5th Annual

Fall Literary Festival
October 7-9, 2021
Youngstown, Ohio

Conference Theme: “Our Shared Story”
Featured Writers: Jan Beatty (memoirist & poet), Teri Ellen Cross Davis (poet), Matt Forrest Esenwine (children’s author), Bonnie Proudfoot (novelist & poet), & Mike Geither (playwright)

Image by Tom Hermans

Book Fair
Friday, October 8 & Saturday, October 9


October 7
7:00 - 9:00

Warm welcome, Fall Literary Festival attendees and presenters! Join us downtown for a cookie table (a Youngstown tradition!),

an open mic and the start of a great conference.
The Concept Studio 

217 W. Federal St.


October 8

SESSION ONE 9:45-10:45 AM >

Creative Reading
Arya F. Jenkins, Luke McDermott, Barbara Marie Minney, Lynne Schmidt, Jimmy Sutman
Moderator: Jonie McIntire


Sanctuary on the Page
Anne Elliot

Getting The Word Out: Publishing Your Work in Lit Mags, Zines, Poetry Videos, and More
Freesia McKee

So You Want to Write a Memoir?
Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh, Eliese Colette Goldbach
Moderator: Rebecca Moon Ruark

Finding Listeners & Readers at Any Age
Robert Case

Helping Writers Find Their Comedic Voice: A Bloom’s Taxonomy Approach

Matthew McKeague

The Prokope Collective: Cross-genre Artist Communities

Dawson Steeber

SESSION TWO 11:00-12:00PM >

Freedom Through Fences: A Conversation About Amplifying Voices of Incarcerated Writers
Christopher Dum, Hilary Plum, Zachary Thomas, Jason Kahler, Da’Jon C

Sheila-Na-Gig Editions Creative Reading
John Bullock, Hayley Mitchell, Barbara Sabol
Moderator: Marion Boyer

Memoir Craft Talk or Workshop
Jan Beatty


Dear Friend: An Epistolary Poetry Workshop
Pauletta Hansel

The Power of Story to Heal: Writing Workshops in Community Spaces
Wendy Brown-Báez

1:00 “Speak a Powerful Magic: Encouraging New Voices in our Community”
David Hassler, Wick Poetry Center
Moderator: Batya Weinbaum

SESSION THREE 2:15-3:15 >

 A Woman’s Place: Rewriting Women into the Historical Landscape
Iris Dunkle, Hyejung Kook, Lizzie Tran, Tess Taylor, Athena Kildegaard
Moderator: Sara Moore Wagner

Creative Reading
Betina Entzminger, Sally Rosen Kindred, Jennifer Militello, MoPoetry Phillips, Batya Weinbaum

Fiction Workshop “in medias res” 
Bonnie Proudfoot

Crafting the Story of Shared Trauma
Anne Elliot, Candace Walsh, Pam Goldman, Nancy Koerbel
Moderator: Amber Robinson

SESSION FOUR 3:30-4:30 >

 Creative Reading
Matthew Ferrence, Keith Castillo, Margo Littell, Gwen Goodkin
Moderator: Allison Pitinii Davis

​Stone, Tree, Monument: Poets at the Intersection of History and Landscape
Sandra Beasley, Chloe Martinez, Molly Spencer
Moderator: Marjorie Maddox

Playwriting Craft Talk or Workshop
Mike Geither


Mana in Memoir: Harnessing the Power of Personal Objects
Kelly Ferguson

Writing About Art: Beyond Ekphrasis
Diane Kendig
Moderator: Susann Moeller


6:00 Dinner & Jazz

7:00 Reading
Teri Ellen Cross Davis & Bonnie Proudfoot

Moderator: Furaha Henry-Jones
St. John’s Episcopal Church | 323 Wick Ave.
Sponsored by the Centofanti Foundation, WYSU, St. John’s Episcopal Church & Sojourn to the Past



October 9

SESSION ONE 9:45-10:45AM >

Loose Narratives, Tight Language: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book
Matt Forrest Esenwine

The Play’s the Thing: Erasure as a Poetic Dialogue
Jennifer Sperry Steinorth

Suturing the Wound: A Poetry Panel on Writing About Illness
Sean Thomas Dougherty, Marjorie Maddox, Molly Spencer


Creative Reading
Jerry Wemple, Matthew McKeague, John Gavin White, Sara Moore Wagner, Amber Robinson

Writing the Regional Convergence: Where the Midwest Meets Appalachia
Amanda Page

SESSION TWO 11:00-12:00PM >

Creating Space for Our Stories: Building and Sustaining the Writers Association of Northern Appalachia
Christina Fisanik, James Charlesworth, Heather Moser, Dan Reidmiller, Donna Dzurilla, Damian Dressick


Creative Reading
Amanda Rose Howland, Arya F. Jenkins, Laurin Wolf, Michael VanCalberg

Generative Poetry Workshop
Ross Gay

Worldbuilding 101: A Workshop Full of Imagination
Nikki Ericksen

SESSION THREE 1:15-2:15 >

Building Upon Your Natural Talent for Writing Prose or Poetry
Marion Boyer
Moderator: Barbara Sabol

Dramatic Reading
Mike Geither

The Literary Intersection of the South and the Midwest: A Cross-Racial Reading Exposing and Dismantling Whiteness
Julie Moore, Angela Jackson Brown

Writing Culture and Family: A Workshop
Emily Jalloul

Poetic Inventory of Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Carrie George, Olivia Farina

Creative Reading
Diane Kendig, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, Pauletta Hansel


SESSION FOUR 2:30-3:30 >

Essential Understandings for Reading & Teaching Native American Literature
Jessica Jones

Start Publishing Your Short Works
McKayla Rockwell

The Golden Shovel: An Introduction and an Invitation to the Form
Sandra Beasley

All Alone Without a Phone
Dana Washington


Into the World: Running a Writing Group & Reading Series
Laurin Wolf, Kayla Sargeson
Moderator: Anne Elliott

Anyone’s a Critic: How to Write and Publish Book Reviews
Zach Savich

3:45-4:45 >

Panel Discussion, “Our Shared Story”

Jan Beatty, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Ross Gay, Mike Geither, Bonnie Proudfoot

Moderator: Molly Fuller

7:00 Reading & Reception>

Jan Beatty

Lou Yuhasz Award winner Anastasios Mihalopoulos

Soap Gallery | 117 S. Champion St.

Sponsored by the Centofanti Foundation & the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation


“I've made so many connections with writers that started with Lit Youngstown's Lit Festival, in particular.”