The writers return

Brianna Parsons, Staff Writer

Intently reading their work to the intrigued audience, the established authors will entertain the Wayne residents in the Humanities Lounge next Thursday during the Plains Writers Series.

“The Plains Writers Series is an event we host about four or five times a year,” co-director of the event, Chad Christensen said. “Our emphasis has always been on regional writing and regional writers with new books. We want to give them support and a place where they can read their new work and hopefully sell some new books.”

The event has been going on since 1977, usually around the same time each year. On a Thursday afternoon, one to five established authors read their work and have a Q & A afterwards.

“I teach creative writing, but also manage the WSC press,” Christensen said. “[I have continued the role] of putting the event on and being the managing editor [of the WSC Press], I tend to do introductions [at the event].”

“We go out and find who has new books, find out what’s going on and we invite them here to get the contracts set up [for them to partake in the event]. On the day of the event, I host the event and do introductions for everybody.”

Working alongside Christensen is the promotional worker for the WSC Press.

“I help a lot with the promotional work,” Graduate Assistant for the WSC Press, Sharon Cole said. “I will make posters and graphics for the series. [I will either] send contracts out to the readers or the people for the judges at night. [I will also do] a lot of social media posts to promote the event and the writers.”

There are regional writers who read at the event, who otherwise would not be heard of. With the Plains Writers Series, they will get the opportunity to display their work.

“The authors are Barbara Schmitz, her book was designed by Sharon,” Christensen said. “With it being a WSC book, it is our book, our reading and it came out a couple of months ago. [Another reader is,] Amy Plettner, through Wayne, her book is set to be out by the day of the event.”
JV Brummels, a Wayne resident and another reader, is a former professor at Wayne State. “I took over his job, so the series is because of him.”

“He gets to come and read us something that he started in 1977, which is a cool aspect and he has a new book out from down in Texas. [Finally, we will have], Wayne alumni, Jake Stewart [reading], [whom is] a graduate assistant, teaches English here and has a new book out.”

“[The series] gives [the writers] a great opportunity,” Christensen said. “We have the series in Omaha and Lincoln, but having the [series in Wayne], brings the writers an opportunity to break out of those two cities. It gives them another audience, a big crowd that is dedicated to coming and hearing it; another outlet and venue for them to share their latest work.”

Formed in 1999, with 18 years of slams, the slams will give the audience an opportunity to talk to an actual writer following the event.

“What is great about the Plains Series is that we throw it in with a slam, a poetry or fiction slam,” Christensen said. “In the evening, the same people who read previously, will help judge the slam. [The slam is] a collection of students’ work, and they get a chance to read it in front of established writers.”

WSCPress is live on Facebook.

“A live feed of the event; that is, if people are interested in watching the event and cannot make it out,” Cole said.

It is open and free to anyone who is willing to come to Wayne State College.