News Release

Southern Literary Festival on campus April 11-12

Contact: Christina Chapple


     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University will host creative writing faculty and students from approximately 20 universities and colleges throughout the South at the Southern Literary Festival, April 11-12.

     The festival, annually hosted by various southern higher education institutions, will feature readings by noted authors, including award-winning Southeastern faculty, and a creative writing competition for students.

     “This is the first time that Southeastern has had the privilege of hosting the festival in some 25 years,” said Southeastern professor and poet Jack Bedell, coordinator of creative writing programs in the Department of English.

     Bedell said all festival events are open to the public and will be held in the Music Recital Hall.
     Participating institutions include Delta State University, The University of Mississippi, Milsaps College, Belhaven College, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi College, University of Louisiana-Monroe, the University of North Alabama, and Rhodes College.

     “Each year, both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to enter the SLF student writers competition,” Bedell said. “Cash prizes are awarded in categories such as poetry, fiction, drama, formal, and informal essay.”

     Bedell will conduct a workshop for contest winners, who will receive their awards and read their winning entries on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

     The festival will begin on Friday evening with a 6 p.m. reading by Southeastern Writer-in-Residence Tim Gautreaux, author of “The Clearing,” “Next Step in the Dance,” “Welding with Children” and “Same Place, Same Things.”

     Southeastern authors presenting readings on Saturday include poet Alison Pelegrin (“Big, Muddy River of Stars,” “The Zydeco Tablets”), 9 a.m.; novelist Dayne Sherman (“Welcome to the Fallen Paradise”), 11 a.m.; and short story writer and novelist Norman German (“A Savage Wisdom,” “No Other World”), 11:40 a.m.

     The festival will also include readings on Saturday by guest poets Ann Fisher-Wirth of the University of Mississippi at 9:40 a.m., and Southeastern graduate Sheryl St. Germain, director of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chatham University, at 10:20 a.m.

     For additional information about the Southern Literary Festival, contact Bedell at or (985) 549-5756.

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