Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Junot Díaz Headlines Writers Conference

by Diane VanDyke

Montgomery County Community College’s Annual Writers Conference will be held on Nov. 4 and 5, in the Science Center at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

This year’s conference commences with a keynote presentation by Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Drown, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, followed by a book signing.

Considered one of the top 20 writers of the 21st century by The New Yorker magazine, Díaz teaches writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. His novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2008), won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Novel of 2007, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, the 2008 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction, and the 2008 Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, among others.  He also received the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award in recognition of his efforts to encourage aspiring authors.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz

The conference continues on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 8 a.m. with workshops conducted by other distinguished writers featuring sessions on writing novels, historical fiction, thrillers, young adult fiction, graphic novels, poetry, script writing, memoir, literary magazines, and writers’ groups. The conference includes a hospitality center, a VIP luncheon on working with an agent, and individual appointments with publishing agents for pre-registered attendees.

The cost to attend Diaz’s keynote presentation on Friday night is $18, and Saturday’s activities cost $110. Discounts are available for pre-registered senior citizens, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit students and staff and the College’s students and staff.

There will be a free simulcast of the keynote presentation to the College’s West Campus in Pottstown on Friday, Nov. 4 in South Hall 216. Additionally, there will be free simulcasts of the Historical Fiction and Poetry workshops from 9-11:45 a.m. to the West Campus on Saturday, Nov. 5, in South Hall 247. Registration is not necessary for the simulcasts.

The event is organized by conference coordinator, Dr. Harold William Halbert; assistant coordinators, Dana Resente and Diane McDonald; and English faculty, students and alumni. The event is sponsored by the Humanities Division with support from the Office of Academic Affairs and local sponsors.

For additional details and or to register, visit www.mc3.edu/writersconf, call 215-619-7422 or email writersconf@mc3.edu. Tickets are also available from the Office of Cultural Affairs at 215-641-6518

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