Miami Dade College Student Writers Conference 2021 online - friday, May 21, 2021 - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison

The Second Annual MDC Student Writers Conference 2021 is made possible by the generous donation of The Humanities Edge Grant.

Join us Friday, May 21, 2021 for a series of creative writing workshops and lectures by nationally renowned writers.

The Second Annual Miami Dade College Student Writers Conference will be held online Friday, May 21, 2021, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Students will have the opportunity to listen to nationally renowned authors, and have a choice of attending two sessions of workshops, mid-morning and early afternoon, all from the convenience of their home.

Scroll down to view the MDC SWC 2021 Schedule and Authors.


9:00-10:00 AM - Plenary Session Room

John Dufresne is the author of six novels: Louisiana Power & Light, Love Warps the Mind a Little, (both New York Times Notable Books of the Year) Deep in the Shade of Paradise, Requiem, Mass., No Regrets, Coyote, and I Don't Like Where This Is Going. He also wrote two short story collections: The Way That Water Enters Stone and Johnny Too Bad, as well as three chapbooks: Lethe, Cupid, Time and Love; Well Enough Alone; and I Will Eat a Piece of the Roof and You Can Eat the Window. He has two books on writing and creativity: The Lie That Tells a Truth: a Guide to Writing Fiction and Is Life Like This?: a Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months.

John was one of the thirteen authors of the mystery novel, Naked Came the Manatee. His short story “The Timing of Unfelt Smiles” was included in Miami Noir and in Best American Mystery Stories 2007. Another short story, “The Cross-Eyed Bear,” was included in Boston Noir and Best American Mystery Stories 2010.

John wrote a full-length play, Trailerville, which was produced at the Blue Heron Theatre in New York in 2005.He also wrote the screenplay for the award-winning short film The Freezer Jesus. He co-wrote the screenplay for To Live and Die in Dixie with Don Papy.

John was a 2012-13 Guggenheim Fellow and teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.

12:00 to 1:00 PM - Plenary Session Room

Amina Lolita Gautier is the author of three short story collections: At-Risk, Now We Will Be Happy, and The Loss of All Lost Things. At-Risk was awarded the Flannery O’Connor Award; Now We Will Be Happy was awarded the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction; The Loss of All Lost Things was awarded the Elixir Press Award in Fiction. More than one hundred and twenty-five of her stories have been published, appearing in Agni, Boston Review, Callaloo, Cincinnati Review, Glimmer Train, Greensboro Review, Gulf Coast, Joyland, Kenyon Review, Latino Book Review, Mississippi Review, New Flash Fiction Review, Quarterly West, Southern Review, and Triquarterly among other places.

She is the recipient of the Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction Award, the Florida Authors and Publishers Award, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Fiction, the International Latino Book Award, and the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award. For her body of work she has received the PEN/MALAMUD Award for Excellence in the Short Story. She teaches at the University of Miami, where she is an Associate Professor of English and the 2021-2024 Gabelli Senior Scholar.

"The Role of Poetry During Emergencies" with Roy G. Guzmán

2:45-3:30 PM - Plenary Session Room

Roy G. Guzmán is a Honduran poet whose first collection, Catrachos, was published by Graywolf Press on May 5, 2020. Catrachos is currently a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry.

Raised in Miami, Florida, Roy is the recipient of a 2019 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2017, they were named a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow. They are also the recipient of a 2017 Minnesota State Arts Board Initiative grant and the 2016 Gesell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Their work has been included in the Best New Poets 2017 anthology, guest-edited by Natalie Diaz, and Best of the Net 2017, guest-edited by Eduardo C. Corral.

In 2016, Roy was the recipient of a Scribe for Human Rights Fellowship, focusing on issues affecting migrant farm workers in Minnesota. That same year, they were chosen to participate in the fourth Letras Latinas Writers Initiative gathering, sponsored by Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, in partnership with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and the MFA Program at Arizona State University. Roy returned to Arizona as a Letras Latinas Scholar in 2018.

Roy also participated in the first Poetry Incubator, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Crescendo Literary, and was invited to run a workshop during the Incubator's second year. After the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, their poem “Restored Mural for Orlando” was turned into a chapbook with the help of poet and visual artist, D. Allen, to raise funds for the victims. With poet Miguel M. Morales, Roy edited the anthology Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando, published by Damaged Goods Press.

In 2015, they were awarded a GRPP Graduate Research Fellowship to investigate trauma caused by violence in and migration from Honduras. In 2018, Roy was awarded a second GRPP Graduate Research Fellowship to travel to Honduras for research.

Roy holds degrees from the University of Minnesota, Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago, and the Honors College at Miami Dade College. They currently live in Minneapolis, where they are pursuing a PhD in Cultural Studies (Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society) at the University of Minnesota.


Participants will be able to choose to attend two (2) of the following four (4) workshops.

Session A

10:15 to 11:45 AM

Session 1A - "Character in a Flash" with Lynne Barrett
Even at first glimpse, readers want to be struck by characters and drawn in to know more and expect writers to sustain that fascination. In this workshop we’ll look at examples and use prompts to help you present and reveal characters in the very short form of your choice—flash fiction, flash creative nonfiction, prose poetry—while also opening up possibilities for longer works.

