Short Stories Reading To be Held At Artists Hand Gallery

Posted on 11/25/2019 5:10:14 PM

Fourth and fifth grade gifted and advanced ELA students from Horace Mann Elementary will present a short stories reading at the Artists Hand Gallery from 1:30-3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4. All the stories are their own original writings, and are the result of a Fall artist residency through ArtsPath with professional writer and Teaching Artist, PJ Piccirillo.

PJ Piccirillo speaks with a student in a classroom at Horace Mann ElementaryThe twenty-day residency took place between September 23 and December 4 with students of Elizabeth Woods, the Gifted Support teacher for Horace Mann and Eisenhower Elementary schools. Through the guidance of PJ  Piccirillo, an experienced, professional, and published writer, the residency addressed several standards beyond their grade-level, as well as the 21st Century Skills of Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Technology Literacy, and Productivity.

The final result of the Fall residency will be an anthology, with all students receiving a copy, as well as a copy staying in the Horace Mann library.

PJ Piccirillo’s stories and articles have appeared in journals, newspapers, magazines, and as syndicated releases and have won several literary prizes. His first novel, Heartwood, was published by Middleton Books. His recently published second novel, Indigo Scarf, is based on the true story of two slaves who fled their owners with white women into the wilderness of north-central Pennsylvania, and interprets the little known legacy of slavery persisting in the north during the nineteenth century.

PJ Piccirillo's residencies, which help participants discover ways of writing stories that work best for them, are rooted in rediscovering why we write fiction and in uncovering some of the infinite places where can start. He often helps the writers create their fictional worlds by building outward, in steps, from simple core ideas they conceive in writing, memory, and discussion prompts. PJ also conducts programs for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council at rural libraries, promoting the value of literary art for cultural and personal insights. PJ returned to fiction after 10 years in marketing communications, writing advertising, promotional, news, and technical copy. He holds a BA in English literature from St. Francis University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

For more information on ArtsPath and ArtsPath artist residencies, email or, or call the ArtsPath Coordinator for Arts-in-Education Services, Jeff Wacker, at 724-357-4565.

This artist residency and reading was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal Agency.