The Writer’s Workshop is an afternoon series of author craft talks where attendees can learn new tricks of the trade in sessions led by a noted group of writers and instructors from Michigan and beyond.

Tickets are available for each individual talk, as well as a discounted rate for attending all three talks.

1 – 2 p.m. Craft Talk with Jim Ottaviani

Jim Ottaviani is the author of many graphic novels about scientists, ranging from physicists to paleontologists to behaviorists. His most recent are the New York Times bestsellers The Imitation Game: Alan Turing DecodedPrimates, about Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas and Feynman, a book about the Nobel-prize winning physicist, bongo-playing artist, and safe-cracking storyteller Richard Feynman.

He lives in Michigan and comes to comics via careers in nuclear engineering and librarianship. Find out more via his site at, on Twitter at @gtlabsrat, and on Facebook at

2 – 3 p.m. Craft Talk with Chris McCormick

Chris McCormick is the author of Desert Boys, a work of fiction described as a “stunningly good debut” by Kirkus Reviews. Raised in the Antelope Valley, he earned his BA at the University of California, Berkeley, and his MFA at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, where he was the recipient of two Hopwood awards. His work and essays have been featured inThe Offing, LithubThe AtlanticTin HousePoets & WritersPloughshares, and Beatrice. He currently lives in Ann Arbor.

CANCELLED: 3 – 4 p.m. Craft Talk with Airea D. Matthews

Airea D. Matthews, a resident of Detroit, is the winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets for her manuscript collection, simulacra, which Yale University Press will publish in 2017. Her poems and prose have appeared in a number of periodicals and anthologies, such as Best American Poetry 2015, Missouri Review, Muzzle, Indiana Review, Four Way Review, American Poets, Michigan Quarterly Review, Vinyl, Callaloo and elsewhere. She is the Assistant Director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she earlier received her MFA in creative writing.


Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can email general questions to

Is there an accessible entrance to the Neutral Zone?

Yes, there is! Around the corner on S. 5th Ave, between Washington St. and E. Liberty St, is the accessible entrance. The sign above it says “the B side”.

Neutral Zone – 310 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 – View Map