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Department of English Language and Literature

The Gambrell building at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Writers' Series

Fall Literary Festival authors (L-R), James Ellroy, Li-Young Lee, Joyce Hensen. Beginning Oct 16, 2019
Hear acclaimed authors read their work in person at The Open Book, the Fall Literary Festival, and other series.

Writers' Series at the University of South Carolina

The Open Book, a yearly event, is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and hosted by Elise Blackwell. It is a literary series, public course, and community read all in one. Recent visiting writers include Ian McEwan, Teju Cole, Jennifer Egan, David Mitchell, Chang Rae Lee, and Marilynne Robinson. All events are free and open to the public. 

The Fall Literary Festival, sponsored by the English Department and the USC Libraries and funded by a generous anonymous donor, brings three or four major authors to campus over the course of a few weeks in October and November. Recent visiting authors include Claudia Rankine, Galway Kinnell, Michael Ondaatje, Etgar Keret, and Louise Glück.

The Shark's Parlor series features visiting writers, MFA students, alumni, and faculty. Recent visiting writers include Virginia Konchan, Ari Banias, and Gabrielle Fuentes. The readings are held on the first Fridays of September through December and February through April at 5:30 at Art Bar (1211 Park Street). All are welcome to attend, but the bar requires patrons to be 21 to enter.

The Southern Writers Series, sponsored by the Institute for Southern Studies in collaboration with the Friends of the Richland County Public Library, brings half a dozen writers to Columbia each spring to read and answer questions about their work. Recent visitors include Percival Everett, George Singleton, Dorothy Allison, Daniel Wallace, and Josephine Humphries.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.