Award-winning Keynote Speaker At HPU Workshops Saturday

Tyler McMahon

Tyler McMahon will speak at Hawaii Pacific University’s 15th annual Koolau Writing Workshops set for 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 3 in the Cooke Academic Center on HPU’s Hawaii Loa campus in Kaneohe. Photo from Chris Aguinaldo.

Hawaii Pacific University hosts its 15th annual Koolau Writing Workshops from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Cooke Academic Center on the Hawaii Loa campus in Kaneohe. The workshops kick off with keynote speaker, award-winning writer Tyler McMahon, followed by two hour-and-a-half workshops in scriptwriting, fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

McMahon was born and raised in the suburbs outside of Washington, D.C. He studied at the University of Virginia and received a master’s degree in fiction writing from Boise State University. McMahon has published more than 35 short stories, essays, reviews and interviews, and now works as an assistant professor at HPU. In 2011, McMahon released the novel, How The Mistakes Were Made, in which famed drummer Laura Loss details the rise and fall of ’90s Seattle grunge band, The Mistakes.

“I like to explore contradictions that have no simple solution,” McMahon says. “How The Mistakes Were Made explores the intersection of fame and artistic integrity, through characters that simultaneously do and do not want to succeed.”

Currently, McMahon is working on a novel set in an El Salvador beach town. He has led HPU workshops in the past, and says that they provide valuable tools for aspiring writers.

“The sessions are very intense and productive,” he says. “I remember thinking that I crammed almost everything I knew about writing into a 90-minute session. I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested in writing.”

Participants must register for the workshops by 4 p.m. Friday. Cost is $20; $10 for students with a student ID. For more information or to register, call Aislyn Matias at 544-9340, Dr. Patrice Wilson at 544-1108, or email