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In collaboration with departments across campus, including English and the Sophie Kerr Committee, the Lit House hosts a robust reading series. Poets, essayists, fiction writers, playwrights, critics, editors, singer-songwriters, and studio artists routinely join us from around the world for readings, craft talks, and residencies. Recent guests include Chris Abani, Jericho Brown, Joy Castro, Natalie Diaz, Denise Duhamel, Carolyn Forché, Neil Gaiman, Terrance Hayes, Amy Hempel, Saeed Jones, Maggie Nelson, and Anthony Swofford.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Literary Houses at Washington College in 2022-23!

Lit House Interior 1985

lit house collage

Literary Houses at Washington College turn 50 years old in 2022-2023. You can read more about the history of WC's literary houses here.

To celebrate a half-century of launching literary lives and building community, we are hosting a mix of in-person and virtual events that celebrate our founding director & our alumni, and host inspiring workshops & readings that will help students to hone their own skills as writers, editors, and publishers.

For in-person events, please consider the health and safety for our visiting writers as well as our 4-person staff (who are or care for immune-compromised people). While the campus policy stipulates that mask-wearing is optional, we ask that you please bring a mask with you to on-campus/in-person events. Thank you for your compassion!


For students needing to register attendance at Literary Events (for English credit) please visit this form. 

Fall 2023 Literary Events

Literary House & Sophie Kerr Screenwriters Series Presents:

Two events with screenwriter and producer Amy Güth.

Headshot of Amy Guth

Tuesday, September 5, 2:30 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House.

ADAPT!: Writer Amy Güth leds a craft talk on taking literature from the page to the big screen.

Wednesday, September 6, 6:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House.

PRODUCE!: Producer Amy Güth reveals the secrets behind the least-understood job in Hollywood.

Amy Güth is an award-winning screenwriter ("Open Road," "A Thousand Cuts," "The Mender," among others) and producer, having most recently produced "Elvis of the Yukon" and "La Mitad Del Mundo," a Spanish-language documentary about sex trafficking in Ecuador, playing now in film festivals. In addition to her novel, Three Fallen Women (2016), Güth's fiction, journalism, and commentary have appeared widely. Güth was Executive Director of the Midwest Independent Film Festival, publisher of Tribune Publishing Company's RedEye, and founder of Pilcrow Lit Fest in Chicago. She has served as President of the Board of Directors at Bitch Media as well as President of the Association for Women Journalists.


Literary House & Sophie Kerr Screenwriters Series Presents:

A screening and craft talk with John Whitney Stillman.

Headshot of Whit Stillman

Monday, September 18, 7:00 PM ET
Norman James Theater

Screening of Love and Friendship followed by a talkback/Q&A with screenwriter Whit Stillman.

Tuesday, September 19, 4:00 PM ET

A Craft Talk on Screenwriting with Whit Stillman.

John Whitney Stillman is a writer, director, and actor known for his 1990 film Metropolitan, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He is also known for his other films, Barcelona (1994), The Last Days of Disco (1998), Damsels in Distress (2011), as well as his most recent film, Love & Friendship, released in 2016.


Literary House & Sophie Kerr Screenwriters Series Presents:

Two events with TV writer Jonterri Gadson.

co-sponsored with Black Studies.

Headshot of Jonterri Gadson


Tuesday, October 3, 6:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House

Screening of TV episodes and clips followed by Q&A with TV writer Jonterri Gadson.

Wednesday, October 4, 6:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House

A Comedy Writing Workshop with Jonterri Gadson.

Jonterri Gadson is a former creative writing professor who chose TV over tenure. Her most recent credits include Everybody Still Hates Chris and Netflix's The Upshaws. She received an Emmy noination for her work on HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show. She won Kevin Hart's LOL Film Fellowship for a short she wrote/directed and premiered at the American Black Film Festival. Her pilot script won Best Comedy Script at the New York Television Festival where she won development deals with OneX and Topic Studios. She's an alum of the NBC Late Night Writers Workshop, New York Stage & Filmmakers Lab, Refinery29 & TBS Riot Comedy Writers Lab and the IFP Project Forum. Her full-length poetry collection is Blues Triumphant (YesYes Books). 


Literary House Series Presents:

A reading with James Allen Hall.

Headshot of James Allen Hall

Wednesday, October 18, 6:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House

A reading from Romantic Comedy with James Allen Hall.

