Undergraduate Writers’ Conference


17th Annual USC Undergraduate Writers’ Conference

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Keynote Speaker: Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce is a political commentator, speaker, writer and nationally best-selling author of My (Underground) American Dream and Someone Like Me. She was named one of People en Español’s 25 Most Powerful Women of 2017 and 2018’s Woman of the Year by the City of Los Angeles. She is a leading voice in the fight for social justice, immigrant rights and education equality.  She is a contributor for Crooked Media, CNBC, and a host for Crooked Conversations Podcast. Her first book is currently being developed as a television series with producer and actor America Ferrera.

Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street working for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, and had seemingly achieved the American Dream—yet she was not part of what defined American.

Julissa immigrated to America from Mexico at the age of 11 and was undocumented for almost 15 years, some of them spent rising to prominence on Wall Street. In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, Julissa co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF).  AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national original or immigration status.

She serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two cats, Nikko and Pancho.


The Undergraduate Writers’ Conference provides undergraduate students a forum to share and discuss their writing with other peers. Benefits of participation include:

  • Conference Discussion Sessions
    • Build community with other fellow writers in small discussion groups.
  • Awards Ceremony and Banquet
    • Enjoy dinner at USC Town & Gown in celebration with all participants.
    • The most outstanding works will be recognized with First Prizes of $1000 and Second Prizes of $500.
    • Entrants may also receive recognition from the USC Schwarzenegger Institute
  • Getting Published Online

Conference participants must submit their work under one of the following writing categories:

  • Professional Writing/Moral Reasoning
  • Analytical Essay
  • Research Essay
  • Creative Work

Click here to learn more about program details

Registration Opens in January 2020.

Questions? Contact Professor Amy Meyerson