Authors Take Stage for Interactive Evening at Jozart CFTA

By Justin Johnson

Many writers agree that fear is a very difficult emotion to pull off with words. Without shocking sounds or gruesome sights, how can horror truly be horrific? Lawrence Connolly is an author who has no trouble answering that question. Jozart Center for the Arts will be welcoming Lawrence C. Connolly on Saturday, April 7, beginning at 6 p.m. Connolly will be joined by fellow horror writer Sheldon Higdon and dark poetess Stephanie Wytovich.

Bram Stoker Award Nominated Horror Author Lawrence C. Connolly will appear April 7.

Lawrence C. Connolly’s books include the novels Veins (2008) and Vipers (2010), which together form the first two books of the Veins Cycle. Vortex, the third book in the series, is due in 2012. His collections, which include Visions (2009), This Way to Egress (2010), and Voices (2011), collect all of his stories from Amazing Stories, Cemetery Dance, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Twilight Zone, and Year’s Best Horror. His new collection Voices, featuring an all-new novella “Shrines” and artwork by World Fantasy Nominee Jason Zerillo, was released in 2011.

Horror Writer Sheldon Higdon

Sheldon Higdon has had over thirty publications appear in numerous magazines and books ranging from fiction to non-fiction to poetry. He is also an award-winning screenwriter. His work has appeared in Rue Morgue Magazine, Shroud Magazine, The Portland Magazine, Necrotic Tissue Magazine, Horrorwired, Death, Be Not Proud, Northern Haunts, as well as in the upcoming Horror Stories, Vol. One, and Relics & Remains anthologies, to name a few.

Dark Poetess Stephanie Wytovich

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an alumna of Seton Hill University where she was a double major in English Literature and Art History.  In addition to her numerous publication credits, the most recent being her poem “The Craving,” she is also a nominee for the Rhysling Award for her poem “The Cheater.” Stephanie is currently attending graduate school, also at Seton Hill, to pursue her M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction, and is working on her thesis novel, titled Inside of Me. She plans to continue on in academia to pursue her Ph.D. in Gothic Literature and land a teaching job while still scaring people full time on the side.

About the planned event, Jozart board president Carla Anderton said: “This is the first event of its kind we’ve attempted, and I’m really looking forward to it. As a student at Seton Hill, I had the privilege of having Lawrence Connolly as an instructor on several occasions, and it’s no exaggeration to say he’s one of the finest, most dynamic speakers I’ve ever heard. Combined with the talents of Sheldon Higdon and Stephanie Wytovich, this is certain to be a fantastic evening. I urge anyone with an interest in reading, writing or simply in things that go bump in the night to mark your calendars for this unprecedented event.”

After the readings and presentations, a Q & A session will be held with all speakers followed by a closing reception during which guests will be invited to enjoy light fare and refreshments.

There is no charge for this event, although donations to the Center are always welcomed. Jozart Center for the Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organizations and all donations are fully tax deductible. The authors presenting will have copies of their books, publications and other merchandise available for purchase and signing. For more information about Lawrence Connolly, Sheldon Higdon, Stephanie Wytovich or Jozart Center for the Arts, please contact Carla Anderton at carla@jozart.com.

Jozart unveils new Winter/Spring 2012 brochure

Jozart announces busy slate of events for late Winter & early Spring

Pittsburgh Blues/Soul Legend Billy Price & the Lost Minds will appear March 16.

The bears may have been hibernating, but the volunteers and board members at Jozart Center for the Arts have been busier than bees prepping a full slate of events for late Winter and early Spring of this year.

On Saturday, March 10, area youth and college students are invited to dance the evening away from 6-10 p.m. during “The Bass is Upstairs”, an alcohol free, all ages event sponsored by the Center’s Youth Committee and featuring area DJs. Tickets are $5.

