Photo courtesy of Karl Elder
The Great Lakes Writers Festival returns November 4-5, 2021. The two-day long festival features two renowned writers who will be reading their works, conducting workshops, Q&A sessions, meetings, and so much more. This festival is a great opportunity for Muskies to explore creative writing and discover their hidden passions.
Professors Karl Elder and Jeff Elzinga created the Great Lakes Writers Festival in 1991, with the support of Lucille Fessler, an avid lover of the written word. After Lakeland’s Creative Writing major was established in the 1980s, the festival was the perfect event to invite high school students to explore their potential at Lakeland. According to Professor Elder, the festival provides an inside look into being a creative writer with proficient and widely known authors, leaving students fascinated.
This year’s line-up of writers includes Cathryn Cofell and Ryan Ireland. Cathryn Cofell has published more than six hundred times and received more than fifty awards for her work. Ryan Ireland is the author of many incredible works and in 2016, he received a writing fellowship in Sweden. “I decide who to extend my invitation based on two elements. First, I have to admire their work and second, I have to have seen them in action in some way, whether that be a reading or a conference” Professor Elder stated.
Olive Lehman, a senior majoring in creative writing, has attended the Great Lakes Festival every year since her first year at Lakeland. According to Olive, attending is valuable for students because they get the opportunity to meet with published authors and hear about their writing journeys, which gives students opportunities to relate them to their work.
The Great Lakes Writers Festival is free and open to the public. To register online you can just click in this link http://greatlakeswritersfestival.org/registration/ .