Arizona State University

Melissa Pritchard reading from "The Odditorium" at the Arizona State University "Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference."

Professor of English and Women's Studies at Arizona State University, Melissa Pritchard is the nationally renowned author of four short story collections: The Odditorium, Spirit Seizures, The Instinct for Bliss, and Disappearing Ingenue; three novels, Phoenix, Selene of the Spirits, and Late Bloomer. She is also the author of Devotedly, Virginia, a biography of Arizona philanthropist Virginia Galvin Piper. Spirit Seizures, a New York Times Notable Book, received both the Flannery O’Connor and Carl Sandburg Awards. The Instinct for Bliss, also a New York Times Notable Book, received the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and Disappearing Ingenue, a Doubleday “Fiction for the Rest of Us,” selection, was chosen to appear on National Public Radio’s 2002 Summer Reading List. Her short stories are frequently anthologized and cited in Prize Stories: The O.Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best of the West, Best American Short Stories, the Prentice Hall Anthology of Women’s Literature and numerous other anthologies and college textbooks. Selene of the Spirits was a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, and Late Bloomer, a 2004 Chicago Tribune Best Books of the Year selection, described as “ravishing” in Vanity Fair, received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. Her fiction has appeared in over fifty renowned literary journals, including The Paris Review, A Public Space, Agni, Ecotone, The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Conjunctions, Gettysburg Review and Image: Art, Mystery and Faith. Her book reviews, essays and journalism pieces have appeared in O, the Oprah Winfrey magazine, the Nation, the New York Times Book Review and Chicago Tribune Books. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Howard Foundation at Brown University, the Illinois Arts Council, Writer’s Voice YMCA, Scotland’s Hawthornden International Fellowship, and the Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, Liguria, Italy. She is also the founder of The Ashton Goodman Grant, working with The Afghan Women’s Writing Project to provide funding for the education and literacy of Afghan women and girls. A 2011 recipient of Arizona State University’s prestigious Faculty Achievement Award in the category of Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities, Melissa has been teaching creative writing at ASU since 1992.

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference brings writers of all levels together for four exhilarating days in sunny Arizona. Participants get the chance to hone their craft in the classroom with distinguished writers, sharing dialogue during classes, readings, and other events. By keeping the number of participants small, we are able to offer an experience that is both intimate and affordable, all while maintaining our commitment to be the premier writers conference in the West.

2012 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference
Feb. 23-26 • ASU Tempe campus


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