Millersville held its first Literary Festival this past Friday in the McNairy Library. The event had many different sessions with writers, those in publishing, and scholars on the craft of writing. They shared their various works, as well as tips for young writers, and giving out their tidbits of expertise. There were six sessions focusing on different types of writing such as Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Publishing, and Translation, as well as a panel discussion about “The Writing Life” with five writing and English experts.
The Literary Festival was primarily organized by Dr. William Archibald, Assistant Professor of English and Writing Studies as well as the Director of the Writing Center. Dr. Archibald spoke about what the event this year symbolized and what he wanted to accomplish: “The theme is The Writing Life, so I wanted all the writers to come and talk about how they became a writer, what sustains them in writing, and what are the kinds of things they could suggest to students starting out who want to be writers. I asked them to share some of their work to get a flavor of the kinds of things that they did and to talk about the writing process. It’s kind of a way to see how writers work and what their lives are like.”
It is so important for students to express themselves in some way and, for many, writing is exactly the way to do that. He goes onto talk about why writing is so important, especially for young students. “Writing is something that you can do anywhere. You don’t have to have special equipment or be in any special places. It makes your life so much richer. It just builds a world for you, either by yourself, or you can bring other people to that world that you can express these sorts of things. If you never say or write anything, no one is going to know what you have to say.”
No matter what major students are studying, knowing how to write well will always be an important skill. That’s why the first ever Literary Festival is significant as well; it gave students resources where they can talk to professional writers and listen to what they have to say about this fundamental skill.
Dr. Archibald believes the event “has been very successful.” The turn out was really favorable for the festival and hopefully the Literary Festival will see its second coming next fall!