News Center

News & Events

News & Events

Ann Patchett, Daniel Woodrell, Dennis Lehane '88 Headline Eckerd College Writers' Conference Evening Readings Series Jan. 19-26

posted on 01/07/2013

Eckerd College Writers Conference

Best-selling authors Ann Patchett (Bel Canto and State of Wonder), Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone), and Dennis Lehane '88 (Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Live by Night) are just a few of the top names appearing for free evening readings January 19-26, 2013 as part of the Ninth Annual Eckerd College Writers' Conference: Writers in Paradise at Eckerd College. All readings, which are free and open to the public, will begin at 8:00 pm. Book sales will precede the readings at 7:30 pm. Author signings will be held after each reading. Speakers are subject to change.

The Writers in Paradise Conference is an intensive eight-day experience of intimate workshop classes, roundtables, panel discussions, readings, book signings and cocktail receptions is designed for those who are passionate about writing. Award winning faculty and guest speakers will also include Tracy Crow '02 (Eyes Right); Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog); Beth Ann Fennelly (Unmentionables); Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter); Ann Hood (The Red Thread); Karina Berg Johansson (Synvilla); Michael Koryta (The Prophet); Laura Lippman (And When She Was Good); Peter Meinke (The Contracted World); Stewart O’Nan (The Odds); Lori Roy (Bent Road); Les Standiford (Bringing Adam Home), Johnny Temple (Akashic Books); Sterling Watson '69 (Fighting in the Shade); David Yoo (The Detention Club), and more.

Eckerd College Writers' Conference Evening Reading Series**
8:00-9:00 p.m., Miller Auditorium

Saturday, Jan. 19 - Ann Patchett with Q&A moderated by Dennis Lehane '88
Sunday, Jan. 20 - Tracy Crow '02, Les Standiford and Sterling Watson '69
Monday, Jan. 21 - Beth Ann Fennelly and Peter Meinke
Tuesday, Jan. 22 - Dennis Lehane '88
Wednesday, Jan. 23* - Daniel Woodrell with Q&A moderated by Michael Koryta
Thursday, Jan. 24 -
Stewart O'Nan and David Yoo
Friday, Jan. 25 - Tom Franklin and Ann Hood
Saturday, Jan. 26 - Andre Dubus III and Laura Lippman

*Part of the College Program Series. Students can earn CPS credit by attending this event.
**This schedule has been updated as of Friday, January 11. Please note the changes.

Saturday, Jan. 19
An alumna of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Ann Patchett was a 1990 residential fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass., where she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, which was named a 1992 New York Times Notable Book. Patchett's second novel, Taft, was awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best work of fiction in 1994. Her third novel, The Magician's Assistant, was short-listed for England's Orange Prize and earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her next novel, Bel Canto, won both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in 2002, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named the Book Sense Book of the Year. It sold over a million copies in the U.S. and has been translated into more than 30 languages. In 2004, Patchett published Truth & Beauty, a memoir of her friendship with the writer Lucy Grealy. It was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Entertainment Weekly and won several coveted awards. Her novel, Run, was a New York Times Bestseller. Her most recent novel, State of Wonder, was published in 2011.

Sunday, Jan. 20
Tracy Crow teaches creative writing at Eckerd College and is the author of the memoir, Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine (University of Nebraska Press) and the conspiracy thriller, An Unlawful Order, under her pen name, Carver Greene. Ms. Crow is the nonfiction editor of Prime Number Magazine, a Press 53 publication, and is working with the University of Nebraska Press to compile and edit a military anthology of creative nonfiction by veterans and their families. Ms. Crow's essays and short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals and have been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes.

Les Standiford is the author of 15 books, including the novels Bone Key and Havana Run and the critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, Last Train to Paradise; Meet You in Hell; Washington Burning; and The Man Who Invented Christmas. Last Train to Paradise was one of the History Channel's Top Ten picks. Meet You in Hell was the publisher's nominee for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 2005. Washington Burning was the publisher's nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in 2008. The Man Who Invented Christmas was a New York Times Editors' Choice in 2008. He has received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Frank O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami. In March 2011, Ecco Press published Bringing Adam Home, an account of Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews' 27-year quest to solve the 1981 kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh. The book became a New York Times best seller and was for three weeks the #1 selling True Crime book on the Wall Street Journal list.

Sterling Watson '69 (Conference Co-Director) is the author of six novels, including The Calling; Deadly Sweet; Blind Tongues; Sweet Dream Baby; and Weep No More My Brother. His most recent novel, Fighting in the Shade, was published in 2011 by Akashic Books and has been described by Dennis Lehane as, "A brilliant, fearless look at the savage rites of passage that exist in the fraternity of American sports. A book as gripping and unforgettable as any in recent memory." Mr. Watson's short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Prairie Schooner, the Georgia Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Southern Review. He was director of the Creative Writing Program at Eckerd College for 20 years and is the College's Peter Meinke Chair in Literature and Creative Writing.

Monday, Jan. 21
Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at Ole Miss where she was named the 2011 Outstanding Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year. She has won a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright, and grants from the N.E.A. and United States Artists. Her work has three times been included in The Best American Poetry Series. Ms. Fennelly has published three full-length poetry books. Her first, Open House, won The 2001 Kenyon Review Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award and was a Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Pick. It was reissued by W. W. Norton in 2009. Her second book, Tender Hooks, and her third, Unmentionables, were published by W. W. Norton in 2004 and 2008. She has also published a book of nonfiction, Great with Child, in 2006, with Norton, and is co-authoring a novel with her husband, Tom Franklin. They live in Oxford with their three children.

