4th Annual Looking Glass Writers Conference

Looking Glass Writer Conference

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference, sponsored by Brevard College and the Transylvania County Library Foundation. Intended to encourage all genres of creative writing around a common theme of “place”, the four-day conference will run May 9-12, 2019. The conference will held on the Brevard College campus and at the Transylvania County Library.

The conference has two components: writing workshops in three genres with 12 participants each, and public readings by the workshop leaders free to the community. Past workshop faculty authors have included Craig Johnson, Rick Bass, Janisse Ray, Sy Montgomery, and Marilyn Kallet.

The three featured 2019 award-winning authors will be Wiley Cash leading fiction, Frank X Walker leading poetry, and Robin Wall Kimmerer leading nonfiction workshops.


Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Last Ballad, A Land More Kind than Home, andThis Dark Road to Mercy. The founder of the Open Canon Book Club and co-founder of the Land More Kind Appalachian Artists Residency, he has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Weymouth Center. He serves as the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their two young daughters.

Former Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is a Professor in the department of English and the African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky and the founding editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A Cave Canem Fellow and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, he is the author of eight collections of poetry including, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry; and Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award as well as two new collections, The Affrilachian Sonnets and About Flight.

Robin Wall Kimmerer is Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). She is the author of numerous scientific articles, and the books Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses (2003), and Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (2013). She is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and combines her heritage with her scientific and environmental passions.

Applicants can submit via Submittable (https://lgrwc.submittable.com/submit). Applications open November 1, 2018 and close March 1, 2019, with decisions being made on or before March 15. The conference accepts 12 applicants per workshop. Applicants should submit 10 pages of prose for nonfiction or fiction, and 3-6 poems of up to 10 pages for poetry. Participants are selected through competitive manuscript evaluation, and submit their work anonymously. A panel of current and past Brevard College faculty will assess the manuscripts.

Brevard College students are encouraged to apply to the conference, as students have previously received scholarships. Conference Director, Dr. Alyse Bensel, is also looking for students to serve as interns who will assist her with the planning and running of the conference. Faculty members interested in teaching work from these writers in the spring or in contributing to the conference should contact Dr. Bensel at benselak@brevard.edu or lgrwc@brevard.edu.

Brevard College is consistently recognized as one of the best liberal arts colleges. The College’s focus on experiential learning, small class sizes, and location the mountains of Western North Carolina near Asheville makes Brevard a top choice college for students around the world.