Cleveland Inkubator

4 days. 20 free programs.

Register Here

The Cleveland Inkubator is Northeast Ohio's largest free annual festival for writers and readers! Events begin Wednesday, July 24, and continue through the Inkubator conference on Saturday, July 27 from 8:30am to 4:30pm at the downtown Cleveland Public Library. Join us for writing workshops, craft talks, panels, readings, and a resource fair featuring all the greatest local bookstores, presses, lit journals, writing groups, and literary organizations. See the full schedule below and register today!

Cleveland Inkubator is made by possible by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, as well as through support from Cleveland Public Library.

DAY 1: Wednesday, July 24

Writing Group Matchmaking (FULL!)

CLE Urban Winery (2180 Lee Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118)

FREE 6:30-9:00pm

Your writing group is more than just a collection of folks gathered together in a bunch. They're your first readers. Your community. Your tribe. Your circle of writers who will encourage you from the first page through publication and beyond. Find your Writing Circle at the Writing Group Matchmaking Event at CLE Urban Winery on Wednesday, July 24 from 7-9pm.  Literary Cleveland is partnering with Creative Coach Brandi Larsen who will host this fun networking event. Come enjoy a glass of wine and meet writers like you who are ready to create a Writing Circle. Brandi will share tips on how to give feedback and strategies for a successful writing group. Similar to speed networking, you’ll rotate around the room meeting potential writing group partners. Matches will be sent following the event. Bring one page of writing that represents your work.

Note: We've reached venue capacity for this event, so unfortunately we've had to close registration. BUT! Due to the great interest we have added an additional free writing group matchmaking event in August.

Update: The overflow August event is now full as well! If you'd like to receive emails about future writing group matchmaking events, click on the link below.

REGISTER FOR THIS DAY HERE!

DAY 2: Thursday, July 25

Book Swap and Inkubator Instructor Reading

McNulty's Bier Markt (1948 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113)

FREE 6:30-9:00pm

Join Lit Cleveland for our 4th annual book swap party along with a reading featuring Inkubator instructors! For every book you bring, you'll receive a raffle ticket that will allow you to exchange it for another book. This is a great chance to re-gift some books you no longer want and pick up some new-to-you summer reads. Magazines in good condition welcome, too. Leftover reading material will be donated to Seeds of Literacy.

Please register in advance for this free event by clicking on the button below!

REGISTER FOR THIS DAY HERE!

DAY 3: Friday, July 26

Open Mic

Happy Dog (5801 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102)

FREE 6:30-9:00pm

Join Literary Cleveland for an open mic night at The Happy Dog! From 6:30-7:30 pm, mix and mingle while enjoying food and drink. At 7:30 pm, perform your piece or simply sit back and enjoy an evening of entertainment as open mic participants take the stage. All are welcome to attend and participate.

Please register in advance for this free event by clicking on the button below!

REGISTER FOR THIS DAY HERE!

DAY 4: Saturday, July 27

Inkubator Conference

Cleveland Public Library (525 W Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114)

FREE 8:30am-4:30pm

17 programs in one day.

The 2019 Inkubator conference is a free, day-long conference with workshops, panels, craft talks, and readings. This year the conference will be held in coordination with the Cleveland Public Library's 150th anniversary celebration.

Arrival and checking begins at 8:30am at the downtown Cleveland Public Library. The book and resource fair will be open from 9:00am-4:00pm at the conference and will feature local independent booksellers, literary journals, publishers and presses, writing groups, and literary organizations. Participants so far include: Appletree Books, Autumn House Press, BARNHOUSE Journal, Cleveland Drafts, the Cleveland Kids' Book Bank, the Cleveland Review of Books, Crisis Chronicles Press, Lake Erie Ink, Loganberry Books, Mac's Backs Books, the NEO MFA program, NEO Romance Writers of America, NightBallet Press, Purpled Palm Press, Reading Room CLE, Seeds of Literacy, Twelve Literary Arts, Visible Voice Books, and more to come! From 12:15-1:15pm enjoy a midday lunch break with readings by members of Sisterhood, a West Side Community House after-school and summer arts program for girls 10-18. The conference ends with a keynote by award winning poet and writer Hanif Abdurraqib. And you're invited to stick around after the conference to participate in the library's 150th anniversary celebration, which will continue outside the library on Superior Ave.

