Young Writers' Conference

nic stone

2021 Conference

Keynote Speaker: Author Nic Stone

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All virtual, via Zoom

Admission to the morning awards session (8:30 to 9:30 a.m.) and the keynote session with Nic Stone (10:15 to 11:30 a.m.) is FREE and open to the public, with Zoom pre-registration required.

Awards registration

Keynote registration


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 celebrated 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 29, 2021)

Registration deadline: March 29, 2021

Registration form: We accept registration anytime after Jan. 11, through March 29. There is no cost this year.

Registration includes admission to the morning awards session, the morning keynote session, and an afternoon workshop session. It also includes one copy of our youth journal, Spectrum, which we hope to mail to school sites about 2 weeks before the conference.

Payment: Since the event will be 100% virtual via Zoom, there is no registration fee this year.

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.

Register now: Early registration provides time to prepare for virtual setup. This year, there will be no late registration permitted.

Get Published (Deadline: Feb. 18, 2021)

Manuscript deadline: Feb. 18, 2021

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

We will accept manuscripts electronically from Jan. 11 through Feb. 18. 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 in subject line: 1. genre, 2. author's name, 3. school.
  • Include in the document, upper left corner of the first page: 1. genre, 2. author’s name, 3. school, 4. grade, and 5. the teacher’s name. 
  • Must be .doc or .docx format. 
  • No graphics or unusual fonts. 
  • Limit: 3 poems and/or 2 works of prose (please limit prose pieces to 7 pages each). 

Only a limited number of submissions can be published. 

Get Online

Location: All virtual, via Zoom 

Event schedule:

  • 8:30 - 9:45 Welcome and awards presentations
  • 10:15 - 11:30 Morning session, feat. keynote speaker
  • 11:30 - 12:30 Lunch
  • 12:30 - 2:00 Afternoon session, feat. workshops

Zoom access: Several days before the conference, each school’s lead teacher will be emailed the Zoom links to share with students. Morning sessions will be webinar style; afternoon session will be meeting style. All workshops will be taught with a multigenre approach. 

Contact Us

Conference coordinator

Prof. Tanya Nichols (email)

Administrative staff

Jefferson Beavers (email)

Mailing address

Young Writers' Conference
Fresno State, English Department
5245 N. Backer Ave., PB98
Fresno, CA 93740-8001


Call - 559.278.1569
Fax - 559.278.7143


Peters Business Building
Room 382