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FSU Center for Creative Writing’s Nightsun Summer Writers Conference to Be Held in Frostburg

The Frostburg Center for Creative Writing will hold its Fifth Annual Nightsun Writers Conference for local and regional writers from Thursday, July 26, through Sunday, July 29, in downtown Frostburg. The conference will feature workshops with Gerry LaFemina (poetry), Andy Duncan (sci-fi, fantasy and horror), Sandra Beasley (creative nonfiction), Micheal McAlexander (screenwriting) and Sarah Pritchard (fiction). The weekend will also include readings by workshop leaders and participants.

The conference is designed to provide participants with workshop opportunities, individualized attention and feedback on their work, and to initiate a larger writing community for Frostburg and the surrounding region. During the workshop, students will have an opportunity to generate new material for publications and meet with workshop facilitators for a personal one-on-one consultation to discuss their work.

LaFemina has published numerous collections of poetry, including “Graffiti Heart,” winner of the 2001 Anthony Piccione/Mammoth Books Poetry Prize. LaFemina is an associate professor in the English Department at FSU and director of the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing.

Duncan was a full-time journalist for 12 years before landing a position as an assistant professor in the English Department at FSU. He has published many short fiction works, including “Beluthahatchi and Other Stories” and has won numerous awards, including two World Fantasy Awards and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Story of the Year.

Beasley, of Washington, D.C., has recently published “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales From an Allergic Life,” which is a memoir and cultural history piece on food allergies. She also wrote “I Was the Jukebox,” which won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and “Theories of Falling,” winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize.

McAlexander is an assistant professor in FSU’s Mass Communication Department. At the beginning of his career, McAlexander held several entertainment positions in Hollywood, including segment producer, assistant to the producer, writer/editor and band manager. While in graduate school at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, he was awarded a Paramount Screenwriting Fellowship and a CINE Golden Eagle award for cinematography and editing on a short film. McAlexander was involved in research projects with companies such as CBS, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures and Seagate Technologies.

Pritchard, of Morgantown, W.Va., is the author of the novel-in-stories, “Crackpots,” which was a 2003 New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the linked-story collection, “Lately.” Her new collection of stories, “Help Wanted: Female,” will be published this year. She has won the Bakeless Prize for Fiction and numerous other literary awards. Pritchard teaches in the Wilkes Low-Residency MA/MFA Program in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and the West Virginia Wesleyan Low-Residency MFA Program in Buckhannon, W.Va.

The cost for participation is $265, plus accommodations and some meals. There will be an opportunity for a one-on-one faculty conference for an additional cost of $25.

Registration for the conference is required. For workshop information and faculty bios, visit For questions, contact the Center at 301-687-4340 or

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit or

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258. -end-

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589