Literary Events & Competitions

Spring 2024 Events

An Evening with the Dead Poets & Special Guests

March 5, 7:00-8:30pm
Beaucatcher/Mitchell Suite (room 225/226), Highsmith Student Union, UNC Asheville

GSWP and the Department of English present “An Evening With the Dead Poets & Special Guests,” featuring local “poetry-to-tunes” band The Dead Poets, and special guests Lockie Hunter, Alli Marshall, and Shae Savoy.

Formed in 1996, The Dead Poets is a musical trio composed of Alex Alford (upright bass & vocals), Tom Tracy (guitar, mandolin & vocals) and Allan Wolf (percussion & vocals). As a poetry band, they are devoted to transforming the classic words of deceased poets (from Langston Hughes to William Shakespeare) into memorable musical numbers with tight three-part harmonies.

This event is free to attend (though program donations are welcome.) Light refreshments will be served. Advance registration is required.

  • After 5pm, visitors to campus may park in any Visitor, Faculty/Staff, and Non-Resident lot without a permit.
  • Here’s UNCA’s campus map. The closest parking lots to Highsmith Student Union are lots P18, P25, and P26 on the campus map.
  • There is currently construction on campus, so please see these instructions for the best way to access the main campus loop, University Heights.

Register Now


Malaprop’s Presents: Hang the Moon with Jeannette Walls

March 28, 6:30pm
Lord Auditorium, Pack Memorial Library

Join Malaprop’s for an event featuring Jeannette Walls speaking about the writing of Hang the Moon, plus audience Q&A and book signing. Great Smokies is thrilled to co-sponsor of this event, along with Buncombe County Libraries. The event free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served. Doors open at 6:00pm. More information can be found on Malaprop’s website.

Jeannette Walls graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York. Her memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times bestseller for more than eight years. She is also the author of the instant New York Times bestsellers The Silver Star and Half Broke Horses, which was named one of the ten best books of 2009 by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Walls lives in rural Virginia with her husband, the writer John Taylor.


Past Events

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring the Power of Creative Play with Lilly Danzis

February 3, 10:00-12:00 in-person

Starting a new writing project can sometimes feel like being lost in the wilderness with no way home; other times, it can feel like you’re stuck in a rut, following a dreary path you could walk in your sleep. But what if there was a way to embrace the Unknown Wilds and escape the Bogs of Burnout? With Avery Alder’s mapmaking game The Quiet Year as our guide, we’ll explore how roleplaying games (RPGs) can be used as a tool to do just that–and to remind ourselves of the joy of creating while we do it.

In this “tabletop-shop” (half RPG session, half writing workshop) we will:

  1. Start a game of The Quiet Year, creating the beginning of a map/world that participants can use as a launchpad for future individual projects

  2. Flex and strengthen our character-creating muscles

  3. Explore how the process of creating together presents opportunities for working through creative blocks

Designed with writers in mind, this class is for those feeling “stuck” between creative projects or uncertain of where to begin, and for anyone looking to explore RPGs as creative tools in a welcoming, safe, and brave space. No prior knowledge or experience of RPGs is required; whether you’re a seasoned tabletop player or a gaming novice, there is space at this table for you. Just bring a sense of adventure, an open mind, and your spirit of “yes, and…” as we forge this path together!

Lilly Danzis has a BA in English (Creative Writing) from UNC Asheville, where they currently help coordinate the Great Smokies Writing Program and have the joy of working with Asheville’s exceptional writers and literary arts organizations. They are also a newly-minted Inward & Artward Creative Facilitator through Story Parlor and are excited to help others on the creative journey. A “genre-fluid” writer, their fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Headwaters, the Great Smokies Review, and Kelp Journal.

This event will be held on UNC Asheville campus in the Karpen Hall Laurel Forum (room 139). Registration costs $20 and is open to the public. Questions? Email

Check out our events calendar to see what’s happening in the Asheville writing community!