CLS: Authors & Writing Week

Be inspired and connect with professional authors with expertise in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and essay writing.


10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Monday, June 6, Orchestra Hall

Robin Yocum will present on his best known fiction works set in the Ohio River Valley. His discussion will touch on his most recent novel, The Sacrifice of Lester Yates, which was released in 2021, as well as his novel A Brilliant Death, a Barnes & Noble No. 1 bestseller.

Robin Yocum’s other best know works include Favorite Sons, the 2011 Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense by USA Book News, and two non-fiction works: Dead Before Deadline . . . and Other Tales from the Police Beat and Insured for Murder, co-authored with Cathy Candisky. Yocum worked as a senior reporter on the investigative desk for the Columbus Dispatch, associate sports editor of the Martins Ferry, Ohio, Times Leader and reporter for the Lancaster, Ohio, Eagle-Gazette. Currently the principle at Yocum Communications, a public relations and marketing consulting firm in Galena, Ohio, which he founded, Yocum is a winner of more than thirty journalism awards and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University.


10:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 7, Orchestra Hall

On Tuesday, June 7, Dr. Kimmel will present on his most recent book, Negro Town, the story of an extended multiracial family fashioning a life on the northern edge of the Wyandot Grand Reserve, the final Indian reservation in Ohio. Negro Town is a blend of historical narratives and documents, personal commentaries and fictional vignettes that attempts to connect the dots of history into a fuller view of the events and the people involved in the story.

10:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 8, Orchestra Hall

On Wednesday, June 8, Dr. Kimmel’s presentation will focus on his own approach to writing about “things that have been,” blending the factual and the imagined in a new type of book that is at once fiction and non-fiction.

Craig Whitmore | Author & Retired Educator

3:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 7, Orchestra Hall

Craig Whitmore, author and retired educator, will discuss his book History Creates a Family Trilogy which tells the story of Daniel Dobbins, an Erie, Pennsylvania, historical figure from the Battle of Lake Erie, who becomes a conductor on the Underground Railroad after the War of 1812.

After thirty years of teaching creative writing, journalism, literature, public speaking, dramatics and video production, Whitmore has settled into his love of writing fiction. His Armstrong Trilogy novels are based on thorough research of historic events from the War of 1812 through the Civil War and after to the Reconstruction Era, each with an Ohio historical connection. Whitmore’s current project includes a PTSD veteran of World War I who joins the Bonus Army, veterans who are demanding their military compensation during the Great Depression. The character’s wife is involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement and is also a WWI veteran, having served with the first US Army Signal Corps women, dubbed “The Hello Girls.” The novel, Pearls of the Heart, is scheduled for a 2023 release.


10:30 a.m., Thursday, June 9, Train Station

Whether intending to record family history, recall a travel experience or explore personal connections to the past, participants will learn strategies for writing about a person, place or object that holds special meaning to them. The session will begin by considering a few short excerpts from published memoirs as inspiration and models for getting started. Next, participants will respond to a series of questions to stimulate reflection about their focus and begin drafting a paragraph or two to share, as they wish, with others. The goal is to generate ideas and begin a writing journey that may develop into a legacy for a younger generation, a path into self-discovery or simply a slice-of-life to share with friends and family. Participants will find it helpful to bring a photograph or an object (or photo of the object) that will be the subject of their writing.

3:30 p.m., Thursday, June 9, Train Station

Intended for middle and high school students, this workshop focuses on writing effective arguments whether it is a college admissions essay, a speech for a specific occasion, a blog post or an opinion for a school assignment. Participants will learn how to identify the elements that make a persuasive argument, then discuss how the audience affects the writer’s choice of language and structure, with emphasis on what constitutes civil discourse on a topic. Next, participants will free-write for 10-15 minutes about an issue of their choice tailored to appeal to a specific audience. Individuals will share with the larger group, who will speculate on who the intended audience is and what “evidence” led them to that conclusion. Finally, participants will discuss how they might revise their drafts to strengthen the appeal to the intended audience.


7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 9 & 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 10, Drackett Hall

Kari Gunter-Seymour, Poet Laureate of Ohio, will speak virtually from the Wellness Center in Drackett Hall at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9 and Friday, June 10 at 10:30 a.m.

In a time of inflated posturing and relentless self-promotion, Gunter-Seymour’s poems offer a refuge. A ninth-generation Appalachian, her work is unapologetically connected to her home soil and examines the long-lasting effects of stereotypes and false narratives surrounding the Appalachians. More than merely commenting, her work dares to search for meaning.

Gunter-Seymour’s current collection, A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen, is the winner of the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year Award and long listed for the Jacar Press Julie Suk Award. Her poetry has also been featured in the New York Times, World Literature Today, Verse Daily and many other publications.

Recipient of the 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship Grant, Gunter-Seymour holds a BFA in graphic design and an MA in com-mercial photography and is a retired instructor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.Her award-winning photography has been pub-lished nationally in The Sun Magazine, World Literature Today, Looking at Appalachia, Vine Leaves Journaland Appalachian Review.

Gunter-Seymour is the founder and Executive Director of the Women of Appalachia Project, an arts organization to address discrimination direct-ed at women from the Appalachian region by encouraging women artists of diverse backgrounds, ages, and experiences to come together. Learn more about the organization at

The event is finished.


Jun 06 - 10, 2022



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