Writers Weekend

We are already at work on Writers Weekend 2019, which will feature literature in translation. Check back in May for updates!

Information on our 2018 conference (now past) is below.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, Writers Weekend features award-winning authors and teachers who will lead workshops and share their original creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. This unique opportunity enables readers and writers from a variety of backgrounds to connect, collaborate, and create.

Writers Weekend 2018 will take place February 8th – February 10th on Augusta University’s Health Sciences and Summerville campuses. All events are free and open to the public.

2018 Writers Weekend_ Complete Schedule of Events

Register for the conference here.

This year’s conference honors the late Dr. Marya DuBose Free, a Professor of English and an Associate Chair of the former Department of Languages, Literature, and Communications at Augusta University.

Keynote Speaker:

Rebecca Skloot is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her award winning science writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan. She has worked as a correspondent for WNYC’s Radiolab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW. She and her father, Floyd Skloot, co-edited The Best American Science Writing 2011.

Presenting Thursday, February 8th. Register for the keynote event here

Featured Authors & Presenters:

Karyn Parsons is best known as the character Hilary Banks on the long-running television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Karyn created Sweet Blackberry after being inspired by the true tale of a determined enslaved man and the remarkable lengths he travelled to find his freedom.  While growing up, Karyn’s mother, a librarian in the Black Resource Center of a library in South Central Los Angeles, would share stories of African American accomplishment with her daughter. A mother and an activist, Karyn believes that stories have the power to inspire youth.

Presenting Saturday, February 10th. 

George Ella Lyon has published award-winning books for readers of all ages, and her poem, “Where I’m From,” has been used as a model by teachers around the world. Recent titles include She Let Herself Go (poems) and the following picture books: “Which Side Are You On?” The Story of a Song, and All the Water in the World (both CCBC Choices), The Pirate of Kindergarten (Schneider Award) and You and Me and Home Sweet Home (Jane Addams Honor). Originally from the mountains of Kentucky, Lyon works as a freelance writer and teacher based in Lexington, where she lives with her husband, writer and musician Steve Lyon. They have two grown sons.

Presenting Saturday, February 10th.

Anthony Grooms grew up in rural Virginia. His education at the College of William and Mary and George Mason University led him to a teaching career in Georgia, where since 1995, he has taught creative writing and literature at Kennesaw State University, and directs its M. A. in Professional Writing Program. He is the author of Ice Poems, Trouble No More: Stories and Bombingham, a novel. His stories and poems have been published in Callaloo, African American Review, Crab Orchard Review, and other literary journals and anthologies both in the US and abroad. The Vain Conversation, a novel, is scheduled to be published by Story River Books (USC Press) in early 2018.

Presenting Saturday, February 10th.

Born and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia, Sean Hill is the author of Dangerous Goods, awarded the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, (Milkweed Editions, 2014) and Blood Ties & Brown Liquor, named one of the Ten Books All Georgians Should Read in 2015 by the Georgia Center for the Book, (UGA Press, 2008). He’s received numerous awards including fellowships from Cave Canem, the Region 2 Arts Council, the Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, The Jerome Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Wisconsin, and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. Most recently, he received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Harvard Review, The Oxford American, Poetry, Tin House, and numerous other journals, and in several anthologies including Black Nature and Villanelles. Hill is a consulting editor at Broadsided Press, a monthly broadside publisher. He’s an assistant professor in the Creative Writing Program at UA-Fairbanks.

Presenting Saturday, February 10th.

