Update: Writer’s Weekend 2018 featuring Rebecca Skloot and Karyn Parsons

The Creative Writing Program at Augusta University will celebrate African American stories and writers during the 2018 Writer’s Weekend. The conference, now in its sixth year, takes place on Feb. 8-10.

Author Rebecca Skloot will be this year’s keynote speaker. Skloot is the New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks—the account of an African American cervical cancer patient whose cells were collected and cultured without her knowledge by George Otto Gey, a cell biologist at Johns Hopkins University. Those same “HeLa” cells are still widely used around the world today in medical research.

The keynote address will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 at the Imperial Theatre. Tickets that were previously reserved for a different location will be honored, and additional tickets for this event will become available at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25 via Eventbrite. Tickets will not be available at the Imperial Theatre box office.

A moderated conversation and Q&A session will follow, followed by a reception and book signing.

On Feb. 9, local schools will host Karyn Parson, actress and founder of the Sweet Blackberry—an organization that preserves and shares the legacies and stories of individuals who have overcome tremendous obstacles.

On Feb. 10, a series of craft talks, readings and book signings will take place in University Hall.

This year’s conference honors the late Dr. Marya DuBose Free, a professor of English and chair of the former Department of Languages, Literature, and Communications at Augusta University. Free was a champion of children’s literature.

Contact Anna Harris-Parker, assistant professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, for more information.

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Nick Garrett

Nick Garrett is a communications coordinator in the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him at 706-446-4802 or