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Community Writing Center

Upcoming Events

Utah Arts Festival 2016

SLCC Community Writing Center Festival Events

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 and world-renowned storytellers, there’s something for everyone.

Have Your Say! Gigantic Magnetic Poetry Walls

Everyone can be a poet, especially with gigantic magnetic words! Come and share your words at the CWC’s magnetic poetry walls. Every day of the festival.

Write Fest activities

Join us to participate in a game of exquisite corpse, make a mini-zine, or visit our recording booth to tell your story about art! Every day of the festival.

10th Anniversary Wasatch Iron Pen 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 Iron Pen challenge and write in all three! Writers of all genres and experience levels can register for the marathon online at the SLCC Community Writing Center (located at Library Square) or by calling 801-957-2192.

After receiving the visual prompt on Friday, June 24th at 5:00pm, writers will have exactly one day to write. All submissions (paper only, not electronic) must be turned in to the SLCC Community Writing Center by Saturday, June 25th at 5:00pm. Winners will be announced Sunday, June 26th at noon at the Utah Arts Festival’s Big Mouth Stage and are encouraged to read selections from their piece.

2016 Iron Pen Rules and Guidelines

2016 Iron Pen Rules & Guidelines

  • Registration Fees:
    • IronPen: $5.00
    • Ultra IronPen: $10.00 (Reduced fees in honor of the 10th Anniversary)
  • Registration closes on Friday, June 24th at 5:00 pm.
  • Youth and Adult competitions judged separately and anonymously.
  • Submissions (paper) must be delivered no later than 5:00pm, Saturday, June 25th.
  • Awards are subject to change based on submissions and judges’ discretion.

2016 Iron Pen Schedule

Friday, June 24, 5:00pm

Wasatch IronPen Literary Marathon and Ultramarathon Start!

Get to the CWC for a submission guidelines meeting and your visual prompt to start writing your 24-hour masterpiece! (If you can't make it to the CWC in person, go to our website for all the information and visual prompt, starting at 5:00 p.m.)

Saturday, June 25, 5:00pm

Wasatch IronPen Literary Marathon and Ultramarathon Ends!

All submissions are due at CWC by 5:00pm. Paper copies only; no electronic submissions will be accepted.

Sunday, 12:00-1:30pm

Wasatch IronPen Winners Reading at Big Mouth stage

Find out if you won this year’s IronPen! Celebrate the winners of the Wasatch IronPen and Ultra IronPen!

Performances and Workshops at the SLCC Community Writing Center

Thursday, June 24

Free Admission Day! See UAF for more information.

TimeWorkshop
2:00-3:00 p.m.

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!

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Kids’ Mini Workshop - Stories That Spring to Life: Pop-up Books
Do you love writing that jumps out at you? Do you want to combine storytelling and art? Come craft a story and make it spring to life in three dimensions with your very own pop-up book. For kids ages 7-12.

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Mini-Workshop - From Taste buds to Pen: Food Writing
Food can be as expressive as words. Join us for this mini-workshop—with food-tastings—to learn the art of writing about food!

6:30-7:00 p.m.

Community Reading: Youth Voices
Join the CWC to share in a fresh perspective from teen voices.

Friday, June 24

TimeWorkshop
2:00-3:00 p.m.

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 to 15.)

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Kids’ Mini-Workshop - Rock Poetry
What better way to mark your place in the world than with a poem written on a colored rock and placed somewhere special at the Utah Arts Festival grounds or in your own neighborhood. Parents are encouraged to participate with their children ages 7-12.

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Writing Workshop: Iron Pen Writing Workshop
In this condensed workshop participants will discuss elements of fiction, nonfiction and poetry as well as writing competitively. This workshop is an introduction to the Iron Pen writing contest.

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Mini-Workshop - Show Me a Story: Digital Storytelling
In this digital age, writing can take on multiple forms. Come join the CWC to learn how to craft and showcase a digital story of your own. Using written text and photos or video with narration, you can turn a written work into a dynamic story to be shared in a variety of platforms.

Saturday, June 25

TimeWorkshop
1:00-2:00 p.m.

Writing Workshop with Performance Poet Matt Hart
Writing the Unfathomable: A Talk on the Poetic Sublime
A fathom is a unit of measure (roughly six feet), which is typically used to measure the depth of a body of water. To fathom something is to understand its nature and limits. The unfathomable, then, is something too deep to measure, incapable of being fully comprehended. Unfathomable writing—poetry—activates and deploys the immeasurable depths of meaning, via word etymology, association, allusion and music. Matt will reference versions of the historical and contemporary Sublime, as a way of talking about the unfathomable and consider strategies for exploring our own immeasurable depths.

2:00-3:00 p.m.

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 to 15.)

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Kids' Mini-Workshop: Collage Poetry
Child will learn about reading and writing by playing with randomly selected words and phrases selected from magazines and newspapers to create their own collage poetry masterpiece. Parents are encouraged to participate with their children.

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Writing Workshop: Word Tsunami: Poetry and Art
With printed words, a variety of colored tissue paper, and imagination, participants will create both a poem and a visual narrative. Guest Artist Celine Downen will guide your inspiration to create a visual narrative that surrounds your poem.

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Community Reading: DiverseCity Writing Series
Join the community writers in the CWC's DiverseCity Writing Series as they share with us writing about what makes us all human.

Sunday, June 26

TimeWorkshop

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Graphic Arts Workshop: Making Comic Books
Comic book artist Paul Guinan and writer Anina Bennett [link to bios] 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 to 15.)
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Open Mic Reading/Performance
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. Everyone welcome.

Guest Writer Bios

Writer Anina Bennett is the co-author (with her husband, Paul Guinan) of the steampunk sensation Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel and Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention. She and Paul also created the Eisner-nominated science fiction series Heartbreakers, one of the first comics to feature clones and female action heroes. Anina is a recovering comic book editor, having previously shepherded titles such as Nexus, GrimJack, and Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor for First Comics and Dark Horse Comics. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Stumptown Comics in Portland, Oregon. www.bigredhair.com.

Multimedia artist Paul Guinan started out at First Comics, retouching the first manga translation published in the U.S., Lone Wolf and Cub. While at First, he co-created Cargonauts, a precursor to Firefly. Paul also co-created Chronos for DC Comics and was lead background artist on the animated series Stan Lee’s Stripperella. With his wife, Anina Bennett, he created the groundbreaking science fiction series Heartbreakers. Paul’s art for their graphic novel Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate was nominated for an Eisner Award. He collaborated with Anina on Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, a unique illustrated hardcover that’s been optioned by producer J.J. Abrams, and their most recent book, Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention. www.bigredhair.com.

Céline Downen graduated from Columbia College in Chicago in 1996 with a BA in Photography. Having grown up in Salt Lake City until she was 11, she has always considered Utah her home and moved back in 2006 with her husband. She now divides her time between taking care of their two sons, making art, and pursuing an MFA in community-based art education at the University of Utah. Her current work explores the construction of community and place. She uses techniques from book arts, printmaking, photography, paper arts and quilting.

Matt Hart is the author Radiant Action and five other books of poems. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklief, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, Matt is also the former frontman of 90s punk band, Squirtgun. Hart ultimately pursued his MFA in creative writing and began teaching in the Academic Studies Department at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

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