Saturday, July 16, 2016

2017 Scissortail: Press Release

The 12th annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival will draw many creative writers and fans alike to East Central University in Ada, Okla., April 6-8, 2017.

Authors Patricia Hampl and Leif Enger will be featured in addition to more than 60 author presentations from Oklahoma and beyond. All sessions are free and open to the public.Patricia Hampl’s most recent books, The Florist’s Daughter and Blue Arabesque, were both among the New York Times “100 Notable Books of the Year.” She is the author of four other prose works and two collections of poetry. Her essays, poems, short fiction, travel pieces and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays and others. Her new book, The Art of the Wasted Day, will be published by Viking Penguin in 2017.

Hampl is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (in poetry and in prose). She is a MacArthur Fellow, and is Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota, and a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Writing Program. Hampl is also a Visiting Professor at Kingston University-London where she works on writing related to human rights.

Leif Enger has written two prizewinning novels, Peace Like a River and So Brave, Young and Handsome. He graduated from Moorhead State University and spent 16 years reporting and producing for Minnesota Public Radio. In the 1990s he co-authored a series of Pocket Books mysteries – the Gun Pedersen novels – with his brother Lin Enger. He reads widely, plays electric bass on Sunday mornings, flies kites and sails on Lake Superior. He and his wife Robin live on a small farm in northern Minnesota.

The Scissortail Creative Writing Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 2pm. on Saturday. Each day is broken into several sessions. For a complete schedule of readers, visit

In addition to the program of authors, two creative writing contests are also recognized during the festival. Prize recipients for the 13th consecutive year of the Darryl Fisher High School Creative Writing Contest and the 2nd annual contest for undergraduate creative writers will also be awarded during the festival. The Scissortail Creative Writing Festival is sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council. For more information, contact Dr. Ken Hada at 580-559-5557 or visit

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Collegiate Creative Writing Contest

Congrats to the winners of our Collegiate Creative Writing Contest (from left to right): Kayla Esther Ciardi, Lyndsey Key, and Ashley Loper.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's On!

As of 9:30 this morning, the Eleventh Annual the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival is under way. If you're not here yet, come soon! We'll be here through Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

From the Director: 2016

On behalf of our sponsors and the many volunteers who help make the 11th annual Scissortail Festival possible, I welcome you to East Central University and to Ada, Oklahoma. This year we welcome 18 new voices to the program. One of my great delights is to see writers from across the country meet each other and become friends, fellow voices continuing the call for common sense and courageous virtue through the media of fiction and poetry. We also will award 8 collegiate writers from Texas and Oklahoma at the after party on Friday night. Hope you can attend. As usual, on Saturday we will award 26 high school students from over 600 entries from across the state. We salute all the teachers who make this happen!

Some things are changing at ECU. Two of the most enthusiastic supporters of the Scissortail Festival are moving on to other places. Phyllis Danley, Executive Director of the ECU Foundation, and Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, are leaving ECU. All of us associated with the Department of English and the festival offer a great big thank you to both of you for your wonderful support of the festival! You both will be missed.

There is much trouble in our world today. You hear, as I do, about the bombing in Belgium. And we hear about the subtle, and not-so-subtle attacks on our public school systems across the nation, the aggressive assault on general education, budget cutbacks and other misgivings about our relationship with each other in our democracy. Now, more than ever, I think we need the voices of artists reminding us to be, first of all, human, first of all, humane. I look forward to meeting each of you, hearing your presentations. I hope the artists and all the visitors have a truly fulfilling experience these three days.

I leave you with the lovely, haunting words of Jonas Zdanys, part of his poem “The White Bend of the River” from his book The Thin Light of Winter:

Time drifts past.
Only stones desire nothing.
The air is filled
with the sound of birds
murmuring of love
And despair.

See you soon!

Ken Hada

Scissortail after Dark

Scissortail after Dark
Jazz Standards by
The Moonlighters Combo
Awarding Winners of the Undergraduate
Creative Writing Contest

8:30 pm, Friday, April 1, 2016
(following Naomi Shihab Nye’s Evening Session on campus)

Cosponsored by Sigma Tau Delta & Literati

Directions to Ada Arts & Heritage Center, located on the corner of 14th St. and Rennie St.

            1) From ECU campus, get on Mississippi St., turn left heading south. (Mississippi St. is immediately west of the University).

            2) Get in the right lane proceeding south to 14th St.

            3) Turn right (west) on 14th St., Proceed west (about 4 blocks), arrive at Rennie St.

            4) Ada Arts & Heritage Center is on the left corner of 14th & Rennie.

            5) Parking across the street, and in the church lot adjacent to the Center.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016