Undergraduate Writers’ Conference

18th Annual USC Undergraduate Writers’ Conference

The 2021 Writers’ Conference Discussion, Keynote and Awards Ceremony will be held virtually on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Submission form opens: January 19, 2021

Deadline: February 21, 2021 by 11:59pm

Keynote Speaker 2021 – Wayétu Moore

Wayétu Moore is the author of the novel She Would Be King and memoir, The Dragons, The Giant, The Women. She is the recipient of the 2019 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction.

She Would Be King was named a best book of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly & BuzzFeed. The novel was a Sarah Jessica Parker Book Club selection, a BEA Buzz Panel Book, a #1 Indie Next Pick and a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Award. The Dragons, The Giant, The Women was a 2020 New York Times Notable Book, Time Magazine 10 Best Books of 2020, Publishers Weekly Top 5 Nonfiction Books of 2020, and was longlisted for the ALA Andrew Carnegie medal for excellence in nonfiction.

Moore is the founder of One Moore Book, a non-profit organization that advocates for culturally relevant books and curriculum for underrepresented readers. Her writing can be found in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Frieze Magazine, Guernica, The Atlantic Magazine and other publications. She has been featured in The Economist Magazine, NPR and Vogue Magazine, among others, for her work in advocacy for diverse children’s literature.

She’s a graduate of Howard University, University of Southern California and Columbia University.

A partnership between USC’s Office of Undergraduate Programs and The Writing Program, the Undergraduate Writers’ Conference provides undergraduate students a forum to share and discuss their writing with peers. Benefits of participation include:

  • Conference Discussion Sessions
    • Build community with other fellow writers in small discussion groups led by a moderator.
  • Keynote & Awards Ceremony 
    • Enjoy a special guest author’s address to USC students
    • 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


For application technical questions contact: Katie Capra
For general questions regarding the Writers’ Conference contact: Professor Amy Meyerson