Iowa Youth Writing Project to host Junior High Writing Conference

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Writing University will be swarming with younger-than-usual aspiring writers on Friday, April 24, thanks to a conference hosted by the Iowa Youth Writing Project, part of the Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The 2015 Junior High Writing Conference will take place at the Iowa Memorial Union and feature poet Matt Hart as keynote speaker. About 130 attendees—from Southeast Junior High School and Northwest Junior High School in Iowa City and Clear Creek Amana Middle School in Tiffin—will have the opportunity to attend two of eight writing workshop sessions led by Hart or local writers. The sessions include:

  • "Performing Non/sense as Serious Business" with Matt Hart
  • "Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction" with Sarah Prineas
  • "The Novel: An Imaginary Friend or your BFF?" with Jeff Holmes
  • "My Life: Personal Writing" with Zaina Arafat
  • "Sketch Comedy & You" with Dylan Nice & Dan DeMarco
  • "Prompted: A Parade of Writing Ideas to Get You Started" with Mallory Hellman
  • "Graphic Storytelling" with Lauren Haldeman
  • "Music Is Awesome But Perhaps Very Difficult To Write About" with Andre Perry

After a break for lunch, the students will come together as a large group again for an "open mic" event to conclude the day. There will be a photo booth set up in the conference hallway on the day of the conference for attendees and their friends to snap photos in between sessions. Additionally, the attendees will have the opportunity to contribute their own writing to the conference blog before, during, or after the event.

The Iowa Youth Writing Project is a community outreach program that provides writing, tutoring, creative learning, and publishing opportunities (at little or no cost to participants) to youth across the state of Iowa.

The Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing offers students at the University of Iowa the unique opportunity to enhance their academic, creative, and professional communication skills by focusing on the written word. Home to the Undergraduate Certificate in Writing, the Iowa Writers Living-Learning Community, the Iowa Youth Writing Project, Ink Lit Mag, and earthwords, the Magid Center’s goal is to provide support and guidance to young writers looking to expand their knowledge and experience as creators, editors, readers, teachers, and active citizens regardless of their academic background or area of study.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.