Workshop for emerging writers celebrates fifth anniversary

The sole creative writing conference in the country, specifically geared toward emerging writers, celebrated its fifth anniversary at the Honors College Monday morning.

Approximately 80 conferees from across the country attended the Boldface Writers’ Conference. Initially founded by editors of UH literary journal Glass Mountain in 2009, the convention was intended to expose emerging writers to an intense, professional atmosphere that is generally available for professional writers only.

Under the tutelage of one of three UH alums serving as visiting writers and a wealth of UH creative writing faculty, attendees honed their craft in one of three creative writing genres.

Critically acclaimed poet, writer and UH alumnus Jericho Brown brought his enthusiasm to Boldface along with writers Miah Arnold and Joni Tevis. The trio shared their knowledge and support to the eager fresh faces.

Managing editor of Glass Mountain Steven Simeone has worked with Boldface for many years and described the Boldface experience.

“Some people have never been to a workshop, so this is the first one for them,” Simeone said. “Having it in this rigorous and intimate setting is extremely beneficial for the attendees.”

Modeled after the prestigious Bread Loaf conference, Boldface offers workshops, craft talks, manuscript consultations and also an opportunity to create professional and local peer networks.

“The community building aspect feels like a success story to me in and of itself,” Simeone said. “It provides the attendees with a chance to hang out with people from their classes that they might not have otherwise.”

Faculty adviser for Boldface and Glass Mountain Lynn Voskuil explained that the conference offers time and space to focus intently.

“What they will expect to get out of the conference is a really intense experience focusing on the craft of writing,” Voskuil said.

She compared the conference to several others across the country. She also expressed that many emerging writers like those who attend Boldface would be left to fend for themselves and unable to access resources open to already established professional writers.

Though Boldface seemed to be an essential for emerging writers, conference administrator Elizabeth Winston shared some of the setbacks.

“One of our biggest battles is getting emerging writers. It can be very intimidating,” Winston said.

Boldface continues through May 24 and ends with a panel discussion on publications and a path to graduate school.

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