Writing by Degrees

Date: April 27, 2019

Time : 9:00 check-in; 9:30 panels begin; Keynote address at 4:30 p.m.

Location : Binghamton University Downtown Center

67 Washington St., Binghamton, NY 13902

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Joy Ladin, poet and memoirist

About our Keynote : Joy Ladin is the author of nine books of poetry, including 2017’s The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems and Fireworks in the Graveyard , and two Lambda Literary Award finalists Impersonation and Transmigration. Her memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life , was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist; a new work of creative non-fiction, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective , came out in 2018 from Brandeis University Press. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship, among other honors. She holds the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University.

Call for Papers and Proposals:

Writing by Degrees, one of the nation’s oldest graduate student-run writing conferences, is now accepting proposals. We invite submissions by graduate students, published writers, and writing professionals for readings of creative and scholarly works as well as presentations that engage with the process, pedagogy, theories, production, and circulation of writing. All forms of writing are creative, and therefore we hope to hear from not only poets, fiction writers, and memoirists but also journalists, essayists, playwrights, screenwriters, scholars, publishers, editors, and teachers of writing. This year we are seeking a variety of interpretations of the term “community” in an effort to explore connections among dissimilar fields, cultural spaces, and political concerns.

“Big Questions” we are interested in exploring:

What counts as (creative) writing? Who counts as a (creative) writer? Who counts as a reader? An audience? And how do writers connect with them? What role do writers, publishers, and/or teachers of writing play in articulating, disseminating, and defending “truth” in the era of “alternative facts” and “fake news”? How are social media and digital technologies changing the process, craft, and/or consumption of writing? How do writers create community among themselves and with the larger world? How can these communities cultivate true diversity and inclusion? What does it mean to write from the margins or from a marginalized subject position? How can writers be effective “allies” of marginalized groups or people? How can writers and writing communities intersect meaningfully with political movements such as Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, etc.? What is “the writing life,” and how should writers go about creating such a life? How can writers maximize their chances of publishing in different genres and venues? How should writers market themselves? How do marketing strategies shift based on genre? How can writers build a career in academia, publishing, or other creative fields?

Submission Guidelines:

By January 15, 2019 please send the following information as a .doc(x) or .pdf to wbdconference@gmail.com:

  1. Cover letter with your name, institutional/professional affiliation, and publication history (if any); contact information (email, phone number, mailing address); and genre of proposal (academic, creative, and/or professional).
  2. Abstract or Excerpt ( with your full name and page number on each page) :  academic submissions, include abstract of 350 words or less; non-fiction and/or fiction submissions, include a 2-4 page excerpt; poetry submissions, include 3-5 poems, not to exceed 5 pages; panel submissions, include three linked abstracts/excerpts with a short paragraph explaining the overarching theme (panel submissions may cross genres).

*Please note: Individual submissions accepted by conference may be asked to present work as part of moderated panel determined by conference staff.