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The Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium is held each October in honor of The W's most famous alumna. A diverse group of Southern writers and scholars are invited to present their work. A highlight of the symposium is the announcement of the Eudora Welty Prize for an unpublished book of scholarship.

All Symposium events will be held on the MUW campus and are free and open to the public. The Symposium is made possible through the generous support of the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation.

Steve Yarbrough Named as Keynote Author

Novelist Steve Yarbrough returns as the keynote author at the 30th annual Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium, Oct. 18-20, 2018. Yarbrough has received many awards for his fiction, including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the Richard Wright Award, and the Robert Penn Warren Award. He has been a frequent guest in the symposium’s early years featuring his three story collections, and will read from his seventh novel, The Unmade World, published in January.

Beginning with a fateful accident in Krakow, Poland, Yarbrough’s novel is a fitting opening for this year’s symposium theme, “‘As If the Ear of the World Listened’: Celebrating Thirty Years of Southern Stories,” inspired by Eudora Welty’s novel “Delta Wedding.” Yarbrough deftly weaves international politics, intrigue, and an intimate portrayal of “two ordinary men,” which Publisher’s Weekly has dubbed an “intricate and satisfying novel,” while naming it a “Best Book.”

Other writers who will return to this year’s symposium include: Angela Ball, Minrose Gwin, Pauline Kaldas, Silas House, Adam Vines, and Latha Viswanathan. Writers who are new to the symposium will include The W’s own T. K. Lee with his debut collection of poetry, Mike C. Smith of Delta State University, poet Kamilah Aisha Moon, and novelist Anthony Grooms. Please see this year's Program for more details as it is updated throughout the summer.

30th Symposium Celebrated at AWP

On Saturday, March 10, the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium will be featured in a panel at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Tampa, Florida. We proposed the panel to celebrate the fact that 2018 will be our 30th Symposium, and we invited former participants to take part. AWP limits panels to 5 members, including the moderator.

Representing the symposium will be Kendall Dunkelberg (Symposium Director and 2002, 2009 & 2016), Cary Holladay (2002, 2008 & 2013), Angela Ball (2008), Lorraine López (2010), and Kelly Norman Ellis (2012). We are pleased to bring a brief sample of the symposium's long and storied history to a national audience in Tampa, 3:00pm - 4:15pm, Tampa Convention Center,  Room 14 (conference registration required).

Meanwhile, work is progressing on lining up authors for the 30th annual Symposium, October 18-20, 2018!

2017 Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium Schedule

Thursday, Oct. 19, 7:30pm

  • Daniel Wallace — Extraordinary Adventures  
  • Reception and Book Signing with all symposium authors

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Friday, Oct. 20, 9am – 12pm

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Friday, Oct. 20 1:30 – 4:00pm

edgeofwind sm americanhappiness sm alwayshappyhour sm  

Saturday, Oct. 21, 9:30-12:30pm

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Friends of the Welty Series

Hearin Foundation Department of Languages Literature and Philosophy University Press of Mississippi