Deadline approaching for Writer’s Edge conference; credit hours available for attendees

Time is running out for writers and aspiring authors to sign up for a weeklong international writer’s conference organized by the University of Houston-Victoria. Attendees can earn up to three hours of academic credit.
American Book Review

The Jan. 21 registration deadline is approaching for The Writer’s Edge, a writing conference that will bring together attendees with 10 established authors March 16 to 21 at Universidad Internacional in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

UHV-based literary institutions American Book Review and Fiction Collective Two are sponsoring the event. ABR is an international publication that champions frequently neglected works of fiction, poetry and criticism from small presses. Fiction Collection Two is an alternative publishing press that recently moved to UHV.

Fiction Collective Two

“This is really a fabulous opportunity to interact and learn from some of the most exciting authors working in the craft today,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, editor/publisher of ABR and dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences, which oversees FC2.

Attendees can earn one to three semester credit hours through UHV depending on their activity level at the conference, said Tom Williams, humanities division chairman and associate editor for ABR.

The conference will be divided into two halves. Student attending either half can earn one or two academic credits, Williams said. Students who attend the entire conference can earn up to three credits. Since awards will depend on the specific involvement of attendees, those seeking academic credit are encouraged to ask about their situations before attending. Williams can be reached at 361-580-4279 or

The first half of the week, March 16 to 18, will fall under the banner of the ABR Writer’s Conference: Fiction and Poetry Workshops. ABR-affiliated authors and editors Williams, Dagoberto Gilb, Macarena Hernández, Kevin Prufer and Eric Miles Williamson will conduct workshops on subjects like literary forms, novels, short stories, poetry, book reviews, creative nonfiction and journalism, and also work one-on-one with attendees.

March 19 to 21 will fall under the auspices of The Writer’s Edge: Innovative Fiction Workshops, an annual event previously organized by FC2. Under a similar structure, writers will get to attend panel discussions by and work one-on-one with FC2 staff members and authors Alexandra Chasin, Jeffrey DeShell, Stephen Graham Jones, Lance Olsen and Lidia Yuknavitch.

The conference also will offer the first Hudson-Espinosa Fiction Prize for the best work of short fiction. The award will be given based on short stories attendees submit with their event registrations.

The prize was established by private donations from UHV President Tim Hudson, his wife, Dee Dee, and Universidad Internacional Rector Javier Espinosa. Each leader donated $2,500 to an endowment that will maintain the prize into the future and committed to fund the $500 award until the endowment becomes self-sustaining.

The cost for the conference is $500 for the entire week or $275 for either half of the week. To register or for more information, contact The Writer’s Edge staff at 361-570-4101 or

Fees do not include travel and accommodations.

Biographies for writers* scheduled to participate in the ABR Writer’s Conference are as follows:

Dagoberto Gilb is an award-winning professor of English in the Texas State University at San Marcos creative writing department. Gilb is a native of Los Angeles and longtime resident of El Paso who now lives in Austin. He spent 16 years making his living as a carpenter before winning wide acclaim for his story collection “The Magic of Blood.” That collection won the PEN/Hemingway award and was a PEN/Faulkner finalist. He also has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writer’s Award and a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship from the Texas Institute of Letters. He is the author of the novel “The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna” and the essay collections “Woodcuts with Women and Gritos.”

Macarena Hernández is a former international reporter and editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News. Prior to that, she was the Rio Grande Valley bureau chief for the San Antonio Express-News. She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Latina magazine, and reported and co-produced a documentary, “The Ballad of Juan Quezada,” that ran on PBS/Frontline World. She is a UHV communication instructor.

Kevin Prufer is director of the creative writing program at the University of Central Missouri, editor/director of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, an associate editor for ABR, and vice president/secretary of the National Book Critics Circle. In addition to his three Pushcart Prizes, Prufer has received several awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Academy of American Poets and other organizations. He recently was awarded a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry. Prufer’s latest book is “National Anthem.”

Tom Williams edited Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies from 2004 to 2008. Currently, he is chair of the humanities division at the University of Houston-Victoria and an associate editor of ABR.

Eric Miles Williamson is a critically acclaimed author who has written numerous book reviews and has been closely involved with the work of the National Book Critics Circle. Williamson’s fiction includes three novels, the recently released “Oakland, Jack London, and Me,” “Two-Up,” and “East Bay Grease,” a PEN/Hemmingway Award finalist and one of the Los Angeles Times’ Best Books of 1999. He has been an editor for several prestigious literary journals, including Boulevard and Gulf Coast, and is an associate editor for ABR.

Biographies for writers* at The Writer’s Edge: Innovative Fiction Workshops follow:

Alexandra Chasin received her doctorate in modern thought and literature at Stanford University in 1993 and went on to teach literary and cultural studies with special interests in gender, sex and sexuality, race, and popular culture at Boston College, Yale University, University of Geneva and Columbia University. In 2002, Chasin completed a master’s degree in fiction writing at Vermont College. Her first collection of fiction, “Kissed By,” was published in 2007 by FC2. Chasin’s work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, AGNI, Chain, Sleepingfish, West Branch, Phoebe, The Capilano Review, Exquisite Corpse, DIAGRAM and Elimae. She now teaches in the writing department at Lang College.

Jeffrey DeShell is the author of three novels, “S & M,” “In Heaven Everything is Fine” and “Peter: An (A) Historical Romance;” and a critical book, “The Peculiarity of Literature: An Allegorical Approach to Poe’s Fiction.” He has co-edited two collections of fiction by American women, “Chick-Lit I: Postfeminist Fiction” and “Chick-Lit II: No Chick Vics.” DeShell was a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Budapest, Hungary, in 1999-2000. Currently, DeShell is an assistant professor and director of the creative writing program at the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Stephen Graham Jones’ first novel, “The Fast Red Road: A Plainsong,” published by FC2 in 2000, won the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction. His second novel, “All the Beautiful Sinners” was published by Rugged Land in 2003. He was awarded a 2002 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Open City, Meridian, Pleiades, Cutbank and Alaska Quarterly Review. He works as an assistant professor at Texas Tech University.

Lance Olsen is author of nine novels, one new media text, four critical studies, four short-story collections and a textbook about fiction writing. He also has edited two collections of essays about innovative contemporary fiction. His short stories, essays, poems and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals, magazines and anthologies, including Conjunctions, McSweeney’s and Best American Non-Required Reading. Olsen is an NEA Fellowship and Pushcart Prize recipient, a Fulbright Scholar, and former governor-appointed Idaho Writer-in-Residence. His novel, “Tonguing the Zeitgeist,” was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. His work has been translated into Italian, Polish, Turkish and Finnish. He serves as chairman of the board of directors at FC2, an associate editor at ABR and fiction editor at Western Humanities Review. He teaches at the University of Utah.

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of three collections of short fictions: “Her Other Mouths” (House of Bones Press, 1997) “Liberty’s Excess” (FC2, 2000) and “Real to Reel” (FC2, 2001). Her writing has appeared in Postmodern Culture, Fiction International, Another Chicago Magazine, Zyzzyva, Critical Matrix, Other Voices and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing and literature in Oregon.

*Photos available on request.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342