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UT Martin Young Writers Conference set for Nov. 8 in Boling University Center


Contact 1: Bud Grimes


MARTIN, Tenn. — Aspiring young writers can improve their writing skills at the annual Young Writers Conference, Friday, Nov. 8, at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Boling University Center and is sponsored by the UT Martin Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages.

The one-day conference is designed for students in grades 9-12 who wish to improve their creative and professional writing abilities. The conference is open to students recommended by their teachers on the basis of academic merit and artistic promise. A series of writing workshops will be taught by UT Martin faculty and visiting poet Heather Dobbins.

Dobbins, of Memphis, is a graduate from the College Scholars program at UT Knoxville. She recently began contributing poetry reviews for The Rumpus and Cutbank, and was Beloit Poetry Journal’s featured poet for June 2013.

“Our visiting author (Dobbins) is incredible and has a great background working with young people,” said Dr. Leslie LaChance, associate professor of English. “Also, we are collaborating with the West Tennessee Writing Project to provide a professional development workshop for teachers.”

The workshop for teachers will cover how to use creative writing to meet common core standards. Other events include a luncheon, a reading by Dobbins and an open mic for students.

Students will have the opportunity to read works created during the conference or other original writing created at home or in school. Throughout the day, students will create pieces of writing, interact with other young writers from the region, and learn from accomplished writers and teachers of writing.

The conference registration fee is $10 for students and $20 for teachers and includes all workshops, readings and a luncheon. Teachers are encouraged, but are not required to attend along with their students. Teachers should follow their school policies in arranging for parent/guardian permissions for students who will attend the conference.

Registration is limited to 100 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration forms must be received by Oct. 31, along with payment to UT Martin for the conference registration fee. Participants can register online at or by regular mail.

For more information about the conference or to register, contact Dr. Leslie LaChance, associate professor of English, at 731-881-7296, or by email at

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