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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    Sonoma State University Revives Literary Spirit with Highly Anticipated Community Writers Festival

    The festival is set to take place on April 4, five years since it last happened in 2019.
    Sonoma State English Department | Courtesy The Sonoma Community Writers Festival will take place on April 4 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    The Sonoma Community Writers Festival is set to return to Sonoma State on April 4, five years since it was last held. 

    The event is hosted by Sonoma State University’s English, creative writing faculty and students, as well as the Zaum literary magazine staff.

     Speakers include SSU professors Kim Hester-Williams, Kathleen Winter, and Chingling Wo. 

    The festival will largely consist of readings, discussion panels, and workshops that are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and will conclude at 9 p.m. Some panel and workshop topics include “Applying to Writing Conferences and Residencies: Tips and Advice,” “Chicanofuturism Now!” and “BAQWA Presents: Readings by Bay Area Queer Writers”.  

    Miah Jeffra, the organizer of the event, said that while there were a lot of setbacks with COVID and the wildfires that preceded it, people forgot how Sonoma State is the cultural center of the North Bay. “This is a way to bring that back, to reintroduce Sonoma State to the region as a place that they can come for that cultural community, as well as just to minimize the campus, to have students realize as [that] this is a vibrant community.” 

    The festival will take place at the Student Center ballrooms and valley rooms as well as Stevenson and Darwin Hall. 

    Participants can anticipate a diverse experience appealing to both experienced wordsmiths and aspiring writers alike, featuring engaging readings, thought-provoking panel discussions, and immersive workshops focused on collaborative writing. 

    There will be more than 40 groups represented at the tables, including presses, small presses, literary reading series, and other university graduate writing programs that span a wide range of the literary landscape. 

    According to a description posted by the SSU English Department, “There will also be a table bazaar for organizations and publishers to promote their services and products.”

    Guest speakers and authors include Sam Sax, whose work has been included in the New York Times and The Atlantic, and Hieu Minh Nguyen, whose work was featured in Poetry Magazine, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. 

    This event may cater primarily to English majors, but non-English majors are still encouraged to attend.

    Jeffra said that normally a large-scale event is expensive and makes it difficult for up-and-coming young writers to get their names out. 

    “There’s no reason why anyone interested in writing at Sonoma State should not be at this event. It’s going to be the largest ever done in our history,” Jeffra said. 

    With a diverse lineup of engaging activities and a commitment to accessibility, the festival aims to leave a mark on attendees, fostering a sense of belonging and inspiration. 

    The Writers Festival is free, with no registration ahead of time required.

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    About the Contributor
    Marc Duran, Staff Writer
    Marc Duran is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
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