The CSU writers conference is about community. All conference presentations, Saturday night’s reading, and the bookfair are free and open to the public. Come join us Oct. 24th 2020. We plan on accepting panel proposals for approximately 500 participants. Accepted panelists have to pay a registration fee upon notification of acceptance. The application process also contains a section for community workshop proposals; instructors will be asked to focus on their students for the day.
Accepted panelists and workshop instructors will be asked to upload book information, and their books will be ordered for those whose presses don’t have tables at the book fair. To see the guidelines for panel and workshop proposals, select the “Panel/Workshop Proposal” tab below.
Writer and Professor Mat Johnson has confirmed to read. He is the author of: the novels Drop, Hunting in Harlem, Pym, Loving Day; the nonfiction book, The Great Negro Plot; and has written comics, Hellblazer, Incognegro, Dark Rain, and Right State.
GA naturalist and environmental writer Janisse Ray has confirmed to read. Ray is
the author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Wild Cart Quilt, Pinhook, Drifting into
Darien, House of Branches, and most recently, The Seed Underground.
Saturday, Oct. 24 th , 2020 at the Columbus, GA Convention & Trade Center.
First round panel sessions, 8:30am-9:45am
Second round panel sessions, 10:15am-11:30am
Third round panel sessions, 12:00-1:15pm
Fourth round panel sessions, 2:30-3:45pm
Fifth round panel sessions, 4:14-5:30pm
7:30-9:00pm Main Reading Event
Saturday, October 24, 2020, at One Arsenal
First round, Workshops, 9:00am-11:00am
Second round, Workshops, 12:30pm-2:30pm
Third round, Workshops, 3:00pm-5:00pm
Please make sure to check the distance between the listed hotel and the Trade Center.
The following hotels have agreed to provide conference rates:
Please note: We anticipate that an additional hotel, a new Hampton Inn, will be available in Uptown Columbus for fall, 2020. And there is additional lodging directly across the river from Columbus in Phenix City, AL: ()
Timeline for Panel and Workshop Instructor Proposals:
October, 2019, panel proposal application process begins
Feb. 15, 2020, 11:59pm, panel and workshop instructor proposal application process closes
April 30th, Proposal and Workshop acceptance notifications
May 1, Conference and hotel registration opens,
May 31st, Confirmation of attendance for panelists and workshop instructors required
October 24th, 2020, conference date
Panel Chair and Moderator:
This is the individual who proposes the panel to the CSU Creative Writers Conference, and this person will coordinate the panel with the conference director and staff. The moderator and chair can participate, and there must be four other participants for each proposed panel.
This is the individual who proposes the workshop to the CSU Creative Writers Conference, and this person will coordinate the panel with the conference director and staff. The instructor must be a participant, can be the sole participant, and there can be one to two other participants for each proposed young writers or high school writers workshop.
Limits on Proposals:
Individuals can only be included on one panel proposal since this is a smaller conference. Without repeat acceptances, we can have more participants at the conference. Individuals can be included on one panel proposal, and submit a workshop proposal.
Once an event has been accepted, the panel chair and moderator is responsible for making sure there are four other confirmed participants for the panel. If this turns out not to be the case, the panel chair and moderator will not be allowed to submit proposals for the conference in the future. Participants confirm their intent to attend by registering by May 30th. Substitutions can be made if participants learn that they are unable to attend.
The Panel Chair and Moderator will be asked to upload all of the brief participant biographies (limit, 350 characters). Please note: the conference program and proceedings will be made available online.
We do not provide pre-advising on panel proposals.
There will be ongoing small readings in one room. Readings should have four participants who read for 10-15 minutes, sharing either short complete works or excerpts. Solo and dual proposed readings will not be accepted. The categories for readings include fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and drama.
The Business of Writing:
This is to help serve our aspiring local Columbus writers.
The categories for this area include working with or how to find an agent, small press versus larger commercial publishers, publicity advice, organizing book tours, publishing advice for beginning writers, etc… Panel chairs are encouraged to submit proposals that help both beginning and established writers.
Literary Craft: Panel Chairs are encouraged to submit proposals that are specific to craft or thematic issues for fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or drama. Panels should focus on discussions of published work not by the participants; it would be better to show less of an interest in self-promotion, and a greater appreciation for the literary world at large.
Memorials or Tributes:
These are for renowned living authors or writers of national significance who have passed away. Readings can certainly be included, as well as testimonials and time for the sharing of memories and anecdotes. If the writer being honored can be present, of course there should be time scheduled for the writer to read and offer remarks.
Graduate Student Panels:
We are quite aware that it is often difficult for graduate students to become part of a panel with more established writers, so we welcome proposals that are composed of graduate students only. There will be an entirely separate category for these panels, while proposals with mostly graduate students or some graduate students should be submitted under the other categories at large. Graduate student only panels should follow the same category guidelines listed above.
We will have six students each for these two-hour workshops, coordinating with local Columbus elementary and junior high schools. Instructors can propose elementary or junior-high level workshops in cnf, poetry, fiction, or a combination of genres. There should obviously be a fun aspect to the lesson plans. There should obviously be prompts, drafting, sharing, and encouragement.
High School Writers:
We will have five students each for these two-hour workshops, coordinating with local Columbus high schools. Instructors can propose workshops in cnf, poetry, fiction, or a combination of genres. Materials should be engaging for older students. There should obviously be prompts, drafting, sharing, and encouragement.
Note: the young writers and high school writers workshops are thought of as a service activity.
Adult Craft Workshops:
We will have four students for these two-hour workshops, so that half an hour can be devoted to feedback, and writing samples will be provided well beforehand. We will be coordinating participation with local writers’ groups. Instructors can propose workshops in cnf, poetry, or fiction. This includes various genres of commercial fiction. We do welcome generative workshop proposals, but we are mainly interested in sessions to provide feedback for our local working writers.
Note: There will be a stipend (amount TBD) for teaching these workshops, because advance reading will be required, and providing ample commentary is expected.
The CSU writers conference was founded by Donald L. Jordan, a successful Columbus writer and businessman. Mr. Jordan has always wanted to bring writers from Columbus and the rest of the country together. He is the author of the recently published novels, Negative Space, and Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.
The CSU writers conference director is Dr. Allen Gee. Gee is the DL Jordan Endowed Professor of Creative Writing at Columbus State University. He previously taught and directed the MFA program at Georgia College. He is the Editor of 2040 Books, DLJ Books, and is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, the Iowa Writers Workshop, and the University of Houston. He is the author of the essay collection, My Chinese-America, a new novel, The Laborers, and is at work on At Little Monticello, a biography about James Alan McPherson.
Columbus is Georgia’s second largest metropolis with a population of over 400,000. Revitalization over the past decade has led to the city being praised by longtime residents and visitors alike; Forbes recently called Columbus a “cool cat city”: (). Columbus is only an hour and fifteen minutes southwest of Atlanta. We do have an airport terminal (code CSG), and the carrier that services Columbus is Delta. Groome shuttle service also departs regularly from ATL to Columbus for those arriving during late hours. Our UPtown area on the Chattahoochee River offers many fine restaurants, and there are some very good pubs for winding down in the evening. Conference registrants will be provided with “Show Us Your Badge” merchant discounts. For more travel information, click here.