Meacham Writers’ Workshop Returns for Aspiring Writers

By Kaleigh Cortez, Staff Writer

The Meacham Writers’ Workshop returns this fall in a new format for an open dialogue with acclaimed authors and novice writers to discuss their passions. Chicago-based author Rebecca Makkai kicked off the event on Sept. 17.

The author penned four novels and a collection of short stories that have adorned bookstore fiction shelves. “The Great Believers”​(2018) is her most celebrated novel and received honors from premier organizations across the United States. It was a finalist for the distinguished Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. The novel was named on the New York Times​Top 10 Books for 2018 and a Los Angeles TimesBook Prize Winner.

For aspiring writers who want to hear from a UTC graduate, Libya native Khaled Mattawa will be discussing his poetry next month. Mattawa earned his degrees from UTC in political science and economics and continued his education at Indiana University and Duke University, where he obtained his Ph.D in creative writing.

The author followed in the footsteps of his former professor and Meacham organizer, Dr. Richard Jackson to compose multiple collections of poetry and translate nine contemporary Arabic poems.

His accomplishments awarded him with a number of accolades and esteemed fellowships with the Guggenheim Foundation, Princeton University’s Alfred Hodder Fellowship, and the MacArthur Fellowship.

The ongoing pandemic forced Meacham organizers to operate the workshop in a vastly different way this year. They were forced to abandon their famed traditions for online Zoom readings and question-and-answer sessions with each author. 

Workshop organizer and UTC Creative Writing Professor, Dr. Richard Jackson invites all students interested in writing to attend this valuable experience to discuss, “how the writer works, advice to student writers, [and] a discussion of what the author has read.”

Previous years featured a three-day workshop and a focus on organic discussion and genuine connections between amateur writers and established authors through conferences, panel discussions, workshops, and more personal informal gatherings.

Students who wish to participate in the workshop should contact their professors to register and receive a Zoom link.

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