Monday, October 14, 2019

Annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival Set For April 2-4 at East Central University

ADA – The annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival returns to the ECU campus next spring to continue its successful run, marking its 15th year as one of the preeminent events of its kind in the nation. A trio of celebrated authors – Barbara Crooker, Lou Berney, and Octavio Quintanilla – anchors the 2020 installment of the festival, scheduled for April 2-4. The event is open and free to the public. Information and schedules will be available elsewhere on this website.

The Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, as always, features Oklahoma’s most prestigious high school creative writing competition, now in its 16th year. The annual Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest is open to all state high school students submitting poetry or short works of fiction. Details are available here.

Crooker, Berney, and Quintanilla will highlight the three-day festival, which attracts some of the best known and emerging writing talents from around the country.

For more information on the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival or questions about group attendance, contact organizer Dr. Ken Hada at 580-559-5557 or via email at
Following are bios on the three featured writers.

Barbara Crooker is a poetry editor for Italian-Americana, and author of nine full-length books of poetry, with Some Glad Morning coming out in the Pitt Poetry Series in 2019. Her awards include the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships.

Crooker’s work has appeared in a variety of literary journals and anthologies, including The Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Chariton Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, Tar River Poetry Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Hollins Critic, The Denver Quarterly, Smartish Pace, Gargoyle, Christianity and Literature, The American Poetry Journal, Dogwood, Zone 3, Passages North, Nimrod, Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, The Bedford Introduction to Literature, and Nasty Women: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. Her work has also been read on ABC and the BBC, and featured in Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac” and in Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry”.

Lou Berney is the author of November Road (a Washington Post Best Book of 2018), The Long and Faraway Gone (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Macavity, and ALA awards), Whiplash River, and Gutshot Straight, all from William Morrow.

Berney has also written a collection of stories, The Road to Bobby Joe, and his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and The Pushcart Prize anthology. He currently teaches in the M.F.A. program at Oklahoma City University.

Octavio Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014) and is the current Poet Laureate of San Antonio, Texas. His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared – or are forthcoming – in journals such as Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, Green Mountains Review, Southwestern American Literature, The Texas Observer, Existere: A Journal of Art & Literature, and elsewhere.

Quintanilla’s visual work has been exhibited at Presa House Gallery; AllState Almaguer art space in Mission, Texas; the Weslaco Museum; Our Lady of the Lake University; El Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos; and at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center/Black Box Theater.

An exhibit of Quintanilla’s work is forthcoming at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review and poetry editor for The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism. Quintanilla teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.

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