Aspiring Writers Can Hone Skills at Yoknapatawpha Workshop June 6-8

OXFORD, Miss. – Aspiring writers are invited to hone their
skills at the University of Mississippi’s Yoknapatawpha
Summer Writers Workshop June 6-8.

Attendees are to engage in various creative writing
exercises under the instruction of local authors, UM
faculty members and other professionals. The three-day
intensive workshop includes panels, lectures, open-mike
readings and creative discussions.

The registration deadline is Monday, June 2, and
pre-registration is required. Tuition is $325 per person.
Call 662-915-5811 or e-mail

Director Neal “M.O.” Walsh said the professional writers on
the workshop staff are enthusiastic about this year’s
event. Walsh, a recent graduate of the Ole Miss MFA
program, is an up-and-coming fiction and screenwriter.

“Concentrated workshops like ours give budding writers a
great shot of adrenaline,” Walsh said. “You spend three
days with people just like you who not only love literature
but also have a burning desire to write and write well.
Seeing that you’re part of a community like this, and
meeting writers who have had success in publishing, really
makes you want to get back in front of that typewriter.”

The workshop staff also includes Beth Ann Fennelly, UM
associate professor of English who recently released her
third collection of poetry, “Unmentionables”; Jere Hoar, UM
professor emeritus of journalism whose work includes “Body
Parts”, a collection of short stories, and the novel “The
Hit”; Mississippi writer Scott Morris, author of the
critically acclaimed novels “Waiting for April” and “The
Total View of Taftly”; and literary performing artist
Rebecca Jernigan.

“There are a lot of local folks who are interested in
writing, but usually because of full-time jobs, they can’t
take a semester-long writing class,” Fennelly said. “The
Yoknapatawpha workshop is well suited to their needs.”

Workshop participants are required to submit a writing
sample beforehand. All forms of creative writing are
welcome, though the focus is primarily on fiction, Walsh
said. Writers who submit complete works will be guided with
revisions and critiques throughout the workshop, and
writers with works in the initial stages will be primed
with advice and direction for their compositions.

Participants also get an opportunity to experience the
‘writer’s town’ of Oxford and touring William Faulkner’s
home, Rowan Oak. Other off-campus outings include trips to
Square Books, City Grocery and Taylor Grocery.

“Whether strolling through the great bookstores on the
square, bumping into one of the many authors that live and
work here, sipping a cocktail and people watching, or just
catching the sunset as it disappears beyond the north
Mississippi hills, people get a sense that stories are the
heart of this place,” Walsh said. “And, as always, stories
are looking for tellers.”

Daily workshop sessions take place at the Ole Miss-Oxford
Depot. The schedule begins at 9 a.m. each day and ends at
approximately 10 p.m. The workshop wraps up around 3:30
p.m. Sunday.

Tuition includes lectures, panels, readings, discussions
and one evening reception at Taylor Grocery. The fee does
not include transportation, lodging or meals. Full-time
students who seek financial assistance should contact
Barbara Thompson at for information on
reduced fees.

All writing samples must be submitted by June 2 for the
workshop leader to familiarize himself with each
participant’s style and subject matter. Samples should be
no longer than 10 double-spaced pages. The workshop format
is informal, and participants are asked to dress
comfortably and casually.

For additional information on transportation, lodging and
scheduled events, visit or
contact Barbara Thompson at 662-915-5811 or For assistance related to a
disability, call 662-915-5811.