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Union University hosts annual spring reading and creative writing workshop

JACKSON, Tenn.March 29, 2004 – The Union University department of English will host their annual Spring Reading featuring Memphis novelist Margaret Skinner on Monday, March 29, at 1 p.m. Held in conjunction with the 12th annual West Tennessee High School Creative Writing Workshop, the reading will be in the Harvey Auditorium of the Barefoot Student Union Building. A book signing will follow the reading, and the community is invited to attend.

Skinner has written two novels, Old Jim Canaan and Molly Flanagan and the Holy Ghost, published by Algonquin Books, one of the top publishers of Southern fiction. A native of Memphis, Skinner has taught at the University of Memphis, served as writer-in-residence at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, and held several fellowships, as well as working with area high school groups.

Skinner’s poignant portrayals of identity and coming of age in her novels are part of her own life experience and growing process.

“The act of writing fiction is my attempt to discover the essence of life and to learn how to live in our ever-changing world,” said Skinner.

“Union University is privileged to be able to bring to campus a rising star among the ranks of Southern writers,” said Dr. Gene Fant, the chair of the English department. “We are especially excited to have her visiting as a part of the West Tennessee High School Creative Writing Workshop, where student writers will be able to have personal contact with a professional writer.”

The Creative Writing Workshop for West Tennessee high school students will be conducted before the reading, led by Skinner and Union University faculty and students. Students from six high schools in the region will participate in writing sessions and compete for prizes in a writing contest. The best creative works will be published this summer in The West Tennessee Trailblazer, a literary chapbook.

“This is a way for the English department at Union to reach out to the surrounding community,” said Bobby Rogers, associate professor of English. “The high school students enjoy it, and we contribute something that will help them as they begin their college life.”

by Mariann Martin ('05)

Media contact: Tabitha Frizzell, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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