates the power of using our words well.

Amy Tudor, will present Poem into Song, an Introduction to Songwriting, 1:00 to 2:00, in room 303.

There will be a Valley Haggard Life in 10 Minutes Workshop, from 1:00 to 2:00, in the library. This hands-on writing workshop will explore free-writing techniques designed to help express, imagine, translate, and heal experiences, dreams, and memories as they emerge on the page. Everyone should bring a notebook and a pen. Writing will be done by hand!

Bird Cox, Lies, Truth, and Other Stuff, 2:05 to 3:05, room 304. This pre-writing workshop will dig into your life, and the stories you love to develop most. It will explore rich and inventive characters and settings. There will also be discussion on memorable first sentences, so come prepared with a few favorites to share.

Ron Smith, Human Beings Can’t Go Straight, Some Brutish Humility, 2:05 to 3:05, library. Former Virginia Poet Laureate, Ron Smith, will examine the aesthetic implications of the “shaped poem” and the failed epiphany.

Michele Young-Stone, Fiction Writing and Visual Art/Collage, 3:10 to 4:25, B-16. This workshop will use fiction to visually construct a scene, idea, or “big picture.” Participants should bring a short story, idea, or poem (some words) that they would like to represent visually. (Bring in any font/size preferred.) Excerpts will be cut out from the writings to incorporate into the visual creations.

David Coogan, Writing Your Way Out, 4:30 to 6:00, library. Writing Our Way Out is the creative culmination of a writing class that began in the Richmond City Jail in Virginia, and grew into a journey to re-entry. Compiled in a narrative by their teacher, Dr. David Coogan, these stories reveal the formative and transformative memories of men struggling to be free. Come hear their stories and learn how it is possible to write your way out of your own mental prison, with David Coogan, an English professor at VCU, Kelvin Belton, Ron Fountain, Terrence Scruggs, and Dean Turner, co-authors of Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail.

Words, the basis for virtually everything. All religions, governments, and rulers that ever ruled; all laws, regulations, edicts, and proclamations; all learning, knowledge, and science; and all love in all relationships—are all based and rooted in words. They must be quite important. What an exciting, powerful, and worthwhile event for Central and Southside Virginia.

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