Tulsa LitFest workshops are free and open to the public. Designed to provide exceptional content, LitFest workshops provide an intimate learning and sharing opportunity for artists and writers. Workshop capacity is 25 with a required pre-registration.


KIDLIT (EDITORS, AUTHORS & AGENTS): Karl Jones, Associate Editor at Penguin Young Readers (WAITING LIST ONLY)

Friday, April 20; 8:00 a.m. OSU-Tulsa, 700 N. Greenwood Ave.


Karl Jones

WORKSHOP DETAILS: Familiarize yourself with the fast-changing world of publishing for young people. An editor from Penguin Young Readers, Karl Jones explains the process of landing a book deal with a major publishing house and offers advice on honing your craft, building relationships, and transitioning from aspiring author to published author.

ABOUT KARL JONESKarl Jones is an Associate Editor for the Penguin Workshop imprint at Penguin Random House. He works on a variety of licensed and original pictures books, middle grade fiction and nonfiction, and young adult novels. He acquired the JUST JAKE series from New York Times best-selling kid author, Jake Marcionette, and edits a critically acclaimed middle grade/YA transition series by established stage and screenwriter, Justin Sayre, as well as editing a popular new play-your-way pick your path series, Midnight Arcade by comic book author and RPG creator, Gabe Soria. Karl develops, acquires and writes unique original activity books, picture books, and board books, and he is a frequent faculty member at regional conferences of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. You can also find him teaching online at Kid Lit College which offers educational programs for aspiring KidLit authors. Karl lives in Brooklyn, NY and in his free time he enjoys comedy and storytelling events, outdoor adventures, and live music. He is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma.




Friday, April 20; 9:00 a.m. OSU-Tulsa, 700 N. Greenwood Ave.


WORKSHOP DETAILSGraywolf Press editorial assistant Susannah Sharpless will discuss the different ways presses discover writers and the kinds of relationships that can grow from those encounters. She’ll explain how presses navigate the deluge of manuscripts they receive, how manuscripts distinguish themselves, and subsequent stages of the publishing journey. This will include how publishing companies structure and prepare for open submission periods and prizes, and the function of those open calls within an industry that depends so much on networking and name recognition. She’ll go into what it means when a manuscript attracts editorial attention, both within open submission periods and via other avenues, and then what possibilities that interest can open up for writers as a result.

ABOUT GRAYWOLF PRESS: Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of twenty-first century American and international literature. They will lead a panel discussion with additional publishers.



Friday, April 20; 10:30 a.m. OSU-Tulsa, 700 N. Greenwood Ave.



Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

ABOUT JEANETTA CALHOUN MISH: Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a poet, writer, and scholar and is the 2017-18 poet Laureate of Oklahoma.

Mish’s most recent books are a poetry collection, What I Learned at the War (West End Press, 2016) and Oklahomeland: Essays, (Lamar University Press (2015). Her first poetry book, Tongue Tied Woman, won the Edda Poetry Chapbook Competition for Women in 2002. Her second poetry collection, Work Is Love Made Visible (West End Press, 2009), won the 2010 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry, the 2010 Western Heritage Award for Poetry from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the 2010 WILLA Award for Poetry from Women Writing the West.

Mish has participated in poetry readings and workshops for more than 20 years, including repeat performances as a founding member of the Woody Guthrie Poets at the Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma. Other venues include many colleges and universities, Telluride Institute’s Native American Writers Program; The Taos Poetry Circus Invitational Reading; Red Dirt Book Festival; Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, C.W. Post Poetry Center at LIU; New York State Writers Institute Community Voices Series and Readings Against the End of the World, both in Albany, NY; and The Knitting Factory in New York.


OSU-Tulsa, 700 N. Greenwood Ave. Friday, April 20; 1:00 p.m.



Sarah Beth Childers

ABOUT SARAH BETH CHILDERSSarah Beth Childers has an MFA from West Virginia University. Her memoir-in-essays, Shake Terribly the Earth: Stories from an Appalachian Family, was published by Ohio University Press in 2013. Her literary journal publications include pieces in BrevityColorado ReviewPank, Guernica Daily, and Superstition Review, and her anthology publications include pieces in Love and Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life and Where the Sweet Water Flows: Contemporary Appalachian Nature Writing. Sarah Beth teaches creative nonfiction at Oklahoma State University, where her recent courses have focused on flash nonfiction, persona construction in CNF (or the self as character), and the subgenres of creative nonfiction. Sarah Beth is the nonfiction editor for the Cimarron Review. Currently, Sarah Beth is working on Smoo: A Sister’s Memoir, an essay collection about her brother’s suicide.



Q&A WITH THE EDITOR: Kevin Young, Editor of the New Yorker (WAITING LIST ONLY)

Friday, April 20; 2:30 p.m. OSU-Tulsa, 700 N. Greenwood Ave.



