Utah Arts Festival 2017

Join the SLCC Community Writing Center and the Utah Arts Festival for four days packed with fun writing activities for all. From workshops for kids and adults to the Wasatch Iron Pen competition, there’s something for everyone!


Have Your Say!: Gigantic Magnetic Poetry Walls

Everyone can be a poet, especially with gigantic magnetic words! Come share your words on the CWC’s magnetic poetry walls.


Write Fest Activities

Stop by the Community Writing Center any time to participate in a variety of fun writing activities. Create a pocket zine, tell your story in our recording booth, write and perform a 1-minute play—and be sure to check out our new story vending machine!


Wasatch IronPen Literary Marathon and Ultra Marathon!

Artists of the written word face off in a 24-hour writing competition. Adult and Youth writers can participate in one of three categories (fiction, non-fiction and poetry) or can take on the Ultra IronPen challenge and write in all three! Winning writers will receive prizes and have a chance to read their work on the Big Mouth Stage!

Writers of all genres and experience levels can register for the marathon at the Community Writing Center (located at Library Square) or register online. After receiving the visual prompt on Friday, June 23rd at 5:30 pm, writers will have exactly 24 hours to write. Submissions are due Saturday, June 24th at 5:30 pm. Read the IronPen Rules and Guidelines or call 801-957-2192 for more details.


Performances and Workshops at the SLCC Community Writing Center

Thursday, June 22
12:30 - 1:30 Workshop: Sumi Ink Haiku
Join artist Amy Childress to write a haiku poem and paint your words with Japanese Sumi ink.
2:00 - 3:00 Graphic Arts Workshop: Making Comic Books
Comic book artist Paul Guinan and writer Anina Bennett will help you collaborate on a story drawn by Paul, or get started on creating your own comic book. The collaborative comics will be posted in the Community Writing Center during the Fest! (Come early, as space is limited.)
3:15 - 4:15 Kids’ Workshop
Stories That Spring to Life: Pop-up Books

Craft a story and make it spring to life in three dimensions with your very own pop-up book. Parents are encouraged to participate with their children.
4:30 - 5:30 Workshop: Fountains of Ideas
Join local author Dene Low to explore practical methods for increasing creativity at any stage of the writing process.
6:30 - 7:30 Community Reading: Youth Voices
Join the CWC to share in fresh perspectives from teen voices and learn more about our year-round youth writing programs.
Friday, June 23
12:30 - 1:30 Workshop: Matchbook Shrines
Join artist Celine Downen to create a matchbook shrine to house a favorite line from a book or poem. You can also make a blank tiny book to feature your own writing.
2:00 - 3:00 Graphic Arts Workshop: Making Comic Books
Comic book artist Paul Guinan and writer Anina Bennett will help you collaborate on a story drawn by Paul, or get started on creating your own comic book. The collaborative comics will be posted in the Community Writing Center during the Fest! (Come early, as space is limited.)
3:15 - 4:15 Kids’ Workshop: Screenwriting
Explore the basics of screenwriting and collaborate on a 1-minute screenplay. Parents are encouraged to participate with their children.
4:30 - 5:30 IronPen Writing Workshop
This workshop provides an introduction to the IronPen writing contest. Learn tips for writing competitively, and discuss elements of our three competition options: fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
5:30 Wasatch IronPen Literary Marathon and Ultramarathon START!
Get to the CWC for submission guidelines and the visual prompt to start writing your 24-hour masterpiece! If you can't make it to the CWC, the visual prompt will be posted on Facebook (@CommunityWritingCenter) and Instagram (@slcc_cwc) at 5:30 pm.
6:30 - 7:30 Community Reading: DiverseCity Writing Series
Join the community writers in the CWC's DiverseCity Writing Series as they share writing about what makes us all human.
Saturday, June 24
2:00 - 3:00 ASL Slam Poetry Workshop
Join ASL slam poet Jeremy Lee Sanchez to explore the art of poetry in American Sign Language (ASL). ASL poetry is a dynamic, 3-dimensional art form. No experience with ASL needed! And don’t miss Jeremy’s performance on the Big Mouth Stage—Saturday at 3:30 pm!
3:30 - 4:30 Graphic Arts Workshop: Making Comic Books
Comic book artist Paul Guinan and writer Anina Bennett will help you collaborate on a story drawn by Paul, or get started on creating your own comic book. The collaborative comics will be posted in the Community Writing Center during the Fest! (Come early, as space is limited.)
5:00 - 6:00 Kids' Workshop: Collage Poetry
Create your own collage poetry masterpiece by playing with randomly selected words and phrases from magazines and newspapers. Parents are encouraged to participate with their children.
5:30 Wasatch IronPen Literary Marathon and Ultramarathon ENDS!
All submissions are due by 5:30 pm on Saturday, June 24th. Participants can deliver paper copies to the Community Writing Center or can submit online.
Sunday, June 25
12:00 - 2:00 Wasatch IronPen Winners Reading at Big Mouth stage
We’ll announce competition winners and celebrate everyone who participated in the Wastach IronPen and Ultra IronPen!
1:00 - 2:00 Graphic Arts Workshop: Making Comic Books
Comic book artist Paul Guinan and writer Anina Bennett will help you collaborate on a story drawn by Paul, or get started on creating your own comic book. The collaborative comics will be posted in the Community Writing Center during the Fest! (Come early, as space is limited.)
4:30 - 5:30 Workshop: Creative Journaling
Make a simple handbound book and use it to get started with creative journaling!
6:30 - 7:30 Open Mic
Calling all musicians, poets, spinner of tales, comedians, and lovers of the same. Join us at the Community Writing Center to share your words in any medium.

Bios for Guest Artists

Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett are a creative couple who’ve been collaborating in print since 1989. Together they created the groundbreaking science fiction comic book Heartbreakers, one of the first comics to feature a team of female action heroes. Their 2005 graphic novel Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate was nominated for an Eisner Award for Paul’s innovative art.

Anina and Paul's most recent books are illustrated hardcovers that blend historical fiction with science fiction, using a unique mix of narrative techniques. Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, the biography of a 19th-century robot soldier, dramatizes formative events at the dawn of the 20th century. Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention is a steampunk historical adventure that re-imagines a vintage dime-novel hero as a real-world inventor, complete with vintage science fiction illustrations. These critically acclaimed volumes have been called “a tour de force” (Publishers Weekly), “utterly enchanting” (F&SF), and “a retrofuturist visual feast” (The Wall Street Journal). Learn more about Paul and Anina at their website.

Slam poet and educator Jeremy Lee Sanchez was born and raised in New York City. He attended a school for the Deaf and his interest in language continues to guide his learning experience. He began to understand that ASL could be used as an artistic expression and simultaneously provide a different perspective. Jeremy started sharing his storytelling videos on a variety of social media. Seeing the passion for the language, he quickly became energized to provide a comfortable and applicable curriculum that would give students an opportunity to develop language skills while maintaining the artistry and creativity of ASL.