Athens State Hosts Summer Writing Summit

Summer Writing Summit

Athens State University’s Writing Center hosted its inaugural Summer Writing Summit from June 27 – 28. The Summit showcased the writing, research, and educational support services that Athens State offers to its students, faculty, and staff, and also provided guests with tips, tricks, tools, and strategies that they can use to improve and excel at their written work. The Summit was open to all members of the community, including local students.

During the Summit, students learned tips on how to prepare for the PRAXIS and do better research, while area faculty members received advice on how to navigate the academic publishing landscape, among other topics. General sessions included resume advice, how to write and design professional documents, and a poetry roundtable. Guests also had the opportunity to share short stories and poems they had written at an Open Mic session.

Sessions were led by Athens State faculty and staff members as well as special guests including Fiction Author and Athens State alumnus, Bradley Sides; Professor of English/ESL at Oakwood University, Carmiele Wilkerson; Graduate Student in Film & TV at City College of New York, Aja Knight; Theatre Stage Director and Master Teacher of Voice & Speech, Susan Guthrie; and Middle School English Teacher at Challenger Middle School in Huntsville, Dominque Roberson.

“I am thrilled to see Dr. Roper’s vision of the first annual Writing Summit come together,” said Dr. Lee Vartanian, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “It provided an opportunity for faculty from Athens State and beyond, as well as students, staff, and creative artists to contribute to an engaging discussion of meaningful, impactful writing. Writing should be celebrated as well as studied and practiced. This summit celebrates writing in all of its many forms (poetry, books, research papers, dissertations, creative writing, etc.). I look forward to hearing how this summit impacted our campus community and seeing how it will help us grow and expand our focus on professional writing success in the coming years.”

“This event brought faculty, staff, students and community together. Some were writers and some merely had writing to do,” said Dr. Kem Roper, Athens State’s Writing Center Director. “This conference was unique in that we weren’t just talking about writing–we were writing! After our day 2 writing groups and peer review sessions, everyone left with something–whether it was a more polished piece or the start to a project that they needed to do anyway. I think talking to other writers doing similar work made the task less difficult for everyone. But, the best part for me was having people in the building! Nothing beats the energy of people together in one place with a common purpose. My hope is that we’ve started something that will not only continue, but grow year after year.”

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