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Writers Retreat Faculty and Local Author Reading



Join us for an exciting evening of literary revery as part of our third annual Writers Retreat, in partnership with Hypertext Magazine & Studio. Expect lively discussion and valuable networking following readings by faculty and local authors. Faculty Readings 

Patricia McNair is described by Booklist as “an irresistible personal essayist of refreshing candor, vibrant openheartedness, rueful humor, and unassuming wisdom.” Author of And These Are the Good Times (essays), and The Temple of Air (stories), McNair received the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Finalist Award. Her work is published in American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, Superstition Review, Prime Number, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Barrelhouse, and in textbooks on writing. She has received numerous Illinois Arts Council Awards and teaches in the English and Creative Writing Department Graduate and Undergraduate Programs at Columbia College Chicago where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award and was nominated for the Carnegie Foundation’s US Professor of the Year Award.

Christine Rice is the author of Swam Theory, a novel, which earned her the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award (Honorable Mention), an Independent Publisher Book Award (Silver for Best First Book), and a National Indie Excellence Award – Winner (Regional Fiction – Midwest). Swarm Theory also made PANK's Best Books of 2016, was included in Powell’s Books Midyear Roundup, the Best Books of 2016 So Far, and was called “a gripping work of Midwest Gothic” by Michigan Public Radio’s Desiree Cooper. Most recently, her short stories have been published in BELT’s Rust Belt Anthology, The Literary Review, American University of Beirut’s Rusted Radishes, F Magazine, and online at Roanoke Review and Bird’s Thumb, among others. Her essays, interviews, and long-form journalism have appeared in The Rumpus, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Big Smoke, The Millions, the Chicago Tribune, Detroit’s Metro Times, among other publications, and her radio essays have been produced by WBEZ Chicago. Christine taught in Columbia College Chicago's Fiction Writing Programs for over 20 years, is currently the managing editor of Hypertext Magazine, and director of the social justice storytelling nonprofit organization Hypertext Magazine & Studio (HMS).
Shawn Shiflett is a novelist and associate professor in the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. His debut novel, Hidden Place (Akashic Books, 2004), received rave reviews from newspapers, literary magazines, and Connie Martinson Talks Books (national cable television, UK and Ireland). Library Journal included Hidden Place in "Summer Highs, Fall Firsts," a 2004 list of most successful debuts. He received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for his work and was a three-time finalist for the James novel-in-progress contests, sponsored by the Heekin Group Foundation. New City Newspaper elected Shiflett to their Chicago Lit 50 list, an annual ranking of top figures in the Chicago Literary scene. His essay, "The Importance of Reading to Your Writing" (Creative Writing Studies, UK) was published in 2013. His novel Hey, Liberal! (Chicago Review Press, 2016), a story about a white boy going to a predominately African-American high school in Chicago during the late 1960s, has received acclaim from Booklist, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Review, Newcity Lit, Windy City Review, Mary Mitchell (Chicago Sun-Times), Rick Kogan (WGN Radio), and others. He is currently on the Chicago Writers' Association Board of Directors and is also working on a non-fiction, multicultural project: collecting oral stories concerning race. 

Sarah Hammond
Sarah Hammond is an international author for young people and has published for both teens and younger readers. For almost a decade she worked as a lawyer in London, UK. However, following her lifelong dream to write fiction, her first teen book, The Night Sky in My Head was published by OUP and was shortlisted for the Calderdale Children's Book of the Year Award, the Leeds Book Award (14-16 category), the James Reckitt Hull Children's Book Award and the Angus Book Award. Her first picture book, Mine!, was published by Paragon. Since then, Sarah has spoken about her love of story and the creative process to audiences large and small, visited schools, run workshops and competitions, mentored students, spoken on the radio, and at conferences and universities.
Judy Sutcliffe is an artist and writer living in both Mineral Point and Galena, Illinois, has written An Old House in Galena, A Collection of Old Men, Grandma Cherry's Spoon, and two books of poetry: Iowa Lyric and Open Sky. Judy is a multi-faceted artist who enjoys creating and teaching in a variety of media, including concrete/mosaic art, doll-making, primitive weaving, book arts and printmaking, forged jewelry, tile, and woodcarving. A native of Iowa, Judy spent 17 years as a tile muralist in Santa Barbara, California, before returning to the Midwest in 1996. Her tile paintings grace many Santa Barbara public buildings and private homes. In addition to tile work, Judy, as The Electric Typographer, has designed over 30 typefaces, including calligraphic and image fonts. Judy is co-owner of the Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point. Local Author Readings Matt Geiger is the author of Astonishing Tales!* a collection of essays and stories. Matt is a Midwest Book Award winner, a national American Book Fest finalist, and an international Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist. He is also the winner of numerous journalism awards and is regularly heard on public radio. Justin O'Brien is a writer and typographer, retired from advertising and now working on his own projects. His writing has appeared in Living Blues, Voice of the River Valley, Juke Blues, Sing Out!, Irish Music, Chicago Parent, and Elysian Fields. In 2018 he produced his first book, Chicago Yippe! '68 on his experiences as a teenage anti-war protester. Mary Ann Presman is an author of short stories and a playwright, retired after a long career as an advertising copywriter, radio disk jockey, and TV weather person. She is nurtured by two writing groups – one in Tucson and the other in Galena, Illinois. She co-authored Curse, There Ain't No Stinkin' Chicago Cub Curse, and has had stories published in online journals as well as in several print anthologies. Her collection of short stories, The Good Dishes, will be published by Adelaide Books in May 2019.

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