This is a community announcement from the Community Arts Partnership. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit news releases, email

It’s time once again for the Community Arts Partnership’s annual “Spring Writes Literary Festival”!

Now in its 13th year, the Festival includes over 40 free virtual events featuring over 100 local and regional writers. There are 25 literary-themed panels, readings and performances scheduled from May 5 to May 16, 3 additional community events in late May and June, and 13 writing workshops taking place from late May through November. The Festival’s line-up was juried from an open call for proposals, and curated by this year’s Artistic Director Jennifer Tennant.

There is truly something for everyone! Plenty of poetry, prose, and creative non-fiction readings, interesting and informative panel discussions on book craft, an open mic for poetry and prose sponsored by the Tompkins County Public Library, multiple play readings by area playwrights, a fun session of Literary Jeopardy, a night of curated storytelling, screenings of community-generated films, a “Black As…Trivia” competition, social justice-themed events, the launch of a poetry club by the current Tompkins County Poet Laureate, a zine-making workshop, “Writing for Latinx Writers,” readings by Ithaca College Writing Seniors, a cartooning workshop, and so much more!

To find the full schedule, writer bios, and registration links, visit

A 2020 attendee wrote to CAP to say: “This was my first year attending Spring Writes Literary Festival events and I was completely unprepared for how powerful an experience it would be. We are so fortunate that we have such amazing artists in our community that so generously share their stories and their expertise!” We agree!

The Spring Writes Literary Festival is a program of the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County (CAP). The Festival got its start in 2009 from a desire to shine a light on the abundance of literary talent across the Finger Lakes Region, and bring writers and audiences together.  Since then, it has grown from 12 events that first year, to over 40. In 2020, the Festival shifted to100% virtual, and that will continue for this year’s Festival.

“Although 2020’s festival was canceled in May and was rescheduled as entirely virtual in November, it worked out remarkably well. Attendance was up 40% because people could now zoom with us from anywhere in the world! We will continue with virtual events for all of CAP’s programs, even when we resume live events – we’ll do both!” Robin Schwartz, CAP Program and Grant Director said.

“The impact on our writing community is also strong. There is a groundswell of writers who want to participate, to help plan and organize events, and to get even more writers on board” Schwartz added. “Writers often work in isolation, so the excitement generated by bringing the writing community together with each other and audiences is palpable. There is an excitement at these events, which was definitely enhanced this past year by people craving not only excellent literary programming but also community connections.”

The Spring Writes Literary Festival is supported with grant funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), and Poets & Writers.  We thank our 2021 Sponsors: Ithaca College, CFCU Community Credit Union, M&T Bank, the Marriott in Ithaca, Odyssey Bookstore, and Wegmans. We thank our media sponsors: WITH -FM 90.1 and WSKG Public Media.

––––––––––––– Find the full calendar of events below: –––––––––––––

Visit for full descriptions and registration information, and artist bios.

Spring Writes Readings, Panels and Performances 
May 5 to May 16

Wednesday, May 5
6:30 -7:30pm: Poetry and Prose Open Mic at TCPL
6:00-7:00pm: Panel – Writing for the Ears
7:10-8:15pm: Group Readings – Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction

Thursday, May 6
12:00-1:30pm: Group Readings – Poetry and the Pandemic
6:00-7:00pm: Group Readings – Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction
7:10-8:45pm: Event – Literary Jeopardy!
Friday, May 7
6:00-7:00pm: Panel: Collected Work – Writing Short Forms, Gathering Them into Book Form
7:10-8:15pm: Reading: Boyz n the Void – A Reading by G’Ra Asim and Jack Wang

Saturday, May 8
5:50-6:50pm: Shadows of 2020 – New Ten Minute Plays
7:00-8:00pm: Performance -Black as Shakespeare, with Kenneth McLaurin & SingTrece
8:10-9:10pm: Reading – Ithaca College Writing Students’ Senior Project Showcase

Sunday, May 9
5:00-6:15pm, Panel – The Crafty Look
6:30-7:30pm: Stolen Joy Project – Film Screening

Thursday, May 13
7:00-8:00pm: Trampoline Storytelling Competition – on Climate Change and Social Justice
5:30-6:50pm: Performance – Senior Troupe of Lifelong
7:00-8:30pm: Reading – Past and Present Tompkins County Poet Laureates

Friday, May 14
6:00-7:00pm: Readings: by ”Thursdays Writing Group”
7:10-8:15pm: Group Readings on the Theme of Social Justice

Saturday, May 15
5:50-6:50pm: Group Reading – Poetry and a Book Juggler
7:00-9:00pm: A Spring Posy – Theatre Incognita presents Playwrights in Performance

Sunday, May 16
3:00-4:00pm: Poem & Prompt Social Club Launch
4:10-5:10pm: Readings “Students Who Stayed”
5:15-6:15pm: Saltonstall Foundation Presents: Disability Futures and the Arts
6:30-7:30pm: Story House Ithaca Presents “Pandemic Dreams”

Spring Writes Workshops
May 20th through November 18th

Thursday, May 20
6:30-8:00pm: Workshop: Reinvening Fairy Tales: Crafing Old Stories into New Fantasy and Horror

Thursday, May 27
6:30-8:30pm: Workshop: Dramatic World Building: An Introduction to New Play Dramaturg.

Thursday, June 3
6:30-8:00pm – Workshop: Solo Performance Writing Workshop

Thursday, June 10
6:30-8:00pm: Workshop: Infusing Writing Practice with Intention

Thursday, June 17
6:30-8:30: Workshop: Activism is a Joke

Thursday, June 24
6:30-8:00pm: Workshop: Freedom of the Press: A Zine-Making Workshop

Thursday, July 15
6:30-8:00pm: Workshop: Ecstatic Ekphrastics: Poems Alongside Visual Art

Thursday, Sept. 9
6:30-8:00pm: Workshop/Adventure: Escape a Room of One’s Own: A Writing Adventure

Wednesday, Sept. 22
6:30-8:30pm: Workshop: A Playwright’s Approach to Dialogue for Novels

Thursday, Sept. 23
6:30-8:00pm Workshop: A Demystification of Songwriting

Tuesday, Sept. 28th
6:30-8:30pm: Workshop: Try Your Hand at Cartooning!

Thursday, Sept. 30th
6:30-8:00pm: Workshop: Writing for the Latinx Community

Thursday, Nov. 18th
6:30-8:00pm: Workshop: A New Mourning- growing through grief

Other Great May/June Local Literary Events

Tuesday, May 18
7:30-8:30pm: Odysseys: Ithaca Writers on Exile, Wandering, and Searching for Home

May 20–30
The Cherry Arts Presents: Trap Door, a headphone walking play

Friday, June 25 
7:00-8:00 Black as…Trivia. Spring Writes Literary Edition

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