Please register in advance for this free conference by clicking on the button below!

REGISTER FOR THIS DAY HERE!

Session 1

9:00-10:30am

Workshop and craft talk options include:

- Practical Principles for Writing Poems

- Say What?! The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Memoir 

- Writing on Your Feet: An Improv Approach to Your Craft

- Poetry Masterclass: The Sestina

- Inside a Publisher’s Mind: How the Book Publishing Process Really Works


More Details

Session 2

10:45am-12:15pm

Workshop and craft talk options include:

- Breaking Words

- Go Tell It On The Mountain: I’m a Nonfiction Writer 

- Forever Young: Writing Fiction for Tweens and Teens

- Rhymes and Dimes: How Poets Make Money

- The Writing Life: Expectations and Reality

More Details

Session 3

1:15-2:45pm

Workshop and craft talk options include:

- Beef! Writing Diss Poems

- The Heart of the Matter: Conducting Intensive Interviews to Build Compelling Nonfiction

- How to Write a Page Turner

- Using Music to Inspire Writing

- Keep Going with Austin Kleon

More Details

Keynote: Hanif Abdurraqib

3:00-4:30pm

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of a New York Times best-selling biography on A Tribe Called Quest called Go Ahead in the Rain (University of Texas Press, February 2019), The Crown Ain't Worth Much (Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2016), nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio, 2017), named a best book of 2017 by NPR, Pitchfork, Oprah Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Slate, Esquire, GQ, and Publisher's Weekly, among others. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine, and a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing. Abdurraqib has two forthcoming books including a new collection of poems A Fortune For Your Disaster (Tin House, 2019) and a history of Black performance in the United States titled They Don't Dance No Mo' (Random House, 2020).

More Details

The Cleveland Inkubator is Northeast Ohio's largest free annual festival for writers and readers! Events begin Wednesday, July 24, and continue through the Inkubator conference on Saturday, July 27 from 8:30am to 4:30pm at the downtown Cleveland Public Library. Join us for writing workshops, craft talks, panels, readings, and a resource fair featuring all the greatest local bookstores, presses, lit journals, writing groups, and literary organizations. See the full schedule below and register today!

Cleveland Inkubator is made by possible by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, as well as through support from Cleveland Public Library.

Our Instructors

Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work!, and his latest book is Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad. His work has been translated into over twenty languages and featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS NewsHour, and in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. In previous lives, he worked as a librarian, a web designer, and an advertising copywriter.

Brandi Larsen

Brandi Larsen is a writer, speaker, and coach who connects creative people to each other. She hosts The Finishers’ Club retreats for women to finish their creative projects, creates writing group matchmaking events, and shares how the book publishing process works. Her publishing expertise helped create New York Times bestsellers, her journalism received Emmy nominations, and her chutzpah propelled her to persist in spite of the impossible.

Charlotte Morgan

Charlotte Morgan holds a Masters in English (Creative Writing) from Cleveland State University where she has taught Composition and Intro to Fiction. Charlotte’s passion is helping people find their creative cultural voices. In 2018, she worked on Cleveland Stories, an anthology published by Literary Cleveland. Presently she is polishing "Glenville: My Side of Paradise”, a memoir on race and place.

D.M. Pulley

D. M. Pulley's work as a structural engineer in Cleveland, Ohio inspired her debut novel, The Dead Key. Winning the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Grand Prize launched Pulley's career as a published author. Her other novels include The Buried Book (2016), The Unclaimed Victim (2017), and the forthcoming No One's Home (Sep. 2019). She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband and two children.

Damien McClendon

Damien is a poet based in Cleveland. Recipient of the 2018 Cleveland Arts Prize On the Verge fellowship for literature, Damien's work speaks to the experience of being a Black father, artist and teacher in one of the country’s most poverty-stricken cities. Damien also holds the office of Poet Laureate for the city of Cleveland Heights and is co-director of The People Poetry Slam.