Lynne Barrett is the author of Magpies (gold medal, Florida Book Awards) and editor of Making Good Time, True Stories of How We Do, and Don’t, Get Around in South Florida. Her recent short fiction and nonfiction can be found Orange Blossom Review, New Flash Fiction Review,50-Word Story, The Hong Kong Review, Mystery Tribune, and One Year to a Writing Life. She teaches at Florida International University.

More at www.LynneBarrett.com

Twitter: @LynneBarrett Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LynneBarrettauth Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lynnebarrettfl/

Public Contact Email: BarrettL@fiu.edu

Session 2A - "Write Brain / Making a Scene" Screenwriting with David Schroeder

At 18, a paralyzing spinal cord injury began a long accomplished journey beginning at the University of Miami where David Schroeder wrote his thesis under the direction of Nobel Laureate, I.B. Singer and earned a M.A. in American Literature. Immediately after, he took a position at Miami-Dade College, where presently, he is a full professor teaching composition, creative writing and screenwriting. In 2001, he received the Peter H. Clayton Endowed Teaching Chair for teaching excellence.

Actor Jon Voight presented Schroeder the Golden Palm Award at the 2013 Beverly Hills Film Festival "… to a screenwriter that possesses extraordinary writing ability and a deep understanding of structure, premise, characters, and dialogue. We want to feel the heart of the story beating…, and feel so compelled with the story that it’s virtually impossible to stop reading it." His scripts have won ‘Best Screenplay’ 66 times. The short film, THIS MODERN MAN IS BEAT, was produced and screen written by Schroeder, and has won 110 Best Film Awards.

Session B

1:00 to 2:30 PM

Session 1B - "Telling Your Story: Using Comics to Get That Idea Across" with Juan Navarro
Comic-creator Juan Navarro will discuss the history and process of creating narratives in the medium of the graphic novel. Students will also work on an original creation in the workshop.

Juan Navarro was born and raised in Hialeah (agua, fango y factoría), Juan Navarro is basically a fan boy. Except this fan boy doesn't collect other people's art, he creates it. Navarro grew up "fueled by a steady diet of comic books and Heavy Metal" and took turns attending and getting expelled from several magnet schools. When he tired of that, he graduated from PAVAC (Performing and Visual Arts center) at Miami Northwestern Senior High. He remembers this time of his life fondly, "Nothing was more awesome than Miami with a free metropass at 15, during the early 1990s. It was insane." After all that knocking around, he decided he might as well earn a BFA too. Navarro juggles writing, creating comic books, and drawing and painting. He is the creator and artist of Zombie Years, a web comic series and a founding member of graphicsmash.com for which he creates Vigil, a superhero comic book based in the 305. You'd think that might keep him busy enough, but no. He's also helped put together Steampunk Magazine, co-directs the CS Gallery, is editor-in-chief of Creature Entertainment, and is the art director for the Oliva Cigar Company.

Session 2B - "Shell-Collecting: The Hybrid Writer as Hermit Crab" with Julie Marie Wade
Adopted-forms literature, also known as "hermit-crab" writing, involves borrowing non-literary "shells" like memos, instruction manuals, contributor notes, quizzes, and more, and using these existing structures as sites for literary innovation. In this interactive workshop, we'll read several examples of "hermit crab" writing--both poetry and prose--and then take some time to begin our own. Every participant will leave with a file of additional "hermit crab" examples and a class-generated list of "shells" to try on.

Julie Marie Wade is the author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Bywater Books, 2014; Colgate University Press, 2010), winner of the Colgate University Press Nonfiction Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Memoir; Without: Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2010), selected for the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Series; Small Fires: Essays (Sarabande Books, 2011), selected for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature; Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2013), winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series; Tremolo: An Essay (Bloom Books, 2013), selected by Bernard Cooper as the winner of the Bloom Nonfiction Chapbook Prize; When I Was Straight: Poems (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014), selected for the American Library Association’s Over the Rainbow List; Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2016); SIX: Poems, selected by C.D. Wright as the winner of the AROHO/To the Lighthouse Prize in Poetry; Same-Sexy Marriage: A Novella in Poems (A Midsummer Night's Press, 2018); and The Unrhymables: Collaborations in Prose (Noctuary Press, 2019), co-authored with Denise Duhamel. Recent book publications include the book-length lyric essay, Just an Ordinary Woman Breathing (The Ohio State University Press, 2020), the limited-edition, hybrid-forms chapbook, P*R*I*D*E (Vermont College of Fine Arts, 2020), winner of the inaugural Hunger Mountain Chapbook Prize, and Skirted: Poems (The Word Works, 2021).

Born in 1979 in Seattle, Washington, Julie completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of Louisville in 2012. She is an Associate Professor of English in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami, where she teaches poetry, memoir, lyric essay, and hybrid forms to graduate and undergraduate students.

The conference is free to you, and if you are interested in attending, please complete the form below:

If questions or concerns, please contact:

Prof. Omar Figueras at ofiguera@mdc.edu or

Prof. Victor Calderin at vcalderi@mdc.edu

Thank you for your interest in the MDC SWC. See you there!


Created with images by Mike Tinnion - "The amount of times I have tried to find a decent photo of a blank sketch book is too many. So I decided to create a few, starting with this one." • Nick Morrison - "Laptop and notepad" • Angelina Litvin - "Pencil shavings on a notebook" • fotografierende - "Stay creative"