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OCU Hosts Creative Writing Festival
Noted screenwriter and novelist Lou Berney and celebrated poet Douglas Goetsch will headline the Oklahoma City University Creative Writing Festival “Inventing Fantastic Stories” on the OCU campus from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 27. The festival, free and open to the public, will bring together local writers at all levels to talk about the writing of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and screenwriting. Berney, an Oklahoma City native, has written feature screenplays and created TV pilots for Warner Brothers, Paramount, Focus Features, ABC, Fox and others. He is the author of “The Road to Bobby Joe,” a collection of stories, and his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, New England Review, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He has taught at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and in the MFA program at Saint Mary's College in California. “Gutshot Straight,” his first novel, was written during the 2007-08 Film and TV Writers Guild strike. It is slated for publication this month. Goetsch is an acclaimed poet who has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Donald Murray Prize for creative non-fiction and numerous other honors. He is the author of three full-length collections of poetry and four prize-winning booklets. His poems, essays and reviews have appeared in several magazines and anthologies including Poetry, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, The American Scholar, and Best American Poetry. He is currently a poet-in-residence at the University of Central Oklahoma where he teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program. Also teaching workshops at the festival are OCU creative writing professors Danita Berg and Terry Phelps. Workshops will be available in freewriting, writing invention, plotting and structuring a work and character creation. There will also be a session with Berney and Goetsch on writing life and publication, as well as creative readings and opportunities for book signings. OCU will sponsor a writing contest for local high school students as part of the festivities. Scholarships will be awarded for the winning entries. The event will take place in the Walker Center near Northwest 26th Street and Florida Avenue. Advance registration is encouraged by e-mailing Professor Danita Berg at Include a name and writing affiliation. More information is available online at