Kevin Young

About Kevin Young: Kevin Young was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He studied under Seamus Heaney and Lucie Brock-Broido at Harvard University and, while a student there, became a member of the Dark Room Collective, a community of African American writers. He was awarded a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University and later earned an MFA from Brown University. He is the author of many books of poetry, including the recent collections Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 and Book of Hours (2014). Three of Kevin Young’s books form what he calls “an American trilogy”: To Repel Ghosts (2001), which explores the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat; Jelly Roll (2003), a collection of blues poems; and Black Maria (2005), a film noir. His first book of poetry, Most Way Home (1995), was selected for the National Poetry Series by Lucille Clifton, who describes the collection as re-creating “an inner history which is compelling and authentic and American.” Reviewing Young’s work in 2007, critic Amy Guth largely agrees with Clifton, and adds, “Perhaps the most noticeable characteristic of Young’s work … is the musical quality so fundamentally ingrained and supplied to each piece.”

Young’s other collections of poetry include For the Confederate Dead (2007), which won the Quill Award in Poetry and the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Excellence; Dear Darkness (2008); Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (2011), which won the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award; and Book of Hours (2014), winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. His nonfiction collection of essays, cultural criticism, and “lyrical chorus,” The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (2012) won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was also shortlisted for the PEN Open Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Young is also the editor of the anthologies Jazz Poems (2006), John Berryman: Selected Poems (2004), Blues Poems (2003), and Giant Steps: The New Generation of African American Writers (2000).



NATIVE WRITING & THEATER: Sterlin Harjo and Mary Kathryn Nagle

Saturday, April 21; 2-4 p.m. Woody Guthrie Center, 102 E. M.B. Brady St.



From the big screen to the stage, Harjo and Nagle will be offering insight into the challenges and obstacles in crafting, producing, and presenting Native stories in the United States.


Mary Kathryn Nagle

ABOUT MARY KATHRYN NAGLE: Mary Kathryn Nagle is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing ArtsProgram. She is also a partner at Pipestem Law, P.C., where she works to protect tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian Nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. Nagle has authored numerous briefs in federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Nagle studied theater and social justice at Georgetown University as an undergraduate student, and received her J.D. from Tulane Law School where she graduated summe cum laude and received the John Minor Wisdom Award. She is a frequent speaker at law schools and symposia across the country. Her articles have been published in law review journals including the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Yale Law Journal (online forum), Tulsa Law Review, and Tulane Law Review, among others.

Nagle is an alumn of the 2012 PUBLIC THEATER Emerging Writers Group, where she developed her play Manahatta in PUBLIC STUDIO (May 2014). Productions include Miss Lead (Amerinda, 59E59, January 2014), and Fairly Traceable (Native Voices at the Autry, March 2017), Sovereignty (Arena Stage), and Manahatta (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). In 2019, the Rose Theater (Omaha, NE) will produce her new play Return to Niobrara, and Portland Center Stage will produce the world premiere of Mnisose.

Nagle has received commissions from Arena Stage (Sovereignty), the Rose Theater (Return to Niobrara, Omaha, Nebraska), Portland Center Stage (Mnisose), Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Yale Repertory Theatre (A Pipe for February).


Sterlin Harjo

ABOUT STERLIN HARJO: Harjo, a member of the Seminole Nation, has Muskogee heritage, was raised in Holdenville, Okla. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he studied art and film.

He received a fellowship from the Sundance Institute in 2004. His short film, Goodnight, Irene, premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and received a special jury award at the Aspen Shortfest. In 2006, he received a fellowship from the newly formed United States Artists foundation.

Harjo’s first feature film, Four Sheets to the Wind, tells the story of a young Seminole man who travels from his small hometown to Tulsa to visit his sister after the death of their father. The film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the grand jury prize. Harjo was named best director at the 2007 American Indian Film Festival.

Harjo’s second feature, Barking Water, premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. It portrays a road trip by a dying man and his former lover across Oklahoma to see his daughter andgranddaughter in Wewoka, the capital of the Seminole Nation. Barking Water was named best drama film at the 2009 American Indian Film Festival.

Harjo’s first feature documentary, This May Be the Last Time, is based on the story of Harjo’s grandfather, who disappeared in 1962 in theSeminal County town of Sasakwa. It explores the subject of Creek Nation hymns and their connection to Scottish, folk, gospel and rock music. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

His third feature film, Mekko, a thriller set in Tulsa, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2015. Mekko paints the portrait of a homeless Native American parolee who seeks to save his chaotic yet beautiful community from the darkness that threatens it.

Harjo has also directed a number of short-form projects. His 2009 short film Cepanvkuce Tutcenen (Three Little Boys) was part of the Embargo Collective project commissioned by the imagineNative Film + Median Arts Festival.

He has directed a series of shorts for This Land Press in Tulsa, where Harjo is the staff video director. He was a member of the 2010 Sundance shorts competition jury.

Harjo is a founding member of a five-member Native American comedy group, The 1491s.

He also is one of the directors of Cherokee Nation’s monthly television news magazine, Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People, which is produced by Fire Thief Productions, a Native American production company which he cofounded with Cherokee photographer, Jeremy Charles.