Living Writers Series

Writers share their experiences in the Living Writers Series at Oswego State

Since its inception the Creative Writing Program has invited hundreds of writers into our community, from Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners to young authors on the cutting edge of contemporary literature.  Our Living Writers Series is unique, in that it is a large lecture course required of our majors, but open to the public at large as well.  Visiting writers to the series are representative of the five different genres offered by the program.

Each Monday in the semester a new author comes to the class and talks about the writing process, as well as the paths traveled toward success as a writer.  Each Wednesday the students read and discuss an author's work in preparation for the next Monday visit.  The course encourages students to get to know the visiting writers, to immerse themselves in the author's writing, to participate in the Q&A, to go to dinner afterward with the author.

Because of the public nature of the course, creative writing majors and minors are welcome to attend any Living Writers event over the course of their time at SUNY Oswego.

Recent Visiting Artists

david benioff-writer of game of thronesDavid Benioff, showrunner for the HBO hit series Game of Thrones, will speak to students about his new novel, City of Thieves.  As wise and funny as it is thrilling and original, City of Thieves is the story of two young men on an impossible adventure. Benioff follows up his book The 25th Hour with this hard-to-put-down novel about survival in WWII Russia.  Mr. Benioff will participate in a wide-ranging Q&A that includes both his novels, adapting The Kite Runner, and writing the series, Game of Thrones. 

Laure Halse Anderson- Writer of SpeakLaurie Halse Anderson is the NY Times bestselling Young Adult author of Speak, Chains, Wintergirls, Catalyst, Prom and Twisted.  Her work has won numerous awards-the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, two National Book Award finalists-and has been published in dozens of languages.  Ms. Anderson will take Q&A on her series of historical novels, Chains, Forge, and the upcoming Ashes.


Jaff Gardiner - Worked on SkyrimJeff Gardiner is a SUNY Oswego Creative Writing alum and video game producer with Bethesda Softworks, one of the premier game companies in the country.  Jeff  discusses Skyrim, the long-awaited and latest game in the Elder Scrolls series.   It is an action-packed game with all the artistic visuals we've come to expected from the noted game maker.  Q&A will range from "how to become a video game producer" to what's next from Bethesda  Softworks.

Li-Young Lee- PoetLi-Young Lee, born to Chinese parents who were driven from Indonesia to the United States, is now considered one of America's greatest poets. His poetry accentuates the joys and sorrows of family, home, loss, exile, and love.  He'll be reading his poetry and taking Q&A on his process and experience as a poet.

Mark Haskell Smith- Author of BakedMark Haskell Smith is a writer who wears many hats: from writing for television, to novels like Baked, Salty, Delicious and Moist, to his latest nonfiction book Heart of Dankness.  Known for his humor and sly intelligence, Smith will take Q&A on a wide range of writing gigs that have led him from Hollywood to Amsterdam. 

Samantha SheltonSamantha Shelton is a 2012 graduate of SUNY Oswego's creative writing and journalism programs. She now works as an editor at Fitness Magazine. Having advanced from reader, to intern, to freelancer, to full-time employee, Ms. Shelton will discuss how her college experiences--writing for the Oswegonian, establishing the local chapter of Ed 2010 and getting Her Campus up and running--helped her find success in the competitive world of New York City magazine writing.


Jeff Woolnough- Writer for Battlestar GalaticaJeff Woolnough directs television and film in Hollywood.  In his talk he'll take students behind the scenes of shows as diverse as Battlestar Galactica, V, The Vampire Diaries, Eureka, Bones, NCIS, Supernatural, CSI and Being Erica.

Jon ChopanJon Chopan is a SUNY Oswego alum who blends letters, stories, obits and writing fragments in his new autobiographical novel, Pulled from the River. In the book he creates a chilling view of what it meant to grow up in a city haunted by the serial killer Arthur Shawcross.  His Q&A will give us a wide-ranging look at his career,  from his undergraduate creative writing classes at Oswego to his original take on the boundaries between fact and fiction.

Susan Fox Rogers - AntarticaSusan Fox Rogers is the winner of the Silver Medal from the American Society of Travel Writers for her book Antarctica: Life on the Ice.  Ms. Rogers explores the dangerously beautiful continent of Antarctica through personal tales from the brave men and women who live and work there.  In her Q&A she'll take questions about creating nonfiction anthologies as well as questions about her newest full-length memoir, My Reach: A Hudson River Memoir.


Past Living Writers Series Brochures
Past Visiting Artists

Lee K. Abbott
Diana Abu-Jaber
Pius Adesanmi
Carolyn Alessio
Beth Alavarado
Laurie Halse Anderson
Paul Aviles 
David Benioff
Owen Benjamin
Cynthia Bishop
Pope Brock
Sarah Browning
Michael Burkard
Raymond Carver
John Cheever
Jon Chopan
Jaime Wriston Colbert
Gail Danley
Timothy Egan
Louise Erdrich
Katie Estill
Arthur Flowers
Richard Ford
Susan Fox Rogers
John Gardner
Jeffrey Gardiner
Sheila Gillooly

Lucy Grealy
Amy Hassinger
Edward P. Jones
Donald Justice
Tracey Kendall
Chris Kennedy
Chip Kidd
Stephen Kuusisto
Steve Langan
Patrick Lawler
Patricia Lear
Li-Young Lee
Carl Lennertz
M.L. Liebler
BK Loren
Alison Lurie
Lee Martin
Elizabeth McCracken
Alice McDermott
Phillip Memmer
Bill Miller
Toni Morrison
Stephen Murabito
Joan Murray

Michael Neff
Michael Ondaatje
Bruce Pandolfo with Phillip Elliot
Anne Panning
Philip Pardi
Marge Pellegrino
Robert Perkins
Charles Plymell
Georgia Popoff
Lee Ann Roripaugh
Tammy Ryan
Peggy Shaw
Samantha Shelton
Mark St. Germain
Mark Haskell Smith
Sue William Silverman
Michael Steinberg
Ira Sukrungruang
William Trowbridge
Lewis Turco
Tobias Wolff
Daniel Woodrell
Vanessa Woods
Jeff Woodnough
Teri Youmans-Grimm