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Creative Writing Festival Set for April

Oklahoma City University’s annual Creative Writing Festival will be held April 16 with the theme title “The Business of Being Creative.” The festival, free to the public, will give local authors and aspiring writers opportunities to be recognized for their work and a venue to discuss with other writers effective techniques on getting published.

"This year we will focus not only on the craft of writing, but also the business of how to get published," said Danita Berg, assistant professor of writing at OCU and the event coordinator.

Publishers Dorothy Alexander of Village Books Press and Jeanetta Calhoun Mish of Mongrel Empire Press will discuss how they choose works for publication. In addition, local Oklahoma City writers Lou Berney and Gwendolyn Hooks, and OCU professors Berg and Abigail Keegan, will offer workshops on the writing craft.

Attendees are invited to read their creative writing during the festival, and authors will be available to sign their books for the public.

As part of the day-long festival, Oklahoma City University will offer writing scholarships of $1,000 and $500 to local high school students to attend OCU, and $1,000 merit scholarships to inaugural students of the university’s new Red Earth Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program, slated to begin in July. Local writers can also participate in a writing contest for cash prizes. The deadline for all contests is March 11. Information is available at the festival website, www.okcu.edu/writingfestival/.

The event will take place in Walker Center, with parking available in the lots north of the building at N.W. 26th Street and Florida Avenue.

Advance registration is recommended by e-mailing Berg at drberg@okcu.edu with your name and writing affiliation.

A pre-festival event will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 14 in the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center at N.W. 27th Street and Florida Avenue. Contributors to the anthology “Ain’t Nobody That Can Sing Like Me: New Oklahoma Writing” will make presentations in the center’s upstairs Leichter Reunion Room. The book, which is available at MongrelEmpire.org, BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com, is named after a Woody Guthrie lyric.