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Welcome to NWFSC READS

NWFSC’s Annual Celebration of Literacy

 NWFSC READS is an annual celebration of literacy held every April featuring a week-long series of events, ranging from a book drive to film screening — all leading up to the main event, a performance and book signing by a featured guest author.

Author Bio


Karen Russell, a native of Miami, won the 2012 and 2018 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia!, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, the “5 under 35” prize from the National Book Foundation, the NYPL Young Lions Award, the Bard Fiction Prize, and is a former fellow of the Cullman Center and the American Academy in Berlin. Russell is also the author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories, Sleep Donation: A Novella, and most recently, Orange World. She currently holds the Endowed Chair at Texas State University’s MFA program, and lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children. – Penguin/Random House


READS 2022 with Author Karen Russell

April 11-18

Children’s Book Drive, sponsored by PTK

Phi Theta Kappa will be collecting new and gently used children’s books to be donated to Shelter house.  Look for collection boxes around campus. For questions, please contact Ms. Jessica Speas at or Ms. Selin Apak at

Monday, April 11

 NWFSC Film Club presents a screening of The Shape of Water, 6:30 p.m. bldg. 110, room 328

The NWFSC Film Club is excited to join with NWFSC READS to present a free screening of the film The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, 2017), which shares common themes with the magic realism found in the work of author Karen Russell.

The Shape of Water (winner of the Best Picture Oscar in 2018) is a powerful fable that employs magic realism to help us understand the problems of othering. In the xenophobic, militaristic society of the early 1960s, non-speaking Elisa Esposito (a moving Sally Hawkins) finds love and understanding with an Amphibian Man (Doug Jones), who is incarcerated at the secret government facility she cleans. Along with her co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and her gay neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins), they understand what it is like to be denied privilege, merely because of their identity. The Shape of Water is rated R for sexual content, nudity, violence, and language. There will be a discussion following the screening and free food. Everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, April 12

D.E.A.R – Drop Everything and Read, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Library, bldg. 500)

D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. You may remember that Beverly Cleary wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby. Age 8. Since then, D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Mrs. Cleary’s birthday. Stop by the Zoghby Learning Commons Library to “Drop Everything and Read.” Spend 30 minutes reading or check out a book to take home – and receive a prize! What will you be reading?

Wednesday, April 13

The 2022 Blackwater Review Reading features student poets and writers, 6:00 -8:00 p.m. Tyler Recital Hall, Mattie Kelly Arts Center

Monday, April 18

Blackwater Review Reception 5:45-6:45 p.m. officially unveils the 2022 issue, McIlroy Gallery at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center


Main Event: 7-8 p.m. in the Sprint Theater, Mattie Kelly Arts Center (Free Event)

Pulitzer Prize finalist Karen Russell will present “An Evening with Karen Russell.” Book signing to follow. (Books will be available for purchase.) 

NWFSC READS Visiting Authors

  • 2021: Elizabeth Acevedo, Cancelled due to Covid-19 precautions
  • 2020: Richard Blanco, Cancelled due to Covid-19 precautions
  • 2019: Sebastian Junger
  • 2018: Jeannette Walls
  • 2017: Andre Dubus III
  • 2016: Sarah Kay/Phil Kaye
  • 2015: Richard Blanco
  • 2014: Michael Cunningham
  • 2013: Julianna Baggott
  • 2012: Taylor Mali
  • 2011: Frank X. Walker/Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno
  • 2010: Geraldine Brooks
  • 2009: Ann Patchett
  • 2008: Tobias Wolff
  • 2007: Kaye Gibbons
  • 2006: Robert Olen Butler
  • 2005: David Kirby/Barbara Hamby

*A special thanks to Ms. Jeanette Shires and the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center for helping to fund READS 2022.*