Kick off your St. Patrick’s Day holiday early on Friday, March 16 with Pittsburgh blues/soul legend Billy Price and the Lost Minds.  According to his web site, “Billy Price, east coast blue-eyed soul man, has been entertaining audiences for the past three decades. In his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa., he is an institution. Price’s popularity isn’t hard to explain. As Geoffrey Himes of the Washington Post has written, ‘Unlike so many blues revivalists, Price is not an imitation of older, better singers–he’s the real thing.’” In addition to a fantastic evening of music, the audience will be treated to complimentary green beer and other Irish themed goodies. Tickets goes on sale March 1st at $10 per person. This is a BYOB (or just enjoy ours) event for over 21 only. To reserve your seats, call (724) 938-9730 or email carla@jozart.com. Many more details on the Center’s web site at www.jozart.com.

Bram Stoker Award Nominated Horror Author Lawrence C. Connolly will appear April 7.

On Saturday, April 7, Bram Stoker Award nominated horror novelist/author Lawrence C. Connolly will headline an interactive evening featuring dark prose and poetry readings. He’ll be joined by horror writer Sheldon Higdon and dark poet Stephanie Wytovich. Lawrence C. Connolly’s books include the novels Veins (2008) and Vipers (2010), which together form the first two books of the Veins Cycle. Vortex, the third book in the series, is due in 2012. His collections, which include Visions (2009), This Way to Egress (2010), and Voices (2011), collect all of his stories from Amazing Stories, Cemetery Dance, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Twilight Zone, and Year’s Best Horror. His new collection Voices, featuring an all-new novella “Shrines” and artwork by World Fantasy Nominee Jason Zerillo, was released in 2011. The schedule for the evening is as follows: At 5:30, doors open for audience/guests; at 6 Stephanie Wytovich will read, from 6:30-7, Sheldon Higdon will read, at 7, Lawrence Connolly will take the stage for a dramatic reading/presentation, at 8 there will be a Q & A sessions with all speakers, and finally, at 8:30, a closing reception will be held. This event is FREE to the public.

In mid April, on Saturday, April 14, the second Annual Youth Talent Revue will be held featuring the pre-professional talents of singers Cat Zisk and Sully Dunn as well as dancer Allen Free, not to mention more youth acts to be announced. Slots are still being filled for this evening featuring area youth talent. If you are someone you know is interested in performing music or dance, reading poetry or exhibiting original artwork at this event, please contact Carla at carla@jozart.com or via phone at (724) 330-5141. Doors open at 6:30 with the show starting at 7 pm. This is an all ages event. Coffee, soda, water and light refreshments will be available for purchase. Tickets are $5.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the Center during one of our regularly scheduled events like our weekly Open Mic nights every Wednesday night at 8 pm or our bi-monthly Writers’ Group held at 7 pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. For more information on any of the Center’s events or programs, please visit their web site (www.jozart.com), email them at carla@jozart.com or call (724) 938-9730.

Jozart CFTA announces new Writers’ Group

Jozart CFTA announces new Writers’ Group; weaves together worlds with writers’ words.
By Justin Johnson, Public Relations Assistant/Intern

Writing is an art that speaks, and Jozart Center for the Arts hopes to raise its voice with the Center’s newly revamped Writers’ Group. Writers of all backgrounds – fiction, nonfiction, or individuals who simply appreciate the English language – are invited to attend the Jozart Writers’ Group, hosted every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7pm and free to the public.

Nicole Robison, a writer and Secretary of the Board of Directors at Jozart, believes: “Writing is a solitary business. But it is also a business about people for people. Constructive criticism is the heart of a good writers’ group. A writer who can take the criticism and use it to his or her benefit has the potential to excel at their craft. I believe that’s the main point of the group, to help push a writer forward.”

Robison said she has great confidence in the Group’s new facilitator, Jonathan Romano. “I am thrilled that Jon has decided to step in and continue the Writers’ Group at Jozart. He has an amazing talent for recognizing the nuances of a story and helping people build on what they’ve already created with soft but insightful direction. He has a natural talent for writing and it’s wonderful to see him advance his own craft as well. I’m sure he’ll do very well and I look forward to being part of this group,” she said.

Jozart’s weekly Open Mic immediately follows the Writers’ Group at 8 pm. Writers are encouraged to stick around and share their talents with a larger audience during this event.

For more information on the Writers’ Group, please contact Facilitator Jonathan Romano via the Center at carla@jozart.com or at 724-938-9730.