September 11th, 2021

Virtual Conference

We're more excited than ever to bring everyone together and continue the important discussion on the literature of northern Appalachia.


Saturday Morning

Start the morning off with your favorite home brewed coffee or tea while you listen to a brief introduction. Then move into the first session of the day!

Saturday Afternoon

Grab your "Brownbag Lunch" and settle in for an integrated chat with the other attendees, staff, presenters, & speakers. Afterward, break off into the rest of the afternoon sessions.

Saturday Evening

After the sessions enjoy some dinner with your family. Maybe even unpack the day with them! Then, grab your favorite [locally made] brew and join us for an Open Mic Night! Share some of your own work or sit back and listen.
  • The conference will serve as a catalyst to inspire more novels, poetry, essays, history, memoir, drama, and other modes of literary writing that represent, in some way, northern Appalachia.

  • The exposure gained by the conference and the projects that stem from the conference will generate support for authors of northern Appalachia, which will ensure that the voice of this remarkable part of the country is acknowledged, appreciated, and preserved.

The goal of this event is to bring writers, researchers, and literary scholars together to recognize this distinct literature and to establish a canon of writers and writing of northern Appalachia.


First Things First

9:30--10:15 AM Log On/Access, Troubleshooting Samantha Backstrom

10:15--10:30 AM Welcome, Introductions PJ Piccirillo

10:30--10:45 AM Opening Speaker Samantha Backstrom

10:45--11 AM Break

Let's Get Started

11--11:45 AM Block One Sessions

A) “Anthologizing For Fun and Profit” Wendy Welch

B) “Fire In The Valleys, Then and Now:

Central Pennsylvania In Poems” Readings Julie Swarstad Johnson

& Abby Minor

11:45--Noon Break

Brownbag Lunch

Noon--1PM Brown Bag Lunch and Discussion Grab your lunch and join

us for a discussion about

Northern App writing identity.

How do we define it? Who or

what is included?

1--1:45 PM Block Two Sessions

A) “Poetry: Cross Training For Prose Writers” Lora Zill

B) “The Unsettling: Cherokee History In

Appalachia” Talk and Reading Diane Glancy

1:45--2 PM Break

2--2:45 PM Block Three Sessions

A) “Telling Real Life Stories: How to use

storytelling elements to transform real-life Hilary Hauck

into compelling fiction and memoir.”

B) “Life Between” Mark Saba

2:45--3 PM Break

3--3:45 PM Block Four Sessions

A) “Angels & Demons: Keeping The Moderator: Ginny Fite

Conflict Hot” Panel Discussion: Panelists: John Deupree

Lee Doty, & Pam Clark

B) “Summoning The Other: We Are All

Co-Writers” Kecia Bal and Asa Ana

3:45--4 PM Break

4:00PM Closing Remarks PJ PIccirillo

4:30--6PM Dinner—On Your Own

6:00-8:00 PM Open Mic with Conference Attendees & Staff