New Writer in Residence Mark Athitakis at Mesa Public Library

May 9, 2023 at 1:00 pm

Aspiring writers can get help from a published author to improve their skills at Mesa Public Library. Local author Mark Athitakis is using Mesa Public Library as his public workspace as part of the Writer in Residence Program. Mark will have office hours at Red Mountain Library to meet one-on-one with aspiring writers regarding their work and host two free writing workshops each month for the public.

Among the events he is hosting:

Writer in Residence Consultation Hours
Tuesdays and Fridays, 12 p.m.- 2 p.m. Red Mountain Library, 635 N. Power Road. Mark will hold 30-minute one-on-one consultations from May through July to help aspiring authors fine-tune their work. Appointments required.

Reading Like a Critic
Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m.- 12 p.m. Red Mountain Library, 635 N. Power Road. Discovering your next favorite read is easier if you know what draws you to the books you love or deters you from the ones you don't. Mark Athitakis, a veteran book reviewer, will discuss how critics read for theme, style and character and how you can apply those approaches to your own reading.

You've Written Your Book, Now What?
Saturday, June 10, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Red Mountain Library, 635 N. Power Road. If you're in the home stretch of your manuscript, you have a lot of decisions to make. This session will explore the process of finding the best place for your writing, identifying and querying agents and more.

Local writer Mark Athitakis regularly contributes book reviews, essays and interviews to the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Kirkus Reviews and numerous other publications In 2017 he published the book "The New Midwest: A Guide to Contemporary Fiction of the Great Lakes, Great Plains and Rust Belt" (Belt Publishing), which received the Books by the Banks author award for Best Adult Nonfiction Title. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Phoenix Magazine and Humanities.

Athitakis is an experienced public speaker who has been a featured guest on KJZZ, BBC Radio 4, the Diane Rehm Show, Wisconsin Public Radio and other programs. He has taught news writing at ASU's Cronkite School (spring 2014) and participated in panels and workshops run by the ASU's Piper Center for Creative Writing, the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC), the American Nonprofit Academy and the Thinking Writer. For nine years, he served as a board member of the NBCC, chairing its fiction award committee twice and its autobiography committee once.

In 2021 he served as writer in residence at the Apache Junction Public Library. He currently serves on the panel of reviewers for Southwest Books of the Year, administered by the Pima County Public Library.

The Mesa Library Writer in Residence program is from May through July. For more information on programs at Mesa Public Library, call 480-644-3100 or visit

The Writer in Residence program is supported by the Arizona State Library, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.