Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
WRAC’s 2016 Young Author’s Conference
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WRAC’s 2016 Young Author’s Conference 

The Young Author’s Conference (YAC) is an exciting summer activity for young authors from grades 5-12. The conference is an opportunity for young authors to workshop writing that they’ve already completed, hear advice from experienced writers, and get a taste of what it’s really like to write great works of fiction. 

“The Young Authors' Conference participants, instructors, and writers-in-residence are a diverse, welcoming community. It's exciting to see so many talented young writers sharing ideas and feedback!” Dr.Kate Fedewa said, director of YAC. 


Attendees of the Young Author's Conference workshop writing together.

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Author Gail Carson Levine helps kick off the Young Author's Conference.


Some students went directly into their workshop groups for discussion and feedback. Others sat in on more focused and interactive talks from Levine, Hines, and MSU’s writers in residence. Around noon, students broke for a lunch catered by Panera bread, then parted ways with their group to attend the talks and workshops they chose prior to the event, with topics ranging from grammar and the writing process to the final stages of publication. The event ended with certification and a closing statement from the director to send these young authors of all levels into the world of fiction writing. 

“The conference went well. Our writers-in-residence, Gail Carson Levine and Jim C. Hines, shared great insights about writing and publishing. Over 70 middle school and high school students from all over

The night before the conference began, there was a kick-off event that was open to the public at the Eastwood Town Center Schuler Books. There, writers in residence Gale Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted, and Jim C. Hines, a local fantasy writer, read excerpts from their current projects and finished up with a Q&A session.  

 The conference started bright and early on June 18, 2016 in MSU’s Bessey Hall. Shortly after this year’s group of young authors arrived, they were welcomed by Dr. Kate Fedewa, a professor of First Year Writing and Professional Writing at MSU. She has been successfully directing YAC for the past 5 years. Following the introduction, students broke off into their designated groups, chosen by the genre of the fictional story that they submitted when they signed up, and were lead by their workshop leaders to their next destination.

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     Author Jim C Hines helps kick off the Young        Author's Conference.

Michigan participated, and many MSU undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty volunteered their time and expertise to the program,” Dr. Fedewa said.  

If you know a young author interested in writing short stories, poetry, or any other form of fiction, please watch for the announcement of the 2017 Young Author’s Conference. 

On the YAC website, there are resources available to get your young author prepared for next summer’s conference! Have them take a look at the YA Corner for interesting articles that inspire, direct, and give excellent advice about writing, as well as the resource page that houses great websites and books that aid in writing. 

Still have questions? Visit http://youngauthor.wide.msu.edu/contact/ for more information. 


Written for WRAC by Mary E. Litteral