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The seventh annual Millikin Literary Festival will be held on November 13 and 14 at Millikin University.

The 2009 Literary Festival is open to high school and college students, and includes workshops, readings, and sessions with featured writers Jennifer Cody Epstein and Allison Joseph. The event gives participants a chance to work directly with professional writers and receive feedback.

Jennifer Cody Epstein is the author of The Painter from Shanghai, an imaginative retelling of the life of Chinese prostitute-turned-post-Impressionist Pan Yuliang. Her  fiction has also appeared in Thema, Confrontation, Carve, and Small Spiral Notebook and has been a finalist selection for Glimmertrain. She has also lived and worked in the U.S., Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Italy for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Mademoiselle, Self and Parents, as well as for the NBC and HBO networks. She has a Masters in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University, where she is an adjunct professor in the School of the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with her husband and two daughters.

Allison Joseph lives, writes and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she directs the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  She also serves as editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, a national journal of literary works, and director of the Young Writers Workshop, a coed residential creative writing summer workshop for high-school aged writers.  Joseph is the author of five books of poems: What Keeps Us Here (winner of the Ampersand Press Women Poets Series Prize and the John C. Zacharis Prize from Ploughshares and Emerson College), Soul Train, In Every Seam, Imitation of Life, and Worldly Pleasures (winner of the Word Press Poetry Prize).  She is also the author of a chapbook, Voice: Poems. Her next full-length poetry collection, My Father's Kites, will be published in 2010. She has received fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Sewanee Writers Conference and the Illinois Arts Council.

Millikin faculty members and writers Dr. Stephen Frech, Dr. Randy Brooks, Dr. Carmella Braniger and Professor Carmen Aravena will also participate in the festival. High School students and teachers interested in participating should contact Dr. Stephen Frech at 217.362.6473 or sfrech@millikin.edu.

Additional information on the Millikin Literary Festival and the High School Writing Contest is available online at www.millikin.edu/literaryfestival.

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL