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
Keith Castillo, Arya F. Jenkins, Luke McDermott, Barbara Marie Minney, 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
Moderator Rikki Santer

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
Moderator Cherise Benton

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
Da’Jon Carouthers, Christopher Dum, Jason Kahler, Hilary Plum, Zachary Thomas

Moderator Amanda Page

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

Memoir Craft Talk "Blood Ghosts: Finding Structure”
Jan Beatty
Moderator Diane Kendig

Dear Friend: An Epistolary Poetry Workshop
Pauletta Hansel

Moderator Jimmy Sutman

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

Moderator Cherise Benton

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


"Speak a Powerful Magic: Encouraging New Voices in Our Community"

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, MoPoetry Phillips

Moderator Chloe Martinez

Fiction Workshop “in medias res” 
Bonnie Proudfoot
Moderator Cherise Benton

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

Start Publishing Your Short Works
McKayla Rockwell

Moderator Susann Moeller

Femspec The Journal: Publishing as Gate-opener

Narisa Chowdhury, Batya Weinbaum

SESSION FOUR 3:30-4:30 >

 Prose Reading
Matthew Ferrence, Gwen Goodkin,  Margo Orlando Littell, Matthew McKeague
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 Workshop "Losing Control"
Mike Geither

Moderator McKayla Rockwell

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

Writing About Art: Beyond Ekphrasis
Diane Kendig
Moderator Susann Moeller


5:00 Reading

Mike Geither

6:00 Dinner & Jazz

7:00 Reading
Teri Ellen Cross Davis & Bonnie Proudfoot

Centofanti Scholarship winner Jennifer Sperry Steinorth

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

Moderator Charlie Malone

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

Moderator Lindsay Sinkovich

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

Moderator Molly Fuller


Creative Reading
Amber Robinson,  Lynne Schmidt, Sara Moore Wagner, Jerry Wemple, John Gavin White

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

Moderator Janine Harrison

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,  Donna Dzurilla, Damian Dressick

Moderator Barbara Marie Minney


Creative Reading
Amanda R. Howland, Arya F. Jenkins,  Michael VanCalberg, Batya Weinbaum, Laurin Wolf

Moderator Betina Entzminger

Poetry Workshop"Back Down Memory Lane"
Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Moderator Julie Moore

Worldbuilding 101: A Workshop Full of Imagination
Nikki Ericksen

Moderator Kelly Ferguson

SESSION THREE 1:15-2:15 >

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

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

Moderator Pam Goldman

Writing Culture and Family: A Workshop
Emily Jalloul

Moderator Anne Garwig

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

Moderator Lindsay Sinkovich

Poetry Reading
Cynthia Atkins, Paulette Hansel, Diane Kendig, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth

Moderator James Charlesworth


SESSION FOUR 2:30-3:30 >

Essential Understandings for Reading & Teaching Native American Literature
Jessica Jones

Moderator Barbara Marie Minney

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

Moderator Cherise Benton

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

Moderator Iris Jamahl Dunkle

3:45-4:45 >

Panel Discussion, “Our Shared Story”

Jan Beatty, Teri Ellen Cross Davis, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Mike Geither, Bonnie Proudfoot

Moderator Molly Fuller

7:00 Reading & Reception>

Jan Beatty

Lou Yuhasz Award winner Anastasios Mihalopoulos

Moderator Sandra Beasley

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.”