Ashley M. Jones received an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University (FIU), where she was a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellow. She served as Official Poet for the City of Sunrise, Florida’s Little Free Libraries Initiative from 2013-2015, and her work was recognized in the 2014 Poets and Writers Maureen Egen Writer’s Exchange Contest and the 2015 Academy of American Poets Contest at FIU. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Hub City Press New Southern Voices Contest, the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Contest, and the National Poetry Series. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in many journals and anthologies, including the Academy of American Poets, Tupelo Quarterly, Prelude, Steel Toe Review, Fjords Review, Quiet Lunch, Poets Respond to Race Anthology, Night Owl, The Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, pluck!, Valley Voices: New York School Edition, Fjords Review: Black American Edition, PMSPoemMemoirStory (where her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016), Kinfolks Quarterly, Tough Times in America Anthology, and Lucid Moose Press’ Like a Girl: Perspectives on Femininity Anthology. She received a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a 2015 B-Metro Magazine Fusion Award. She was an editor of PANK Magazine. Her debut poetry collection, Magic City Gospel, was published by Hub City Press in January 2017, and it won the silver medal in poetry in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is a board member of the Alabama Writers’ Conclave , co-coordinator of the Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series, and a faculty member in the Creative Writing Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

Presenting Saturday, February 10th.

Local & Regional Authors:

Tonya Marie Agerton is a children’s book author living in Augusta. Her first book, Chef-A-Rella, tells the story of a determined little princess who wants to be a chef but whose mother, the queen, insists she should be a ballerina. This is a heartfelt rhyming story about encouraging your children to follow their dreams and to walk in their gifts.

Presenting Saturday, February 10th.


Tom Robertson is a direct descendant of two major subjects in both of his full-length books, Resisting Sherman and Albert, Surgeon Francis Marion Robertson and planter Jonathan Meyer Miller. He is president of the engineering firm Cranston Engineering Group, P.C., headquartered in Augusta. As a founding member of the Augusta Canal Authority, Tom led the establishment of the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area in 1996.  He is president of the Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County, where he led the formation of the Westobou Festival, the annual citywide arts festival. He is a past president of Historic Augusta, Inc. and has been recognized by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation for lifetime achievement.

Presenting Saturday, February 10th. (Tom Robertson’s presentation is sponsored by the Authors Club of Augusta.)

Bob Young is former mayor of the City of Augusta and senior executive in the administration of President George W. Bush. An Emmy-nominated broadcast journalist, Bob has been presented the Jefferson Davis Award for his work in South History by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. His first book, The Treasure Train, was a finalist for the Frank Yerby Award. Bob attended Wofford College and Augusta University. He is an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War. Bob and his wife Gwen, a retired real estate broker, live in Augusta’s historic Summerville district.

Presenting Saturday, February 10th. (Bob Young’s presentation is sponsored by the Authors Club of Augusta.)

Derek Berry is a poet, novelist, and teaching artist. He is the author of the poetry chapbook Skinny Dipping with Strangers (2014), Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016), and a second poetry chapbook forthcoming through PRA Publishing in September 2018. He is the founder & President of The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based in Charleston, SC. He is also the editor of Good Juju Review & co-host of the creative writing podcast Contribute Your Verse.

Vanessa Harris, poetically known as Most Elevated Deepness, is a singer- songwriter/spoken word poet from Augusta. She is known throughout the city and surrounding area for her poetry- and song-infused style of spoken word. She is also one third of the poetry group The Forces and hosts several monthly open mics. Most Elevated Deepness’ poetry is soulful and spiritual and is sure to take the listener on a journey.

Calvin W. Pennywell, Jr. is a poet seeking publication of his chapbook Resignation. He graduated from Augusta University with a Bachelor’s degree in English-Creative Writing and a minor in Communication. He’s the creator of the podcast The Glory in Our Stories, where he has conversations with everyday people with extraordinary backgrounds. Calvin seeks to attend Augusta University in the fall to start his graduate program in Educational Counseling. Calvin currently has an audio project titled Born, where he illustrates his journey into manhood through the medium of hip-hop.

James Aaron Snow is a firm believer that he did not discover poetry, but instead it found him. And many times, it has saved him. Though he writes for therapy and pleasure, he knows that his purpose in the written word is to challenge the reader (and himself) of feeble pretenses. Aaron is working on a degree in Professional Writing and Rhetoric and he has a forthcoming e-chapbook entitled Flashpoint: Vol. I: Contemporaneous Poetry & The Elucidating Narrative..

Catherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan and dozens of other cities. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank and The Grief Diaries. Her new chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press and is available on Amazon.