University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

August 17, 2006
Contact: Renee Paul, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6640

USA to Host Eugene Walter Writers Festival, Oct. 6-8

Renowned author and lecturer Marge Piercy will be the featured speaker at the University of South Alabama’s Eugene Walter Writers Festival to be held Oct. 6-8 at the Radisson Admiral Semmes Hotel in Mobile, Ala.

Hosted by USA’s department of English, the three-day conference is designed to celebrate writing and is open to writers of all genres, as well as literary enthusiasts. The event will feature a host of nationally known authors, agents and editors, as well as writing contests to showcase the talent of conference participants. Awards will include best novel, short fiction, poetry and screenwriting.

Piercy is the author of 17 novels including the New York Times bestseller “Gone to Soldiers” and the national bestseller “The Longings of Women.” She is the master of many genres including historical fiction, science fiction, poetry, and novels of social comment and contemporary entertainment. She has also written on the craft of writing as well as given workshops on writing techniques.

Eugene Walter Writers Festival

In addition to Piercy, authors such as Michael Knight, master of the short story and novel, will be on hand to lecture and conduct master classes. Editor Valarie Gray from Mira Books will discuss what her publishers are looking for, and literary agent Stephanie Lehmann will participate in a discussion panel as well as grant a limited number of individual interviews to aspiring writers. Master classes in various writing venues will be conducted by Piercy, Knight, playwright and screenwriter Sarah Bewley, and others.

The conference is named in honor of the late Eugene Walter, a native of Mobile and one of the founders of the Paris Review. He was awarded the prestigious Lippincott Award for fiction and was an acclaimed author of cookbooks, poetry and music, as well as a visual artist. This is the third year of celebration of his life and literary contributions.

Additional information about the conference can be found on the Web site at, by calling (251) 460-6147, or by e-mail at

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