We are excited to announce the return of one of the nation’s oldest student-run writing conferences, Writing By Degrees, a biennial conference now in its sixteenth year. This one-day conference will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Binghamton University’s Downtown Center in Binghamton, NY, and we look forward to exploring broader themes of community. We are pleased and honored to have the poet and memoirist,  Dr. Joy Ladin, as our Keynote Speaker.

Date:​​ April 27, 2019
Time​​: 9:00 a.m. check-in; 9:30 a.m. panels begin; Keynote address at 4:30 p.m.
Location​​: Binghamton University Downtown Center; 67 Washington St., Binghamton, NY 13902

Dr. 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:

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 an attachment in .doc(x) or .pdf format to: wbdconference@gmail.com

  1. Cover letter​​ with your name, institutional/professional affiliation, and publication history (if any); contactinformation (email, phone number, mailing address); and genre of proposal (academic, creative, and/orprofessional).
  2. Abstract​​ or ​Excerpt (​​with your full name and page number on each page)​: