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


2023 Fall Lit Festival

Please join us for the 7th annual Fall Literary Festival featuring Jill Christman, Ross Gay & Alison Stine!

The presenter proposal submission portal will be open the month of February. Send us your talks, workshops, readings and roundtables on all aspects of the literary arts.


October 20, 7:00-9:00 pm

Gathering In 
Concept Studio

Warm welcome, Fall Literary Festival attendees and presenters! Join us downtown at the Concept Studio for a reception, open mic and the start of a great conference.


October 21


Karen Schubert 

9:45-10:45 SESSION ONE

Creative Reading 

Mixby Dickon, Jim Ferris, Sara Moore Wagner

Life Like: Crafting Memorable Settings in Creative Works

Melissa Dunlap, Amanda Miller

Honoring Others with Our Fiction Research

June Gervais 

Poem and Place Caught on Film: An Interactive Workshop Responding to Photography, Movies, and Other Art Forms

Marjorie Maddox

Writing Great Nonfiction with Kids

Candace Fleming

11:00-12:00 SESSION TWO

Creative Reading

Ashley Cowger, LaPerle, Tara Stillions Whitehead

From the Small Screen to the Big Screen:  Crafting Stories for News and Documentary Films

Karla Murthy

Crabgrass and Hummingbirds: A Generative Workshop with a Focus on Incorporating -- and Maximizing -- Natural Elements in Poetry and Prose

Erica Anderson-Senter, Christian Whitney

Moving Past Influence

Ali Black, Mary Biddinger, Dylan Morris


Creative Reading

Karen Frank, Jeff Gundy, Becca J.R. Lachman



1:00-2:00 Changing Narratives and Building Connection: the Power of Documentary Film to Redefine, Reimagine, and Break Stereotypes by Creating Empathy

Karla Murthy


Let's Deconstruct a Story Part 1

Kelly Fordon


Literary Mapping: The Place in Our Metaphors

Joy Priest

Marketing Your Book--Tips from a Professional Marketer and Writer

Gabriel Welsch

Literary Citizenship: Writing for Other Writers

Christina Consolino, Meredith Doench, Erin Flanagan, Amy Gustine

Creative Reading

Matthew Graham, Julia Wendell

3:30-4:30 SESSION FOUR

Screening Proud Citizen

Screenwriter Katerina Stoykova


Redirection as Reinvigoration

Molly Fuller, Robert Miltner

Let's Deconstruct a Story Part 2

Kelly Fordon


Rikki Santer

The Danger of Forced Silence: Why Fighting Book Bannings and Problematic Educational Legislation Matters

Christopher Barzak, Timothy Francisco, Jackie Mercer, Sarah Valingo

Launching a Writer’s Residency on the Eve of a Pandemic

Arlan Hess, Dade Lemanski, Alyssa Velazquez


Strengthening Artistic Communities Through Podcasts

Jeremy Jusek 

5:00-6:00 Happy Hour Noble Creature Cask House or Tour Museum of Industry & Labor



6:00-7:00 Dinner & Jazz



7:00 Reading (Free and Open to the Public)

Featured Presenters Kelly Fordon & Joy Priest

Lou Yuhasz Writing Award Winner Charity Morris

St. John's Episcopal Church | 323 Wick Ave.



October 22


Karen Schubert 

9:45-10:45 SESSION ONE

Creating a Creative Writing Infrastructure at the Community College

Michael Dittman, Jacqueline Kunkel 

Creative Reading

Susan McKenzie, Mary Ozbolt, Amber Ree Robinson

How to Get Somewhere Without Going There: A Panel Discussion on Writing Authentically about Place

Marion Starling Boyer, Marjorie Maddox, Barbara Sabol

Building Community & Empathy through Creative Writing

Cynthia Larsen, Amy Rosenbluth

Persevering to Publication: Some Practical Tips

June Gervais


11:00-12:00 SESSION TWO


Screening Exact Change

Screenwriter Christine Howey


Ohio's Girlhood Landscape: Exploring the Intersection of Place and Identity

Christen Noel Kauffman, Sara Moore Wagner, Sarah Ann Winn

The Objects That Reveal Who We Are

Jim Ferris, Jonie McIntire

Creative Reading

Janet Beard, Jennifer Militello, Rikki Santer

Writing Into and Out of Landscapes 

Joee Goheen, Anastasios Mihalopolous  


Evoking the Spirit: Place as Character in Fiction Writing

Karen Frank

12:00-1:00 CATERED LUNCH

Sponsored by the Bitonte College of Health & Human Services

1:15-2:15 SESSION THREE 


Creative Reading

Candace Fleming


Creative Reading

Jen Knox, Jonie McIntire, Sarah Ann Winn

Publishing Law 101

Jacqueline Lipton

Been There, Lit That 

Mario J. Ricciardi


Characteristics of Appalachian Literature and Film

Larry Smith

Make Your Mark(eting)

Lannie Stabile 

NAG the Competition -Naming, Aiming, and Gaming - A Guide to Titles and Marketing

Dianne Borsenik


The Window or the Door: Transitioning from Writing Stories to Novels

Erin Flanagan

2:30-3:30 SESSION FOUR 


Talking About Tough Topics

Candace Fleming


Creative Reading

William Heath, Lannie Stabile, Katerina Stoykova

Excavating a Protagonist's Inner Wounds

Meredith Doench

Women & Words: Stories that Connect

Mary Leoson

Persona's Not Just People

Heather Dobbins, Christian Anton Gerard

Centering Writing in our Community

Cynthia Larsen, Amy Rosenbluth


Panel Discussion, “The Places That Make Us”

5:00-7:00 Dinner & bowling 

The Westside Bowl | 2617 Mahoning Ave.

7:00 Screening of The Place That Makes Us & Panel Discussion (Free and Open to the Public)

Youngstown Playhouse | 600 Playhouse Lane


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