The Department of English and Leatherby Libraries recently hosted the 2023 Literary Pub(lishing) Crawl, an annual event focused on writing careers and learning how authors went from page to publication.

This year’s event connected contemporary writers in the industry to a community of budding writers.

Wilkinson College Career Manager Erin Berthon opened the event by demonstrating the diversity of a degree in Creative Writing. Skills learned in this degree, Berthon shared, would not only set candidates apart on job applications, but set them up for a successful career in a multitude of career paths.

The team from Citric Acid, founder Andrew Tonkovich and Managing Editor Jaime Campbell, conducted an informative discussion on the literary culture in Orange County. Citric Acid has become an uplifting space for new and established writers, amplifying the voices and stories of the region.

Yoon Choi, author of Skinship, and Lisa Cupolo, author of Have Mercy on Us and Wilkinson College part-time lecturer in Creative Writing, opened their portion of the event with readings from their short story collections. They discussed the idea of knowing when a project is ready for publication. Both authors urged to avoid perfectionism, and embrace the journey of the work.

Young Adult author Elise Bryant also urged writers to let go of perfectionism and write to your interests. This will help the work feel authentic to the author and the time. Diana Khoi Nguyen, author of Ghost Of, talked about the impression of nature in her work, and how her surroundings inevitably inform her poetry.

“This event was fantastic! I am new to the writing community and have felt quite nervous about my ability to think up narrative arcs and worlds of words, but this event gave me a boost of much needed confidence,” shared graduate student Tessa Woodall (‘23, Dual MA English / MFA Creative Writing).

English Professor Jim Blaylock.

At the end of the night, Essraa Nawar, Coordinator and Librarian of Diversity Initiatives, announced that six poems from Chapman MFA students were added into the Stories on the Go! Short-story kiosk located in the lobby of Leatherby Libraries, and described plans for future additions of Chapman U creative writing students.

Before the reception and book signing, English Professor Jim Blaylock was recognized for his impactful career at Chapman, and the 15 years he has spent hosting the annual event. Since its founding, the Pub(lishing) Crawl has taken many forms, featuring agents, translators, and bestselling authors.

The diversity of the speakers at the event are indicative of an ever-changing writing community. This, Blaylock feels, is the importance of hosting the event each year.

“The most valuable aspect of this array of speakers is that they, collectively and sometimes individually, are full of currently relevant information about publishing, marketing, etc.  They represent knowledge of decades of a constantly changing writing world.”