Creativity to spark at The Write Place

Lindsey McCormick

Creative minds of Statesboro plan to gather downtown this week for The Write Place Writing Festival.

The festival begins tonight at the Emma Kelly Theatre in the Averitt Center for the Arts at 7.

The Write Place consists of people from Statesboro and Georgia Southern University who come together to celebrate and display their writing abilities.

“The Write Place Festival is a promotion of the literary talent that makes Statesboro a special place,” Eric Nelson, coordinator of the festival, said.

The festival will open with a reading from six featured authors; five of the six are from GSU. The readers include Janisse Ray, Stephanie Tames, David Dudley, Jared Sexton and award winning poet Emma Bolden. These authors will read from their newest or published works.

“Since it’s so close to Halloween, I figure I’ll read poems from my book-length series of poems about the witch trials in early modern Europe,” Bolden, reader and assistant professor in the department of writing and linguistics, said.

“I’ve always preferred writing creative nonfiction and have been at work on a memoir about my father who was a well regarded photographer,” Tames, reader and communications coordinator of the College of Education said.

There will also be a book signing with the six authors after the reading tonight.

Tomorrow will be the open-mic night of the festival. Anyone is welcome to participate and read their poems or short stories at the GSU City Campus downtown at 7.

Saturday, the last day of the festival, will hold three writing workshops at various downtown locations.

Janisse Ray will lead a memoir-writing program at the Statesboro Public Library at 8:30 a.m., Sarah Domet will lead a step-by-step guide to writing a novel at the Statesboro Inn at 10 a.m. and Mary Ann Anderson will host a session on working as a professional also at the Statesboro Inn at 11:30 a.m., according to a news release.

“Another exciting addition this year is a statewide writing contest for high-school students in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction,” Nelson said.

The Write Place received over 100 submissions and has selected the first and second place winners for each category. The winners will be announced at tonight’s reading.

The first Write Place Festival took place last year. It was a collaboration of The Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Averitt Center for the Arts, the Department of Writing and Linguistics and Jenny Foss, editor of The Statesboro Magazine.

The past festival was a one day event that consisted of an open reading and a reception. While 300 people attended last year’s one day festival, there are expectations of many more to come to this year’s three day festival.

“Just in two years the Write Place Festival has expanded dramatically, and I expect that it will continue to grow in size and events over the coming years,” Nelson said.

Nelson said, “Everyone in the community is warmly invited to participate.”