James Allen Hall is the author most recently of Romantic Comedy. Their other books are Now You're the Enemy (poems) and I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well (lyric personal essays). They are the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, the Fellowship of Southern Writers, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. They direct the Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College, where they serve as Associate Professor of English and Editor of Cherry Tree, a national literary magazine.


Literary House & Sophie Kerr Screenwriters Series Presents:

Secrets from the Extrapolations Writers' Room: A screening and talkback with Ron Currie, Jr.

Headshot of Ron Currie Jr.

Thursday, November 9, 7:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House

A Screening and Talkback with Novelist and Screenwriter Ron Currie, Jr.

Ron Currie, Jr. is the author of four very well-received novels, and his short fiction and nonfiction have been reprinted in Best American Essays and Best American Nonrequired Reading anthologies. As a screenwriter he worked most recently on the Apple TV+ series Extrapolations and has developed projects with AMC Studios, Amblin Television, and ITV America.


Literary House Series in Collaboration with SLACC Presents

A Reading and Generative Workshop with Alexis Pauline Gumbs

co-sponsored by the Boutelle-Day Poetry Center at Smith College and the Stadler Center for the Literary Arts at Bucknell University.

Headshot of Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Monday, November 13, 6:30 PM ET
Virtual Public Event

Register here.

This reading and workshop is especially for students and alumni of the SLACC member institutions. You'll see a Smith College Zoom registration page, and you'll receive registration confirmation from Smith College staff. 

Note: Our educational Zoom license disallows all data collection that Zoom has recently announced it will do.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is the author most recently of Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals (2020). Gumbs' poetry and fiction have been included in Best American Experimental Writing and she is currently Creative Writing Editor at Feminist Studies and in residence as a National Humanities Center Fellow, where she is working on The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde: Biography as Ceremony (forthcoming, FSG). 


Literary House Series Presents:

The Class of 2027 First Year Reading

First Year Reading Poster




Tuesday, November 28, 6:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House.

Come hear original creative works by members of the class of 2027!



Spring 2024 Literary Events

2nd Annual Alumni Zoom Reading

Lit House Mug

Tuesday, January 16, 7:00 PM ET

Register here.

Calling all Washington College alumni writers! We'll gather on Zoom to share creative work (published or unpublished) in our 2nd annual Alumni Reading Extravaganza from 7-9 pm ET on January 16, 2024. 

Note: WC has an educational account with Zoom and is thus exempt from the AI data-gathering that Zoom has announced.


Literary House & Sophie Kerr Screenwriting Series Presents:

A Q&A and Fiction Reading with Eugene Garcia-Cross.
Headshot of Eugene Garcia-Cross

Monday, February 19, 6:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House

Selling a Network Series: A Q&A with Eugene Garcia-Cross.

Tuesday, February 20, 6:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House

A Fiction Reading by Eugene Garcia-Cross.

Eugene Garcia-Cross is the author of the short story collection Fires of Our Choosing and the novel Miss Me Forever. Since transitioning to TV, he has written for the Disney Channel, NBC, Peacock, and Disney+. In 2022, Eugene sold his multicam family comedy pilow, Forgive and Forget, to ABC, with Ty Burrell's production company, Desert Whale, attached to executive produce.


Literary House & Sophie Kerr Screenwriting Series Presents:

Joey Siara.
Headshot of Joey Siara

Tuesday, March 6, 4:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House

Screenwriting for the Streamers: Joey Siara Talks About Writers' Rooms in the Age of Streaming.

Wednesday, March 7, 6:00 PM ET

"Secrets of Great Scripts": Explore Scenes and Script Excerpts with Joey Siara!

Joey Siara spent his twenties performing in a noisy indie-rock band that played over five-hundred shows, including sets at Lollapalooza and Coachella. He has worked on series (The Resort, Emergence, Parenthood) for PBS, Discovery, and CNN. Currently, he is a writing instructor in the School of Theater, Film, and Television at UCLA. His short-story, "The Last of the Goggled Barskys," was featured on Slate.


Literary House Series Presents:

Michael Dumanis.
Headshot of Michael Dumanis

Wednesday, March 27, 6:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House

A Poetry Reading with Michael Dumanis.

Michael Dumanis is the author of the poetry collections Creature (Four Way Books, 2023) and My Soviet Union (University of Massachusetts Press, 2007), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry. Born in Moscow, in the former Soviet Union, Dumanis emigrated at the age of five to New York. Dumanis teaches at Bennington, where he serves as Director of Poetry at Bennington and Editor of Bennington Review.


Literary House Series Presents:

Naomi Shihab Nye.
Headshot of Naomi Shihab Nye

Events TBD.

