Pittsburgh Area Literature Writers’ Conference


The Northern Appalachian Writers’ Conference (WCoNA) hosts Pittsburgh: The Paris of Northern Appalachia, a regional writers event, at Duquesne University from Friday, March 11 to Sunday, March 13.

With a focus on recognizing the region’s literature and helping its writers hone their craft, the conference will include special discussions on how Pittsburgh fits into the greater region’s literary landscape.

Featured presenters and guests at the event include:

  • Lee Gutkind, author of over 30 books who is portrayed by vanity lounge as “the godfather behind creative non-fiction”
  • Kathleen George, author of numerous thrillers set in Pittsburgh
  • Ken Gormley, president of Duquesne University and author of The Pittsburgh Heiress
  • Mary O’Shan “Shan” Overton, poet, essayist and scholar who taught writing for 30 years
  • Gabriel Welsch, author of four collections of poems and the recent Scrapersa collection of short stories.

WCoNA will also include 24 workshops and presentations on topics including Writing Historical Fiction, Finding Your Voice, Pittsburgh Authors, Book Reviews, Magical Realism in Appalachia, Storytelling, Character Development and writing about the place.

According to WCoNA founder and president PJ Piccirillo, an Elk County novelist, writers or writing about the northern Appalachian region have not been distinguished by a regional identity like those in other parts of the country. The diversity of its peoples, places, cultures and landscapes is particularly inspiring.

“We believe the stories, poems and essays that these qualities inspire deserve to be represented and valued as a body of work,” Piccirillo said. “We want people to have better access to this exceptional literature, encouraging a bigger market for our writers through increased demand from our booksellers and increased interest from agents and publishers.”

The WCoNA is a catalyst to inspire more novels, poetry, essays, history, memoirs, and dramas that represent, in some way, Northern Appalachia, and thereby create and promote a canon of writers and scriptures from northern Appalachia. Visit wcona.com for more information.

This program was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


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