Orangeburg Writes: Writing and Literacy Workshops

Claflin University will present a series of community writing workshop programs from November 2022 – October 2023. The programs are designed to serve the communities of Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Calhoun counties. SC Humanities supported this program with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

Thursday, November 3, 2022 | 2:30 p.m.
“An Introduction to Writing Memoir”
Presented by Dr. Nick Robinson
Location: Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium, Claflin University, 400 Magnolia Street
Dr. Robinson grew up in Junior Village, a notorious orphanage that was the oldest and largest institution of its kind in America. A ninth-grade dropout, he earned a GED and graduated from the University of D.C. A graduate of the creative writing programs at Florida Atlantic University (2009 MFA) and the University of Missouri (Ridgel Nonfiction Fellow, 2016 PhD), Dr. Robinson’s work, recognized by 23 literary journals over the past thirty-six months, has been published in Memoir MagazineSoutheast Review, New Ohio Review, Iron Horse Literary Review and elsewhere. His memoir chapter, “Junior Village,” won the 2020 Ned Stuckey-French Nonfiction Prize, judged by 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winner in nonfiction, Gilbert King.

January 26th, 2023 | 2:30 p.m.
“Creative Writing: The Classroom and Beyond”

Presented by Dr. Dennis Bormann
Location: Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium, Claflin University, 400 Magnolia Street
Dr. Dennis F. Bormann started teaching in the English Department at Claflin in the Fall of ’94. His degrees are a BA in Literature (School of American Studies) from Ramapo College of New Jersey, an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Vermont College, and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University (Creative Writing & Postmodern American and British Literature). Dr. Bormann is also a published fiction writer (novel: Airboat), a Fiction Editor for Main Street Rag, a literary journal, and has won “The Hunter Award” for best teacher of the year. As an editor Bormann published two titles of literary anthologies, Suicidally Beautiful (w/Stephen Taylor) a collection of fiction about sports, and stories and poems about dogs, To Unsnare Time’s Warp (w/Gaynell Gavin.)

Thursday, March 16, 2023 | 2:30 p.m.
“The Graphic Novel: Theory and Practice”
Presented by Dr. Jonathan Evans and Aaron Benson
Location: Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium, Claflin University, 400 Magnolia Street

Monday, September 18, 2023 | 2:30 p.m.
Writing as a Passion
Presenting Halli Gomez, Young Adult Author
Location: Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium, Claflin University, 400 Magnolia Street
Halli Gomez writes stories for children and young adults with neurodivergent characters including her award-winning young adult novel, List of Ten. When no one is looking, she sock skates through the house and talks to dogs like they are human. When people are looking, she’s working at her local independent bookstore, reading, or breaking out of escape rooms with her family. Halli lives in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | 2:30 p.m.
Presenting Lis-Anna Langston
Location: Grace Thomas Kennedy Auditorium, Claflin University, 400 Magnolia Street
Descended from the Eastern band of Cherokee, Lis Anna-Langston was raised along the winding current of the Mississippi River on a steady diet of dog-eared books. She attended a Creative and Performing Arts School from middle school until graduation and went on to study Literature at Webster University. Her novels have won the Parents’ Choice Gold, Moonbeam Book Award, Independent Press Award, Benjamin Franklin Book Award and NYC Big Book Awards. A three-time Pushcart award nominee and Finalist in the Brighthorse Book Prize, William Faulkner Fiction Contest, George Garrett Fiction Prize and Thomas Wolfe Fiction Award, her work has been published in The Literary Review, Emerson Review, The Merrimack Review, Emrys Journal, The MacGuffin, Sand Hill Review and dozens of other literary journals. Hailed as “an author with a genuine flair for originality” by Midwest Book Review and “a loveable, engaging, original voice…” by Publishers Weekly, you can find her in the wilds of South Carolina plucking stories out of thin air. 

The Fast Track Literary Grant program is supported with funding from the South Carolina Arts Commission. The South Carolina Arts Commission is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and collaborates in its work with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and South Arts.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Photo by Miika Laaksonen on Unsplash