Each year, iO invites 200 young writers from our residency program in Metro Detroit schools to the campus of Wayne State University for the Youth Writers Conference spanning nearly every genre of writing. For students, the event is a daylong dive into literary life. The conference is presented by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services with generous support from The Skillman Foundation and the Rotary Club of Detroit.
“The Youth Writers Conference is one of the most exciting things that we do. Students get an opportunity to immerse themselves in a day of writing and explore aspects of form and technique with some of the region’s most acclaimed writers,” says iO Associate Director Alise Alousi. “It is modeled after professional writing conferences, allowing students to choose areas they wish to explore and writers they’d like to learn with.”
- View workshop descriptions and writer bios
- Register for your workshops online
(Invited Schools Only – Deadline: April 7th)
- Information for Teachers and Writers
- Conference location map with parking
Keynote Speaker: Tyehimba Jess
Detroit-native Tyehimba Jess is the author of Leadbelly and Olio. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, published in 2016, has been called “Encyclopedic, ingenious, and abundant…” by Publisher’s Weekly’s starred review, and was selected as one of the five best poetry books of 2016. Library Journal calls Olio a “daring collection, which blends forthright, musically acute language with portraiture.” Jess is Poetry and Fiction Editor of African American Review and Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.
The conference is presented with generous support from:
The Skillman Foundation, the Rotary Club of Detroit, and Hanging Loose Press.