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Writers' Conference

Moravian College
Writers' Conference 2019

Join us for:

  • an afternoon generative writing workshop with acclaimed young adult author A.S. King;
  • a panel discussion with King, Josh Berk, Justina Ireland, and Saundra Mitchell that asks What Books Can Do: Writing for Young People In an Age of Extremism and Chronic War;
  • and a public reading, given by King, at the Bethlehem Area Public Library.

The 2019 Moravian College Writers' Conference is free and open to the public. It is presented in collaboration with the College's year-long InFocus Programming on War, Peacebuilding, and the Just Society, the Moravian College English Department and Arts and Lectures Committee, and the Bethlehem Area Public Library.

Register today! We can’t wait to see you at the Conference. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates.



Writing Workshop  
An Afternoon with A.S. King

Moravian College Writers’ Conference invites you to attend an afternoon of generative writing with young adult writer A.S. King.

A.S. King has been called “One of the best Y.A. writers working today” by the New York Times Book Review. She is the author of highly-acclaimed crossover YA novels including her 2016 release Still Life with Tornado, 2015’s surrealist I Crawl Through It, 2014's Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Ask the Passengers, 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz. March 2019 will see the release of her newest novel, Dig. She is a faculty member of the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and spends many months of the year traveling the world speaking to university and high school students. After fifteen years living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives in Pennsylvania with her weird family.

Friday, February 15
1:30-3:00 pm
Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, Moravian College
Room 233

Register today! Space is limited, and reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no cost to attend this workshop. 

There will be a brief reception between the workshop and the panel in the atrium of the Hurd Academic Complex. Books will be available for purchase! 

Panel Discussion
What Books Can Do: Writing for Young People in an Age of Chronic War and Extremism  

Friday February 15  
3:30-4:30 pm  
Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, Moravian College  
Room 102  
Free and open to the public. Registration suggested by not required.

With A. S. King, Josh Berk, Justina Ireland, and Saundra Mitchell. Moderated by Kate Racculia.

Madeleine L’Engle said, “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if it will be too difficult for adults, then you must write it for children." But what can a book really do, faced with the pain of reality? Our panelists, each writing about young people experiencing oppression, racism, inherited trauma and systemic violence--and seeking resilience--will discuss the challenges and the necessity of writing the world with clear eyes for young readers.

Panelist Biographies

Josh Berk is the author of the teen novels The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin (named a best book for teens of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews & and Guy Langman: Crime Scene Proscrastinator (2012). He has also written the Edgar Award-nominated "Lenny & The Mikes" series of baseball mysteries for younger readers. Coming next (2020) is Camp Murderface, co-written with Saundra Mitchell. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and is the Executive Director of the Bethlehem Area Public Library.


Justina Ireland lives with her husband, kid, dog, and cats in Maryland. She is the author of Vengeance Bound, Promise of Shadows, and Dread Nation, which is a New York Times bestseller and has received six starred reviews. Her most recent book is the middle grade novel Lando’s Luck, a Star Wars Story. You can visit her on Twitter as @justinaireland, on Instagram as @justinai, or at her website


Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture-deliverer and a layout waxer. She’s dodged trains, endured basic training, and hitchhiked from Montana to California. The author of nearly twenty books for tweens and teens, Mitchell’s work includes Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine series, the forthcoming Camp Murderface series with Josh Berk, and two anthologies for teens, Defy the Dark and All Out. She always picks truth; dares are too easy. Visit her online at


Kate Racculia (moderator) is the author of the novels This Must Be the Place and Bellweather Rhapsody, winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Her third novel, Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, will be published in 2019. A teenage bassoonist who studied illustration and design in college, she has lived a life of many jobs, and now teaches writing online for Grub Street, works at her local public library, and sings in the oldest Bach choir in America.


Public Reading


A.S. King will read selections from her upcoming novel, Dig, at the Bethlehem Area Public Library.

Bethlehem Area Public Library
11 West Church Street, Bethlehem PA 18018
6:30 pm
Laros Room, 2nd floor

Free and open to the public. Registration suggested by not required.

“Acclaimed master of the YA novel A.S. King’s eleventh book is a surreal and searing dive into the tangled secrets of a wealthy white family in suburban Pennsylvania and the terrible cost the family’s children pay to maintain the family name. With her inimitable surrealism and insight into teenage experience, A.S. King explores how a corrosive culture of polite, affluent white supremacy tears a family apart and how one determined generation can save themselves.”  

Forthcoming from Dutton Books for Young Readers, March 26. Available for pre-order on Penguin Random!