Photo: Giving Voice Writers Festival

Giving Voice Writers Festival

A Festival of Writing and the Arts

On September 20-22, 2017, John Brown University will celebrate writing and the arts through readings, workshops, and informal gatherings during the university’s annual Giving Voice: A Festival of Writing and the Arts. This year's invited writers are graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, spoken word poet David Bowden, and nonfiction author Lisa Ohlen Harris.

Reading and Book Signing, Sept. 20

On Wednesday evening at 5:00 pm, Harris will offer a reading of her work at Siloam Springs Public Library. This event is free and open to the public. Harris will be available afterwards to sign her books. 

Presentation and Concert, Sept. 21

On Thursday evening at 6:30 pm in the Cathedral of the Ozarks, the community is invited to a presentation by Yang followed by a spoken word poetry concert by Bowden. Registration for this event is $5, but groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount. The ticket price includes a treat at intermission provided by Pure Joy Ice Cream. Online Pre-Registration closes on September 18th, so purchase your ticket now to secure your priority seating! 

High School and Teacher Workshops, Sept. 22

On Friday, JBU will give high school students in the region an opportunity to see, hear, and participate in one of our greatest gifts—creativity—and to become involved in writing and the arts by better understanding how these art forms work and by actively participating in artistic production. Over twenty workshops will be offered specifically for high school students—creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, songwriting, playwriting, readers theater, improvisation, film, calligraphy, screen printing, and others. The day will begin at 9:30 and end at 2:00, allowing most students to come and go from their schools on a normal schedule. Students will have the opportunity to choose two different workshops to attend. We prefer that one teacher register an entire group. You may register multiple conference participants on the form and pay by credit card or check. If you are a student in a home school co-op or without institutional affiliation, you may register yourself. It will be an exciting day of giving voice to the artist in each of us. Registration for workshops is now open, but closes September 18th, so register today.

Please preview the Giving Voice Workshops to determine which workshops that you would like to attend before you register. Each student should choose at least one writing workshop and will not be allowed to attend the teaching workshops. Some of the art workshops have limited seating; therefore, you may not receive your first choice for workshop. We will also offer creative writing workshops for teachers for professional development credit through the state of Arkansas. Teachers will only receive professional development credit by attending the teacher workshops. By registering for this event you are granting JBU permission to take your picture and use it for any communication, marketing or public relations purpose. (For example: the JBU web site, admissions brochures, photos that accompany press releases about events, and other such materials.) Registration is $10 per person and includes lunch. All sales are non-refundable.


For additional updates and information, click here to visit our Giving Voice Facebook page.



Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson
Associate Professor of Creative Writing & Literature
Associate Honors Director
Director of Giving Voice
John Brown University




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