Eighth Annual Young Writers and Artists Festival

November 7-9, 2019

2019 Festival information

Check out these videos from three of our amazing featured speakers!
Sarah Kay:
If I should have a daughter
 Jamaal May:
I do have a seam                                       
Hanif Abdurraqib:


2019 Young Artists & Writers Festival

Grades 9-12: Open to Cleveland-area high school girls, the Young Writers and Artists Festival offers small workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.  Each section offers students the opportunity to pursue their creative passions and develop their craft through working with a talented and accomplished professional writer or artist in a small workshop setting with other invested young writers/artists. Enrollment in each section is limited to 15 students. Students will not necessarily be placed in their first choice selections.

Special Thanks

This event is made possible through The Horvitz/Rosenthal Family Fund for the Young Writers and Artists Festival, The Grace Wood Bregenzer 1927 Memorial Fund for the Young Writers and Artists Festival, the Peyrat Family Fund for the Young Writers and Artists Festival, through the generous support of the Hathaway Brown Parent Association, and through designated gifts to the Hathaway Brown Annual Fund. Please email mrainsberger@hb.edu to learn more. 


9 a.m.: Upper School Assembly with Sarah Kay and Hanif Abdurraqib

8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.: High School Workshops  

9:00 a.m. - 12 p.m.Wrap-Up Session and Student Reading


Festival registration available online.

$150 per student

Some financial assistance is available. Please click here to register with financial aid.

Questions: Contact Scott Parsons, director of the Osborne Writing Center sparsons@hb.edu or 216.320.8796 ext. 7211.

High School Program: Grades 9-12

Comics: John G.

JOHN G is an illustrator, comics creator and head of Cleveland based Shiner Comics, Inc. With Jake Kelly, he creates and publishes The Lake Erie Monster, a rust-belt centered, horror comic. He co-founded and continues to run Genghis Con, an award-winning annual small press comic convention in Cleveland and he is the artist in residence for the Gordon Square Arts District. In 2016 he was one of 40 artists awarded the Creative Workforce Fellowship grants by The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.

Creative Nonfiction: David Giffels

David Giffels is the author of the memoir, Furnishing Eternity: A Father, a Son, a Coffin, and a Measure of Life, to be published by Scribner in January 2018. His previous books include The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt (Scribner 2014), a New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice” and nominee for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the memoir All the Way Home (William Morrow/HarperCollins 2008), winner of the Ohioana Book Award.

His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic.com, Parade, the Wall Street Journal, Esquire.com, Grantland.com, Redbook, and many other publications. He also was a writer for the MTV series Beavis and Butt-Head.

He is an associate professor of English at the University of Akron, where he teaches creative nonfiction in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program.

Fiction: Carrie Fountain

Carrie Fountain’s poems have appeared in Tin House, Poetry, and The New Yorker, among others. Her debut collection, Burn Lake, was a National Poetry Series winner and was published in 2010 by Penguin. Her second collection, Instant Winner, was published by Penguin in 2014. Fountain's debut novel, I’m Not Missing, was published in July, 2018 by Flatiron Books (Macmillan).

Born and raised in Mesilla, New Mexico, Fountain received her MFA as a fellow at the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. Currently writer-in-residence at St. Edward's University and Visiting Professor at the Michener Center, she is the host of NPR's This Is Just to Say, a radio show and podcast where she has intimate conversations with America's most influential poets.

Fountain lives in Austin with her husband, playwright and novelist Kirk Lynn, and their two children.

Landscape Painting: Eileen Dorsey

Eileen Dorsey is an artist from Cleveland, Ohio. She showed an apt for art at a young age, developing her craft all the way through college. In 2006, she graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting. In 2009 she opened the Eileen Dorsey Studio located inside the 78th Street Studios, the largest arts complex in the city of Cleveland.
As with many prolific artists, Dorsey has created an abundant amount of work in various styles and mediums however she is mostly known for her vibrant depictions of wooded scenes. Dorsey gathers reference material from the Cleveland Metroparks and surrounding areas of her home town. Her paintings have been described as realistic meets psychedelic.
Dorsey's work has been sought out by many private and public collections. Her works can be found in the collections of the Art Neo Museum and University Hospitals, with paintings permanently hung in the Cuyahoga County Administration Building of Cleveland, and Southwest General Hospital of Berea, Ohio. In 2018 she was voted "Best Artist" by the Scene Magazine.

Photography: Joseph Minek

Joseph Minek is an artist and educator based in Cleveland Ohio. Joseph received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Photography & Film from Virginia Commonwealth University and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work has been exhibited his work in spaces such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, Galerie Kornfeld (Berlin), Gallery 1/1 (San Jose), and Denny Dimin Gallery (New York). Joseph is currently focusing on his studio practice dealing with the possibilities of photographic material while teaching at Cuyahoga Community College.

Poetry: Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism has been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, and The New York Times. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and his poem "Hestia" won the 2014 Capital University poetry prize. His first full length collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, is forthcoming in 2016 from Button Poetry / Exploding Pinecone Press. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, an interviewer at Union Station Magazine, and a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine. He also is a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing.

