Presented by


Photo credit: Doug Coombe for iO

Each year, iO invites more than 150 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 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.”

The 2018 conference will take place on Thursday, April 19th at McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State University.

The Youth Writers Conference is open to schools who participate in our School Residency program. Have questions about how to bring InsideOut to your school? Send us an email.



2017 Keynote: Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess

Detroit-native Tyehimba Jess is the author of Leadbelly and Olio, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Olio has been called “Encyclopedic, ingenious, and abundant…” by Publishers Weekly’s starred review. 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.” Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alumnus, is an Associate Professor of English at the College of Staten Island.

The conference is presented with generous support from:
The Skillman Foundation, the Rotary Club of Detroit, Hanging Loose Press, Wayne State University, Barnes & Noble, and Scholastic.

X