Young Writer’s Conference brings high school writers to campus

Young Writer’s Conference brings high school writers to campus

The annual Young Writer’s Conference will take place on Nov. 18th from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Boling University Center for grades 9 through 12.

Participating students are approved by their respective teachers based on their academic achievements and writing ability. The students will participate in two workshops through the day, the first from 9–10:30 a.m. and the other from 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m., after which the students will attend a luncheon. From 2–3 p.m., the students will be able to share their works during an open mic-reading.

Teachers will also take part in the workshops. The workshops are scheduled to be led by Obion County Central High School English teacher Lana Warren and Karen DiBella, assistant professor of Education Studies and director of the Reading Center. This will be DiBella’s second year helping with the workshops.

“I am excited about this conference and am certainly looking forward to it,” said DiBella. “One of my most favorite experiences as a graduate student was my experience with the National Writing Project, so I like to infuse some of those concepts into this conference. I believe that reading and writing are not only reciprocal, but critical to teaching and learning.  I am hoping to share new ideas on how to get students more actively engaged in the writing process as well as share applicable Web 2.0 tools that can help improve student motivation as well.”

The keynote speaker will be Brentwood resident Tiana Clark, winner of the 2016 Academy of American Poets Prize and author of the poetry chapbook “Equilibrium.”

“We have people coming from all over West Tennessee and West Kentucky, from as far away as Memphis,” said Dr. David Carithers, UTM associate professor of English and Modern Foreign Language and chair. “I hope that it both supports the love of writing in our students, and perhaps even goes further and ignites a new passion and interest in writing and in different types of writing.”

Registration forms are due by Nov. 11. The cost to register is $12 for students and $25 for teachers. For more information and applications, visit

Photo illustration courtesy of University Relations

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