Jackie Cummins

Jackie Cummins holds an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University where she taught creative writing and general studies writing for several years. She is currently the Major Gifts Manager for The Victory Center, a cancer wellness center in Toledo and Perrysburg, Ohio. She is at work on a novel and a collection of essays about her pursuit of aerial arts and tightwire while undergoing cancer treatment.

​Jen Jones Donatelli

Jen Jones Donatelli has authored more than 75 books (both non-fiction and fiction) for publishers including Capstone Press and Enslow Publishing. Her fiction work includes the popular series Team Cheer and Sleepover Girls aimed at middle-grade audiences. When not writing books, Jen is an editor for FreshWater Cleveland.

Karen Schubert

Karen Schubert is the founding director of Lit Youngstown, a literary arts nonprofit www.LitYoungstown.org. An accomplished author, she has published five poetry chapbooks, most recently Dear Youngstown (NightBallet Press). Awards include an Ohio Arts Council individual Excellence Award in poetry.

Kisha Nicole Foster

Kisha Nicole Foster is a mother,nationally performing poet, and teaching artist. The author of Poems: 1999-2014 and Blood Work, Foster is also three-time Ohio for the Center for the Book fellow, Regional Coordinator for Poetry OutLoud/ Ohio Arts Council, and a two-time Pink Door Fellow. Foster uses her locution as a conduit towards healing and fostering truth within language; allowing mistakes and humility to guide her craft.

Laura Maylene Walter

Laura Maylene Walter's writing has appeared in the Poets & Writers, Kenyon Review, the Sun, Ninth Letter, and many other publications. Her short story collection, Living Arrangements (BkMk Press), won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize. Laura works for Cleveland Public Library, is editor-in-chief of Gordon Square Review, and blogs for the Kenyon Review.

Lee Chilcote

Lee Chilcote is the author of the poetry chapbooks The Shape of Home and How to Live in Ruins. His writing has been published by Vanity Fair, Next City, Belt and many literary journals as well as in The Cleveland Neighborhood Guidebook, The Cleveland Anthology and A Race Anthology: Dispatches and Artifacts from a Segregated City. He is a founder and former executive director of Literary Cleveland.

Marc Moritz

Marc Moritz (AEA) is an actor, director, and instructor. He originated the role of Talk Show Host in the original Broadway production of the Sondheim/Prince musical Merrily We Roll Along and has worked in dozens of theaters across the U.S. Marc was also the Founder/Director of the Cleveland based Giant Portions Improv Troupe. Marc has taught Acting and Improv at AMDA, CAP 21, among many other professional acting programs.

Dr. Mary E. Weems

Dr. Mary E. Weems is an accomplished author, poet, playwright, and social/cultural foundations scholar. Her work is inspired by the human condition and by what is happening to Black people in America around issues of race, gender, and class. To date, Weems has authored or edited thirteen books, and in 2015 she was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize Emerging Artist's Award in Literature for her play MEAT.

Mimi Plevin-Foust

Mimi Plevin-Foust won the inaugural Gordon Square Review Poetry Contest and has written and published poems, screenplays and articles in numerous magazines and journals including Carve Magazine, LearnVest/Forbes.com, and POZ Magazine. Over her career, she has been a poet, glass artist, screenwriter, and filmmaker with an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU.

Ray McNiece

Ray McNiece is the author of nine books of poems and monologues, most recently Love Song for Cleveland, a collaboration with photographer Tim Lachina and Breath Burns Away, New Haiku. He toured Russia with Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and he toured Italy twice with legendary beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He fronts the blues rock band, Tongue-in-Groove.

Vince Robinson

Vince Robinson is a multi-genre artist, having given time to evolving in music, the visual imagery of photography and the magic of words in poem and song. In addition to poetry, Vince has written for several publications beginning with The Spectrum at KSU to Eschelon Magazine and Crusader Arts and Entertainment. He is currently a writer for the East Side Daily News in Cleveland, Ohio and is a contributor to CAN Journal.

Christopher Johnston

Christopher Johnston has published more than 3,000 articles in numerous publications, including American Theatre, Balanced Living, Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Magazine, Crain’s Cleveland Business, History Magazine, The Plain Dealer, Scientific American, and Time.com. His book, Shattering Silences: Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice was published by Skyhorse Publishers in May 2018.

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