The Pre-Professional Conference took place Thursday, Oct. 8 in the Gordon B. Hinckley building. The English Academic Society put the annual conference together, which their Web site described as “the biggest event for English majors and minors …”
English majors and minors were excused from regular classes to attend the conference, which featured workshops, panel discussions and readings. The keynote speakers were successful writers Nicole Mazzarella, author of “This Heavy Silence”, and James Richardson, chair of the creative writing deparement at Princeton, who both gave readings that evening at 7 p.m. Mazarella also held a Q-and-A from 2 to 4 p.m.
Jason F. Wright, author of “Christams Jars,” was also attending at the conference.
Students were encouraged to submit works to the English department. The categories of submissions included: poetry, literary analysis of British and American literature, creative nonfiction and fiction. Students with winning submissions were given the opportunity to give a reading of their work from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Panel discussions and workshops were offered to each of the English emphases (literary studies, professional writing, creative writing and education). Some topics discussed included how to prepare for graduate school, writing poetry and novels, writing professionally and preparing to teach.
In addition, Wright attended a few English classes outside of the conference. In one advanced creative writing class, he talked about how he gets ideas for stories. Wright outlined the process of getting a manuscript published and gave some advice to students who wished to write and get published.
"The 'nos' are going to come," Wright said. "Just keep writing."