The Author Lineup Is Beginning To Build For The 2013 UND Writers Conference

The University of North Dakota (UND) English Department is already gearing up for its 44th Annual Writers Conference, set for March 19-23, 2013. The theme of the 2013 conference is “A Portrait of an Artist,” and nationally acclaimed author Cheryl Strayed will be the headliner of the group currently scheduled.

Revealed as the voice behind the’s beloved “Dear Sugar” column, Strayed has been hailed by The New Republic as “the ultimate advice columnist for the Internet age, remaking a genre that has existed, in more or less the same form, since well before Nathanael West’s acerbic novella ‘Miss Lonelyhearts’ first put a face on the figure in 1933.”

Strayed is the author of the acclaimed memoir, “Wild.” At age 22, Strayed finds herself shattered by two major life events: her mother’s sudden death from cancer and the end of her young marriage. To cope, Strayed uses drugs and sex before she hits rock bottom and decides to confront her emotional pain by attempting to trek over 1,000 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild tells the amateur hiker’s tale, peppered with the colorful characters she encounters along the way, and she struggles to find inner peace and stability. Wild is the inaugural selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, an interactive, multi-platform reading club that harnesses the power of social media, bringing passionate readers together to discuss inspiring stories.

Cheryl’s own struggle and survivor story motivates and inspires crowds. A dynamic speaker, her moving rhetoric resonates with audiences of sizes. Strayed is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel Torch, a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award. Her stories and essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Allure, and The Best American Essays.

She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She’s a founding member of VIDA: Women In Literary Arts, and serves on their board of directors. Raised in Minnesota, Strayed now lives in Portland, Oregon.

Other featured authors scheduled for the 2013 Writers Conference include:

  • Dorothy Allison
  • Richard Bausch
  • Ed Bok Lee
  • Nick Flynn
  • Gary Shteyngart

For more information about the Writers Conference history, authors and schedule, see Like the Conference on Facebook and view updates at


Crystal Alberts, Writers Conference co-director, project manager, UND Writers Conference Digital Collection, Department of English, University of North Dakota, 701.777.2393,

Heidi Czerwiec, Writers Conference co-director, Department of English, University of North Dakota, 701.777.2768,