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About the Writers' Series

The Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice in the School of Arts and Sciences frequently hosts Writers' Series events. These events are offered through the creative writing program and include public lectures and master classes in the areas of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Public lectures are free and open to the public while the master classes are exclusively for Point Park University students.

Pictured is guest writer John Fried. Photo by Hannah Johnston.Short Fiction Writer John Fried Leads Master Class and Reading

John Fried, author of The Martin Chronicles, recently led a master class and reading at Point Park University.

In the master class, Fried shared his expert writing advice with the students, giving them tips on how to develop their characters and add tension to their stories.  

At the public reading on campus, Annabelle Wagner, a senior creative writing major, introduced Fried, who then read a section from his coming of age novel, The Martin Chronicles, called, “Destroy All Monsters."

“I read the novel prior to Fried’s visit, but hearing him read from 'Destroy All Monsters' in his own voice was a whole other experience,” Wagner said.


Pictured is poet Annah Browning. Photo Submitted by BrowningChicago Poet Visits Campus

Poet Annah Browning, Ph.D., shared her poetry with students at Point Park University.

Browning read from her manuscript Witch Doctrine, a collection of gothically-influenced persona poems, written in the voices of a cast of folkloric and literary figures: witches, ghosts and so-called “madwomen” who struggle with life outside of hegemonic norms. 

Witch Doctrine was a finalist for the University of Akron Prize, Indiana Review's Blue Light Books prize and the Anhinga Press-Robert Dana Prize for poetry.  

Browning also talked about why people believe in crazy things and shared her experiences with haunted podcasts and a book of 5,000 spells, among others.  

Pictured is poet and novelist Brittany Cavallaro. | Photo submitted by Cavallaro

Poet and Young Adult Novelist Brittany Cavallaro

Brittany Cavallaro taught a master class exclusively for Point Park University students and then led a public reading on campus. Learn more.

Cavallaro is the author of the poetry collection Girl-King and the young adult novel, A Study in Charlotte.

She currently serves as Bull City Press' associate editor and has recently rejoined Devil's Lake as their editor-in-chief.

Pictured is best-selling novelist Stewart O'Nan, who is the featured speaker at the spring 2015 Point Park Writers' Series. | Photo by Beth Navarro

National Best-Selling Novelist Stewart O'Nan

Stewart O'Nan taught a master class exclusively for Point Park University students and then led a public reading on campus. Learn more.

O'Nan is the author of 15 novels including West of Sunset; The Odds; Emily, Alone; A Prayer for the Dying and Snow Angels, as well as several works of nonfiction, including, with Stephen King, the bestselling Faithful.

His novel, Last Night at the Lobster, was a national bestseller and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. O'Nan was born and raised in Pittsburgh where he lives with his family.

Pictured is award-winning poet and Point Park Writers' Series speaker, Marcus Wicker. | Photo by Elizabeth Randolph

Award-Winning Poet Marcus Wicker

Award-winning poet Marcus Wicker was a featured speaker at Point Park University Writers' Series. Wicker is the author of Maybe the Saddest Thing, selected by DA Powell for the National Poetry Series.

His work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Third Coast, Ninth Letter and many other magazines. Wicker's awards include a 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem, and The Fine Arts Work Center. He is an assistant professor of English at University of Southern Indiana, poetry editor of Southern Indiana Review and director of the New Harmony Writers Workshop.

Pictured is author and poet Karyna McGlynn. | Photo submitted by McGlynn

Wicker earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Indiana University. To learn more, follow Marcus Wicker on Twitter and check out the web feature on Marcus Wicker's master class at Point Park.

Previous Writers' Series Guest Lecturers:


Karyna McGlynn

Pictured is author Ivan Rodden.

Playwright and fiction writer

Ivan Rodden

Playwright and fiction writer

Eduardo Corral

Pictured is award-winning poet Eduardo Corral. | Photo by J.W. Stovall
Award-winning poet

Sandra Beasley

Award-winning poet and non-fiction writer

David McGlynn

Pictured is author and poet Sandra Beasley.

Award-winning fiction writer

Brigid Pasulka

Award-winning short story writer

Mary Biddinger

Award-winning poet and editor

Pictured is author David McGlynn.

Learn More

For more information about the Writers' Series, contact Karen Dwyer, Ph.D., associate professor of literary arts, or Sarah Perrier, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice.

Pictured is author and poet Mary Biddinger.

Learn about the majors offered through the Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice and read the bios of the faculty members in this department.