By Katherine Lovelidge

Beginning this semester, KU English professor and Keystone advisor Dr. Downing is running Wednesday Night Workshops in room 102 of the Academic Forum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Attendance is available both in-person and via Zoom.

The workshops are focused on publishing in today’s world and feature a weekly guest speaker that shares expertise and experiences in professional writing, editing, and publishing. 

Each speaker brings a unique set of skills and knowledge to the table. Speeches and presentations typically last around an hour with time for questions and comments at the end. 

The remainder of time serves as an opportunity for students to collaborate, network, and bounce ideas off of one another. 

Featured speakers recently included Teresa Messineo, who spoke to attendees about the process of researching, writing, and publishing her bestselling books, “The Fire by Night: A Novel,” and “What We May Become,” as well as Jeffrey Voccola, author of the novel, “King’s Row,” and advisor to KU’s literary magazine, Shoofly. 

The past workshops have also featured published poet Maya Workowski, KU professor and magazine writer, Melissa Nurczynski, KU professor and advisor to KU’s fine arts and literary magazine “Essence”, and Dr. Downing himself, with a focus on journalism and the Keystone Newspaper. 

From expertise on catering to the audience of a specific magazine, to gathering and maintaining an audience on platforms like Tik Tok, these speakers have experience in a wide array of publishing and marketing mediums directly relevant to today’s publishing atmosphere.

Downing has opened up the workshops to the entire campus though they were created with the idea of supplementing the ENG/WRI 100 class in mind. 

Downing encourages students to find time in their busy schedules to make it out for these Wednesday night presentations. 

“These types of events can be life-changing,” says Downing. 

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