“I've made so many connections with writers that started with Lit Youngstown's Lit Festival, in particular.”
2023 Fall Lit Festival
Welcome to our 7th annual Fall Literary Festival! We are thrilled to offer you dozens of creative readings, craft talks, interviews, roundtables and writing workshops Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, on and around Youngstown State University's campus (in-person only). Nearly 150 presenters from throughout the U.S. will present on a wide array of literary topics of interest to readers, writers, translators, educators, editors and publishers. Saturday, there will be a special track for K-12 language arts educators. The bookfair will include nearly two dozen small presses, booksellers and programs.
Registration is closed, but please see the events below that are free and open to the public.
This year's festival will offer choices of 50 high quality sessions. The complete program is available here.
With gratitude to our funders, four festival events are free and open to the public:
Friday, October 20 at 1:00pm at the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County main library: "What If We Put Our Wildernesses Together?" Ross Gay in conversation with Jen Sperry Steinorth on teaching creative writing.
Friday, October 20 at 7:00pm St. John's Episcopal Church: Ross Gay keynote reading, with performance by Reverie Movement Collective.
We welcome journals, presses, programs and literary businesses to the Fall Literary Festival bookfair, where registered festival attendees meet program directors and editors, and purchase thousands of dollars' worth of books.
General admission: $60.00
Graduate students / adjunct faculty: $20.00
Undergraduate / high school students: Free
If you are struggling economically and would like to apply for a sponsorship, please email us here. Registered for the conference and can't make it? We'll issue a refund until September 1. If you would like to sponsor an attendee, we will give you the opportunity to do so when you check out. Thank you! We will include your generous gesture in the program.
*New this year.*
K-12 Language Arts Educator Track
For K-12 English teachers, literacy coaches and school librarians, this year's festival includes a special track of sessions on Saturday, October 21. More information and registration is here.
Friday and Saturday lunches are included with your registration. Friday and Saturday dinners will be catered at an additional cost of $15 each. Please list dietary restrictions on the registration form.
The registration form invites accommodation requests. This year's daytime programming will take place in 4 adjacent buildings; all 4 buildings are within a 0.2 mile walking radius. The parking deck is among them. All buildings have elevators and power door openers, and 2 have handicap parking. Travel distance over the course of a day will depend on selected sessions.
Jill Christman is a 2020 NEA Prose Fellow and the author of If This Were Fiction: A Love Story in Essays and two memoirs, Darkroom: A Family Exposure (winner of the AWP Prize for CNF) and Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood. Her essays have appeared in magazines such as Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Iron Horse Literary Review, Longreads, and O, The Oprah Magazine. A senior editor for River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative and executive producer of the podcast Indelible: Campus Sexual Violence, she teaches creative nonfiction writing and literary editing at Ball State University.
A graduate of the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon and the MFA program at the University of Alabama, Jill has served on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and taught creative nonfiction writing in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program. She lives with her husband, poet Mark Neely, and their two cross-genre teenagers in Muncie, Indiana.
Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His first collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released in 2019 and was a New York Times bestseller. His new collection of essays, Inciting Joy, was released by Algonquin in October of 2022.
Image by Natasha Komoda
Alison Stine is the author of the novels Trashlands (MIRA / HarperCollins) and Road Out of Winter, winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award. She is also the author of three poetry collections and a novella. Her plays and musicals have been performed at the Cleveland Playhouse and Off-Broadway at the Trilogy Theatre. Her next novel Dust will be published by Wednesday Books (Macmillan) in 2024.
Recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and a grant from the Ohio Arts Council, she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a Ruth Lilly Fellow, and received the Studs Terkel Award for Media and Journalism. In 2022, she was voted Top Author by 5280 magazine for their “Top of the Town” issue. Partially deaf, she works as a Staff Culture Writer at Salon, and has reported for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, 100 Days in Appalachia, and more. She was raised in rural Ohio.
Image by Ellee Achten