For Immediate Release
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Reading, Writing, and Learning Focus of GCU Summer Writer’s Workshop

Author Lisa Fugard and Children’s Book Writer Toni DePalma among Featured Guests

Lakewood, N.J., June 6, 2011—For aspiring authors, there’s nothing like learning directly from writers who understand the pressure that comes with producing a manuscript or trying to land a book deal.

New Jersey author Toni DePalma and New York Times bestselling author Lisa Fugard will have plenty to share during Georgian Court University’s Summer Writer’s Workshop, slated for Friday, July 22, through Sunday, July 24, at GCU’s historic campus in Lakewood.

“We’re excited to be able to offer writers in the community the opportunity to develop their skills by working with both of these accomplished authors while also allowing them to connect with one another,” says Jessica Hausmann, Ph.D., who teaches in the Georgian Court University Department of English. “The workshop is also unique in that participants can choose to focus on writing for children or adult readers.”

Ms. DePalma, who is also a lecturer at Georgian Court, has received acclaim for Under the Banyan Tree and Jeremy’s Owl, which are aimed at teen and middle grades readers. The social worker-turned-writer and creativity coach is the recipient of a 2009 New Jersey Arts Fellowship. The Brooklyn native has taught psychology and writing at the university level and recently completed a script for a short film. She is at work on her first novel for adults.

Ms. Fugard, the daughter of noted South African playwright Athol Fugard, earned the New York Times’ Notable Book designation for her 2006 novel, Skinner’s Drift. The book, which examines race, class, gender, and injustice on a South African farm, was also the runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.

Last fall, Ms. Fugard led GCU’s weeklong Writing Fiction course for students and held faculty and staff workshops as well. Participants said they were inspired as Ms. Fugard recounted her struggles with both writing and publishing Skinner's Drift.

“I now have a clearer view of who I am as a writer,” says Rosemarie Fabrizzio, a GCU English major who studied with Ms. Fugard last fall. “I am now able to conquer the boundaries that once prevented me from continuing to write.”

The three-day summer workshop is open to all writers—beginners and experienced—who want to share works in progress or receive valuable feedback on work they produce during the event. The weekend also features guest panelists Cyn Balog, the young adult novelist behind Sleepless, Fairy Tale, and the forthcoming Starstruck, and Irene Breznak, author of the successful picture book Sneezy Louise.

Registration fees, which cover the costs of meals, are $99 for students, $159 for those registering by June 21, and $179 for those registering after that date. On-campus accommodations are available for an additional $40, and on-site registration may be available, pending space. Additional program information and online registration is available at

To make reservations off-line, contact the GCU Office of Conferences and Special Events at or 732.987.2263. Dr. Jessica Hausmann, coordinator for the workshop, can be reached directly at

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves nearly 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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