Register Here

When? June 11-14
Where? The Southeastern University campus in Lakeland, Florida
Who? High school students and college freshmen and sophomores
What? Workshops, speakers, readings, games, and plenty of opportunities for you to become a better writer.

Come have fun, meet new friends, interact with professional writers, and learn about writing, editing, publishing, and more.

This event is sponsored by Mike and Joy Martin.

Summer Writing Festival Highlights

Professional Writing Critique

Have your writing critiqued by a professional writer. Submit a sample of your best work to by Friday, May 30, in one of the following three genres:

  • Poetry — no more than five poems
  • Fiction (short story / novel / one-act play) — 3,000 words or less
  • Creative Nonfiction — 3,000 words or less

During the festival, you will meet one-on-one with a guest writer, who will share with you personalized writing and editing techniques.

Open Mic Night

Love being in the spotlight? Here’s an opportunity to shine. At open mic night, students are invited to share poems, short stories, and excerpts of novels and one-act plays.

Awards Ceremony

Celebrate your accomplishments and those of your fellow writers at our closing awards ceremony. A $100 cash prize will be awarded to the top participant in each genre. Family and friends are encouraged to attend this event.

Why Lakeland Writing Project

During the writing festival, participants will be invited to compose and submit free verse, ballad, or flash fiction pieces that answer the question, “Why Lakeland?” Finalists in the Why Lakeland Writing Project will receive monetary awards, and works will be published online.

Festival Costs

Resident: $199 Includes housing and meals.

Nonresident: $99 Includes meals.

A limited number of nonresident scholarships are available based on identified need. For more information, please contact Dr. Linda Linzey at 863.667.5247 or

Guest Writers

Martin Michael Martin is the author of The Crestfallen Rose, a courtroom thriller set in pre-World War II Germany and present-day Miami. Martin, a former district attorney, holds a degree in English from The University of the South (Sewanee) and a law degree from the University of Florida. He currently practices law in Lakeland, Florida, where he resides with his wife and two daughters.
Doody Warren Doody is a professor of English at Vanguard University, where he has taught for the last 15 years. The writer of numerous plays, screenplays, and short stories, he has won multiple awards for his work. His most recent accomplishments include the New York City debut of his play, Life Without Parole, at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre and the West Coast premieres of at the American Coast Theater Company and Development at Vanguard University.
Skerritt Andrew Skerritt, a native of London, England, studied journalism at Howard University and received his master’s degree from Winthrop University. He has extensive experience as a journalist, author, and essayist. His first book, Ashamed to Die: Silence, Denial and the AIDS Epidemic in the South, was named one of the top 10 books by African-Americans in 2011. Skerritt now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, author Laurina Osborne, and their two children, and he serves as an assistant professor of journalism at Florida A&M University and a columnist for Context Florida.

Festival Schedule

Wednesday, June 11

6:00–9:00 PM Registration and Check-In

Thursday, June 12

8:00–8:50 AM Breakfast in Tuscana Ristorante

9:00–9:45 AM Warren Doody Presentation

10:00–10:45 AM Genre Discussion, SEU Faculty

10:45–12:00 PM Genre Workshop I, SEU Faculty

12:00–12:50 PM Lunch in Tuscana

1:00–2:00 PM Genre Workshop II, SEU Faculty

2:30–4:00 PM Writing Session

4:00–4:45 PM Q&A with Guest Writers

5:00–6:00 PM Dinner in Tuscana

6:00–8:00 PM Open Mic Night

 Friday, June 13

8:00–8:50 AM Breakfast in Tuscana

9:00–9:50 AM Writing Session

10:00–10:50 AM Reading Workshop

11:00–11:50 AM Genre Workshop, Guest Writers

12:00–12:50 PM Lunch in Tuscana

1:00–1:50 PM Editing Q&A by Genre

2:00–3:00 PM Panel Discussion: Publication

3:00–5:00 PM Editing Session

5:00–6:00 PM Dinner in Tuscana

6:00–7:00 PM Meet & Greet with Guest Writers

7:00–9:00 PM Games with a Literary Twist

Saturday, June 14

8:00–8:50 AM Breakfast in Tuscana

9:00–9:20 AM Opening & Parent Welcome

9:30–11:30 AM Readings & Award Ceremony

11:30 AM–12:00 PM Closing Session

Considering a Career in Writing?

At Southeastern’s Summer Writing Festival, not only will you have fun and meet new friends but you will also be prepared for future study at the collegiate level. For those interested in the writing profession, Southeastern offers an 18-credit creative writing minor. It will complement a variety of career fields including  journalism, teaching, business, and ministry. Click here to learn more about the course requirements for our creative writing minor.