Poetry: Shira Erlichman

Born in Israel, living in Brooklyn, Shira Erlichman is an author, visual artist, musician and creator of freer form: offering personalized workshops, commissions and performance. Shira believes most suffering can be traced back to isolation. She's obsessed with art as a way to experience vitality and connection. She's propelled by process, presence and potential. The mystery and transience of being alive fuel her expressions. Creativity has taught her that it's not entirely natural to confine one's self to a specific shape for too long. No matter the medium, joy and growth can be found in reaching for your newest shape, your freer form. Being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a decade ago fundamentally changed her life and, wildly enough, deepened her love of being here. Her poetry book Odes to Lithium (Alice James Books, 2019) centers around her experiences with mental illness. She's releasing her picture book Be/Hold (Penny Candy Books, 2019). She teaches one-on-one online poetry workshops to people all over the planet. She loves helping humans unlock possibility and fuse discipline with magic. She tours the country sharing her work and facilitating workshops.

Poetry: Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay grew up in New York City and began performing her poetry when she was only 14 years old. Even though she was often the youngest poet by a decade, Sarah made herself at home at the Bowery Poetry Club, one of New York's most famous Spoken Word venues.  In 2006, she joined the Bowery Poetry Club's Poetry Slam Team, NYC Urbana, and competed in the 2006 National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas. That year, she was the youngest poet competing at Nationals. Sarah was featured on the sixth season of the television series Russell Simmons presents HBO Def Poetry Jam, where she performed her poem "Hands." She has performed in venues across the country including Lincoln Center, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the United Nations, where she was a featured performer for the launch of the 2004 World Youth Report.  She has also performed internationally in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, France, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Mexico, and Singapore.  In 2004,Sarah founded Project V.O.I.C.E. and has since taught Spoken Word Poetry in classrooms and workshops all over the world, to students of all ages. Sarah was a featured speaker at the 2011 TED conference (Technology, Entertainment, Design) on "The Rediscovery of Wonder" in Long Beach, California. Sarah's first book, B (published by the Domino Project) has been ranked #1 bestselling poetry book on Amazon.

Poetry: Jamaal May

Jamaal May was born in 1982 in Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer. His first book is Hum (Alice James Books), which received the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award, Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Silver Medal, and an NAACP Image Award nomination. In 2014 Jamaal received more than a dozen awards and honors including the Spirit of Detroit Award, the Robert Frost Fellowship to Bread Loaf Writers Conference, The J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry, and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy. His poems appear widely in magazines and have been anthologized in Please Excuse this Poem: 100 Poems for the Next Generation (Penguin), 2015 Pushcart Prize Anthology (Pushcart Press), Best American Poetry 2014 (Scribner), and elsewhere. Jamaal is a Kenyon Review Fellow and co-directs Organic Weapon Arts with Tarfia Faizullah.

Screenwriting/Filmmaking: Andrew Rudd

Andrew grew up in a small religious sect that forbade attendance at movie theatres, but later in life the movies have become a better religious home for him. He worships often at the Nightlight and the Cedar Lee. He organized a community filmmaking initiative to empower local filmmakers and is the director of the Canton Film Fest.

Andrew has a “real job” but he makes films on the side. He may not be as legit as any of the other artists that you could choose from. So far very few of his dreams have come true; so maybe if you want to have a more honest point of view you could come to his session and learn how to labor under delusions of success and yet still have a relatively good attitude about it. His day job includes convening committee meetings and grading papers. He is extremely distractible and daydreamy so much so that sometimes he wonders if his imagination is more of a curse than a blessing. He will not be quite this depressing if you sign up for his session. In fact he may even seduce you into believing that imagination is a vibrant healthy thing, that the creative life is worth the sacrifice, noble and romantic. The likelihood of that happening is stronger because he got a Ph.D. in rhetoric - fancy name for seduction. Following that rabbit trail by the way, he wrote over 600 pages on the intersection of seduction and performance at garage sales. Oh, his seminar is going to be a wild ride for sure. (Andrew teaches about film at Malone University. His current short film has screened at 15 festivals so far in 5 countries and won 3 awards. He’s produced 13 other short films and produced over 50 students shorts. He currently directs the Canton Film Festival)

Screen Monoprinting: Brooke Inman

Brooke Inman is an artist and nature enthusiast who loves animals, especially her cat (Ellie), tortoises (Pierogi & Tomato), and turtles (Horseshoe & Lucy). Born in 1983, she grew up in the small town of DeMotte, Indiana until attending college at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Brooke then moved to Richmond, Virginia in 2006 to attend graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University. She happily finds herself still living and working in Richmond, Virginia. She is currently faculty & the printmaking technician at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Painting and Printmaking Department. She also teaches printmaking workshops in the Richmond community at Studio Two Three. Specializing in Intaglio printmaking, Screen Printing, Drawing, and Color, Brooke Inman received a BFA in Printmaking from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2006, and a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008.

Songwriting: Jordan Lawson

Jordan Lawson is a songwriter and educator based in Akron Ohio. Originally from Buffalo New York, Jordan attended Baldwin Wallace University where he studied cello, piano, and guitar. After graduating BW with a Bachelor of Music Education, Jordan has lived and worked in the NE Ohio area for the past 10 years as an Orchestra teacher and song writing coach, and is currently the Director of Orchestras at Buchtel CLC in Akron Ohio. In addition, Jordan teaches chamber music and improvisation through the Tri-C Creative Arts Academy during the school year and has been the head counselor and guitar teacher at Baldwin Wallace’s Conservatory Summer Institute for the past 8 years. Jordan’s music transcends genre, blending classical, jazz, bluegrass and motown influences to create a unique sound. Jordan released his first EP entitled “Echo” in 2016 and is currently hard at work on the next one! Click here to listen to music from “Echo”.

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