Peter Meinke is Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg, Florida. His work has appeared in New Republic, the New Yorker, Atlantic, Poetry, and dozens of other journals. He has published 15 books of poems, seven in the prestigious Pitt Poetry Series, the most recent being The Contracted World (2006). His poetry has received many awards, including two NEA Fellowships and three prizes from the Poetry Society of America. His book of short stories, The Piano Tuner, won the 1986 Flannery O'Connor Award. Mr. Meinke directed the Writing Workshop at Eckerd College for many years and has often been writer-in-residence at other colleges and universities, most recently at the University of South Florida/Tampa. In 2009, the University of Tampa Press published Lines from Neuchâtel—illustrated by his wife, Jeanne—in a handsome 35th Anniversary Edition, with added poems and drawings. He writes a biweekly column, "Poet's Notebook"—also illustrated by Jeanne—in Tampa Bay's alternative newspaper, Creative Loafing.

Tuesday, Jan. 22
Since his first novel,

Wednesday, Jan. 23
Daniel Woodrell has been called one of the best-kept secrets in American literature and is the author of eight books, including Tomato Red, which won the 1999 PEN Center USA award for fiction; Woe to Live On, which was adapted into a movie by Ang Lee; and Winter’s Bone, recently adapted into an Oscar-nominated film of the same name. Five of Daniel Woodrell’s eight novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.

Michael Koryta has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Great Lake Books Award, and St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) Best First Novel prize, while also earning nominations for the Edgar, Quill, Shamus, Gold Dagger, and Barry awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times prize for best mystery, his novel Envy the Night was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. His work has been translated into nearly 20 languages. The Prophet, his ninth novel, released in August 2012, has been called "A relentless, heart-in-your-throat thriller about ordinary people caught in the middle of an extraordinary nightmare," by Dennis Lehane. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Bloomington, Indiana.

Thursday, Jan. 24
Stewart O'Nan's first story collection, In the Walled City, received the Drue Heinz Prize. Winner of the Ascent and Columbia Fiction Awards, he is the author of 13 novels, including the novel-in-stories, Everyday People. His work has appeared in Granta, Outside, Ploughshares, Glimmertrain, and many other journals.

David Yoo's first collection of essays, The Choke Artist: Confessions of a Chronic Underachiever, was published in June 2012. He is also the author of the Young Adult novels Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before, a Chicago Best of the Best selection, of which author Jonathan Lethem wrote, "David Yoo's voice is so witty and charming it only seems fair to give warning: he'll break the hearts of teenage readers of all ages with this bittersweet love story," and Girls For Breakfast, an New York Public Library Books For the Teen Age selection and a Reading Rants Top Ten Books for Teens choice, along with a middle grade novel, The Detention Club, published in 2011. David has a regular column in KoreAm Journal and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and son, where he teaches in the MFA program at Pine Manor College and at the Gotham Writers' Workshop.

Friday, Jan. 25
Tom Franklin is the author of four books: Poachers, stories, and three novels, Hell at the Breech, Smonk and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller, the Golden Dagger Award for Best Novel and the Willie Morris Prize in Southern Fiction. He lives in Oxford, MS, and teaches at Ole Miss.

Ann Hood
is the author of nine novels, including Somewhere off the Coast of Maine, The Knitting Circle, and most recently, The Red Thread. She has also written two memoirs, Do Not Go Gentle: My Search for Miracles, and Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, which was a New York Times Editors' Choice and one of Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2008. Her essays and short stories have appeared in The New York Times; Paris Review; The Washington Post; O; Glimmertrain; and Tin House. She is also the author of The Treasure Chest, a forthcoming eight-book series for children featuring 12-year-old twins, Felix and Maisie, who travel in time to meet iconic American figures from centuries past. The winner of two Pushcart Prizes, the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction, and a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island. The Knitting Circle will soon be an HBO movie starring Katherine Heigl.


Andre Dubus III is the author of five books: The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, and The New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times "Editors' Choice". It is named on many "Top Non-fiction Books of 2011" lists, including The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Library journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Esquire magazine. His work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994 and The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for fiction, The Pushcart Prize, and was a Finalist for the National Book Award, the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is a 2012 recipient of an Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Laura Lippman was a reporter for 20 years, including twelve years at The Baltimore Sun. Her Tess Monaghan books (By A Spider's Thread; The Last Place; The Sugar House; Baltimore Blues; Charm City; Butchers Hill; No Good Deeds; and In Big Trouble) have won every major mystery prize including the Edgar, Shamus, Agatha, Anthony, and Nero Wolfe awards, and her novel, In a Strange City, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She is also the author of five previous stand-alone novels: To the Power of Three; Every Secret Thing; What the Dead Know (also the winner of the Quill Award for Best Mystery); Life Sentences; and I'd Know You Anywhere—the last three were also New York Times bestsellers. In 2008 Ms. Lippman's award-winning short stories were anthologized for the first time in one volume, along with an original novella, Hardly Knew Her. Fall 2008 also marked Ms. Lippman's serialization in The New York Times Magazine with The Girl in the Green Raincoat—a continuation of her P.I. character Tess Monaghan. Her most recent stand-alone novel, And When She Was Good, was published in August 2012. A recipient of the first Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the 2003 Maryland Author Award, she and her husband, David Simon, divide their time between Baltimore and New Orleans.

Public Events

Join us for stimulating lectures, films, plays, presentations and varsity sports during the fall, winter and spring.

Real-Time News

Recent Op Ed Article

Seven ways to cut college costs
Tampa Bay Times
September 12, 2014

More opinions and remarks from President Eastman

Sign up for Inside Eckerd

Join our mailing list for the latest news and information from Eckerd College.