Naomi Shihab Nye is a Palestinian American poet, author of more than 30 books, and a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow. Her work has been presented on A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac. She is Chancellor Emeritus for the Academy of American Poets and the 2019-2021 Young People's Poet Laureate. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement by the National Book Critics Circle and is Professor of Poetry at Texas State University.


Class of 2024 Senior Reading


2024 Senior Reading

When: Tuesday, April 23th, 6:00 PM
Rose O'Neill Literary House

Join us as we celebrate and hear graduating senior writers read from their original work. 


Older Events:



A Generative Workshop with Pádraig Ó Tuama (only for WC students)

O Tuama solo

Pádraig Ó Tuama will lead a generative poetry workshop for Washington College students.

Friday, April 8, 4:00-5:00 PM ET
Rose O'Neill Literary House
In-person event for students only. (We can accommodate 25 students on a first-come, first-served basis.)

For more details about Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work, please see his biographical note below.


Kent County Poetry Festival Presents Pádraig Ó Tuama

(full festival schedule below; free but tickets required)

otuama corrigan

Pádraig Ó Tuama reads and discusses his poetry with Maureen Corrigan. Q&A and book signing to follow. Tickets are free and required--just click here.

The Lit House is delighted to cosponsor of the Kent County Poetry Festival, a collaboration with Kent Cultural Alliance and The Bookplate, among other Chestertown organizations.

Saturday, April 9, 7:00 PM EST
In-Person Event at the Garfield Theater
For more details, please visit the Kent Cultural Alliance website here.

Poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centres around themes of language, power, conflict and religion. His work has won acclaim in circles of poetry, politics, religion, psychotherapy and conflict analysis. Pádraig presents Poetry Unbound with On Being Studios, a podcast that takes a deep dive into a single poem. His poems are featured or forthcoming in many prestigious journals and venues. This year, he is Poet in residence at the Morton Deutsch International Centre for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College, Columbia University. You can read more about his current project on peace, which lies at the intersection of language and social psychology, here.

Maureen Corrigan is one of America’s most trusted and beloved book critics. Her distinctive voice is at once incisive and accessible, like a well-read friend who always sends you home with a good book to read. For more than twenty years Maureen has been the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. She is also a columnist for The Washington Post and The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University where her courses are very popular. She is the author of two books of her own; Leave me Alone I’m Readingand So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why it Endures, which was named one of the ten best books of the year by Library Journal.

Full Schedule

all events are in person, free, and require advance ticketing by clicking here.

kcpf schedule

April 8: Closed workshops for Kent County High School and Washington College students

April 9:
1-2:30: Local Poets @ the Garfield
Beth Dulin, Meredith Davies Hadaway, James Allen Hall, and Robert Earl Price

7-9: Pádraig Ó Tuama reading and conversation with Maureen Corrigan at the Garfield

April 10:
2-5:00: Poetry Slam at Ortiz Studios (207 S. Cross Street # 103). 


Literary House Series Presents Sigrid Nunez

sigrid nunez


Virtual Public Event

Register by clicking here.

Thursday, April 14, 6:00 PM EST
Virtual Public Event

Register by clicking here.


Sigrid Nunez has published eight novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, Salvation City, The Friend, and, most recently, What Are You Going Through. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. The Friend, a New York Times bestseller, won the 2018 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2019 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize. In France, it was longlisted for the 2019 Prix Femina and named a finalist for the 2019 Prix du Meilleure Livre. It was also a finalist for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award. Nunez’s other honors and awards include a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, the Rome Prize in Literature, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. This year she was inducted as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has also appeared in several anthologies, including four Pushcart Prize volumes and four anthologies of Asian American literature. One of her short stories was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2019. Her work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.


Literary House Series Presents: Class of 2022 Senior Reading

Literary House2022 SENIOR READING

Monday, April 25
6:00 PM EST
Register here.

Hear graduating senior writers read from their original pieces! The Literary House will also announce the winners of the Literary House Genre Fiction Prize, the William W. Warner Prize for Creative Writing on Nature and the Environment, and the Jude & Miriam Pfister Poetry Prize. 


2022 Harwood Lecture on American Journalism with Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah 

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022
4:30 PM EST
Virtual Public Event

Narrative journalist, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Magazine Award for her GQ profile “A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof,” discusses her work as a prominent feature and profile writer.

Register here to receive the Zoom link.


Qualtrics sign-in form link for events for CRW/JEP minors.