PEN Across America Piedmont Region Open House

Row of books; on top: “PEN Across America Piedmont Region Open House Chapter Event”

2021 PEN Across America Piedmont Region Open House

The PEN America Piedmont Region Chapter welcomes Members and others to an in-person open house/prompt party on September 2 at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC. The open house starts at 6:30pm ET with light refreshments, followed by a prompt party at 7pm ET.

One Prompt + Five Genres = Unlimited Possibilities

Prompt Party is an opportunity for participants to work on a hilarious prompt, with time to share results at the end. The goal is to collaborate, perhaps work in an unfamiliar genre, and have fun! Prompt Party-goers will receive their prompt, draw a genre from the Sorting Hat (poetry, flash fiction, newspaper article, songwriting, or one-act scene), and break into groups to create a piece based on the prompt. Then, everyone gathers again to read (or perform) their pieces, up to five minutes each. A facilitator who specializes in each genre will guide each group.

Participation is free, but space is limited. Pre-registration is required.

Due to rising local COVID cases and hospitalizations, Scuppernong Books requires all customers to mask-up. Proof of vaccination is required to attend. If circumstances require, our plans may change. We promise to keep you posted.

If you have any questions, please email William Johnson, PEN Across Program Director, at


Krystal Smith headshotKrystal Smith (she/her) is a Black lesbian writer of poetry and speculative fiction. Her short story collection Two Moons was a finalist for a 2019 Lammy finalist. Her most recent collection of poetry This is Not About Love is available from BLF Press (2021). Follow her on Twitter at @authorkasmith.

Quilla headshotQuilla is the moniker of Anna Luisa Daigneault. She is a Latinx electronic music producer, songwriter, and vocalist. Based in Greensboro, NC, Quilla is known for her poetic lyrics, vocal loop compositions, and hypnotizing beats. Fresh and empowering, her music feels dreamlike while also being uplifting and catchy.

Joe Killian headshotJoe Killian is an investigative reporter. He joined NC Policy Watch in August 2016. His work takes a closer look at government, politics, and policy in North Carolina and their impact on the lives of everyday people. Before joining NC Policy Watch, Killian spent a decade at the News & Record in Greensboro, reporting on everything from cops and courts to higher education. His work has also appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal, Go Triad, The Bristol Press in Bristol, CT, and the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, MA.

Ashley Lumpkin headshotAshley Lumpkin is a Georgia-raised, Carolina-based writer, editor, actor, and educator. She is the author of five poetry collections: {} At First Sight, Second Glance, Terrorism and Other Topics for Tea, #AshleyLumpkin, and Genesis. Her book, I Hate You All Equally., is a collection of conversations from her years as a classroom teacher. A lover of performance as well as the written word, she has been a competing member of the Bull City Slam Team since 2015 and currently serves as its assistant coach. She co-curates the series “First Draft,” a reading of new works and works in progress. She is one-fifth (and the only Slytherin member) of the Big Dreams Collective and currently serves as a member-at-large on the board of the North Carolina Poetry Society.

Todd Fisher is an Actor, Playwright, Dancer, Producer, Teacher, Lighting Designer, Husband, Beer Brewer, and sometimes, if it’s your birthday, Singer. A graduate from UNCG in theater and dance, Todd has studied with the SITI company, become the director of the Greensboro Fringe Festival,  and Co-Artistic Director of the Informall Theater Company. His play Koun Kukki- The Legend of Hamachi and Unagi won Best Drama at the 2nd Annual D.C. Fringe. He works for Creative Greensboro as the Performing Arts Coordinator overseeing the Greensboro Playwrights Forum, which produces over 20 new plays annually.


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