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Young Writers' Conference

2020 Conference

Hosted by the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program at California State University, Fresno

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Satellite Student Union

Keynote Speaker: Naomi Shihab Nye

How to Register

Registration Forms


About the Conference

Each spring, the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program host the Young Writers' Conference for area high school students, with support from the College of Arts and Humanities and more than a dozen campus and community sponsors.

The conference celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020.

The conference provides a valuable opportunity for young writers to hear a professional author read their work and answer questions about the creative writing process and profession. It also allows young writers to meet and interact with other student writers from across the Central Valley, to get a taste of what a university-level writing workshop might be like, and to get feedback on their own writing.

Our department's graduate students, as part of their commitment to community service, teach the creative writing workshops, and they also serve as the editors of the conference's youth journal, Spectrum, which celebrates the best work submitted by area schools.

In addition, the conference provides excellent training and an opportunity for an exchange of ideas among creative writing and language arts teachers. The conference stands as an excellent example of an ongoing collaborative effort between area school districts and the university.

Get Registered (Deadline: March 16, 2020)

Registration deadline: March 16, 2020

Payment: We accept registration and payment anytime after Jan. 6. Payment should be sent as early as possible. Let us know if your office needs a formal invoice, or if you have other payment questions.

Registration limit: The conference is open to students from 9th to 12th grades, with a limit of 20 students and 4 teachers per school. Please use a selection method that will allow your most talented and motivated students to attend. 

Registration fee: Cost to attend is $15 per person, both for students and for teachers. Payment arrangements are required by March 16 and will be accepted no later than conference day. The fee includes admission to the morning session featuring the keynote speaker, lunch, the afternoon session featuring one writing workshop of choice, and one copy of our youth journal, Spectrum.

Register now: Early registration provides time to adequately prepare for materials and meals. Late registration is not guaranteed.

Refunds: Minus a 10% processing fee, a refund may be granted with a written request by March 16. No other refunds can be granted. 

Get Published (Deadline: Feb. 27, 2020)

Manuscript deadline: Feb. 27, 2020

An important part of the conference is the publication of our youth journal, Spectrum. All students are encouraged to submit works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to be considered. Select manuscripts will receive awards. 

We will accept manuscripts electronically from Jan. 6 through Feb. 27. This allows us time for reading and judging, as well as layout and printing of the anthology.

Email manuscripts to: 

Manuscript guidelines: 

• Teachers are responsible for ensuring that students submit original work. 

• Include: 1. author’s name, 2. school, 3. grade, and 4. the teacher’s name in the upper left corner of the first page. 

Must be .doc or .rtf format. 

• No graphics, fancy fonts, or borders. 

• Limit: 3 poems and/or 2 works of fiction or nonfiction prose (please limit prose pieces to 7 pages each). 

Only a limited number of submissions can be published, but we encourage all participating students to submit their work. 

Get to Campus

Only a limited number of submissions can be published, but we encourage all participating students to submit their work.

Location: Satellite Student Union, Fresno State 

Event schedule: 

8:15 - 9:00 - Registration 

9:00 - 9:45 - Welcome and awards presentations 

9:45 - 10:45 - Morning session, feat. keynote speaker 

10:45 - 11:45 - Lunch 

12:00 - 2:00 - Afternoon session, feat. workshops for teachers and students 

Parking: Participants can receive a one-day free parking pass from kiosks at most university entrances. Call 559.278.1569 in advance to receive a coupon code. Parking recommended in Lots P5 or P6. Buses may drop students at the Satellite Student Union. 

Registration area: Contact teachers can pick up conference packets on the day of the event in the Satellite Student Union lobby. 

Campus map: