After 20 years, Goshen College will host the Mennonite/s Writing Conference, spanning 4 days from Thursday, Sept. 28, to Sunday, Oct. 2. The theme for this year is “Celebrating 30 Years: Looking Back, Looking Forward.”

“The featured writers at the conference this weekend are amazing writers who address multiple audiences,” said Ann Hostetler, professor Emeritus of English at GC. “They display diversity in styles and perspectives.” 

Workshops will be led by Casey Plett, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, and Steven Rubin, along with book signings from Sofia Samatar, Rachel Yoder, Patrick Friesen, and the conference founder Hildi Froese Tissen.

Many speakers are alumni or faculty members, including Ervin Beck, professor Emeritus of English from 1967-2003, and Samatar, an award-winning writer and professor at James Madison James University.

“I hope students, who can attend free of charge, will turn out in numbers,” Beck said. “Both for their own benefits and to show the old timers that a younger generation of writers is ready to renew the tradition.”

According to Samatar, she was a “solid patron” of GC’s library during her days as a student. 

“I paid so much in overdue fines when I was a student, there should probably be a plaque with my name on it,” she said.

Samatar will also give an informal talk at bonus credit convocation Fri, Sept. 30, at 10:00 am, regarding her new book “The White Mosque” while touching upon ideas of writing, identity, and community.

Rachel Yoder, whose novel “Nightbitch” is being made into a movie, is doing a reading and interview on Saturday at 1:00 pm in the Church Chapel. That event is free and open to the public as well.