Dear young writers,

We have made the tough decision to postpone the 2024 Young Writers Conference. Instead of holding it this spring, we are going to regroup and hold the event in the fall of 2024. Stay tuned for more details.

If you registered for the March event, please stay tuned via email for refund information and details for the fall.

Diane Mulligan
Conference Director
Workshop Leaders

Loree Griffin Burns writes true stories for curious people of all ages. Her books for children have won many accolades, including American Library Association Notable designations, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book Award, an IRA Children’s Book Award, a Green Earth Book Award, and two Science Books & Films (SB&F) Prizes. Her essays for adults have been published in magazines like Yankee and honored in journals like Flyway. Samples of recent publications are shown below, and a more  complete body of work can be viewed on her website.

Rob Huckins is the author of four published works, including a novel, two short fiction/poetry collections, and a travelogue of essays on visiting China. Along with writing, Rob enjoys creativity in the visual arts, including photography, drawing, painting, and mixed media. He designs and sells custom mixed media artwork under the name Samurai Soop Art. Rob lives in Merrimack, NH and teaches high school social studies at Merrimack HS (NH).

Kathryn Hulick’s most recent  book WELCOME TO THE FUTURE (2021) explores ten technologies that may change the world, including robots, virtual reality, and fusion energy. STRANGE BUT TRUE (2019) explains the science and history of ghosts, UFOs, psychics, and other paranormal mysteries. Kathryn began her career with two years in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan, where she taught English and lived without the internet. When she returned home, she began writing for children’s magazines and educational publishers. Kathryn has published numerous educational books for kids with ABDO, Capstone, Cavendish Square, National Geographic Kids, and more. She is a contributing editor at Muse magazine with a monthly technology column and regular feature articles. She also write news and features for Science News Explores and the Chinese language kids’ magazine Front Vision. Read more at her website.

Rodger Martin’
s latest volume of poetry, The Battlefield Guide, (Hobblebush Books: 2010) follows the selection of The Blue Moon Series, (Hobblebush Books: 2007) by Small Press Review as one of its bi-monthly picks of the year. He is a New Hampshire State Council on the Arts in Education roster artist and also a touring artist for the New England States Touring Foundation administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Timothy Mudie
is a speculative fiction writer and an editor of all sorts of genres. His fiction has appeared in various magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, including Lightspeed, Escape Pod, Wastelands: The New Apocalypse, and Interzone. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and son. Find him online at

Susan Elizabeth Sweeney’s poems have appeared in Diner, The Worcester Review, The Journal of Irish Literature, and elsewhere, and have won an Academy of Poets Prize, the Frank O’Hara Poetry Prize, and other awards.  Beth has served as president of the Worcester County Poetry Association and as coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at the College of the Holy Cross, where she is now the Murray Professor of Arts and Humanities.  In May 2019, she received the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award from Holy Cross, only the second time it has ever been granted.  Beth’s chapbook, Hand Me Down (Finishing Line Press, 2013), was a semifinalist in the 2012 New Women’s Voices Competition.  She is now writing a series of poems about her namesake, Mad Sweeney—a king, poet, and madman in Irish folklore—and his wife.

WCYWC Keynote Speakers

List of 7 items.

  • 2019: Andy and Veronica Fish

    This husband-and-wife team of graphic artists has been offering their unique and popular workshops for over 10 years to students of all ages. Andy Fish is a noted comic book artist, illustrator and painter—his work has been published all over the world and exhibited in galleries as far away as Sydney, Australia. His most recent graphic novel is Dracula’s Army: The Dead Travel Fast, an adaption of Dracula brings to light storylines that only lurked in the shadows of the original. Veronica Fish’s paintings have been shown in galleries around the world, and she's also worked on character design, storyboarding for film and TV, apparel design, and editorial illustration. Veronica recently illustrated a comic entitled Blackwood, a supernatural fantasy about a magical murder in a sorcery school. As visual storytellers who often work with writers to develop comics and graphic novels, Andy and Veronica bring a fresh, new perspective to our conference. The keynote address will begin at 4:00 and is free and open to the public.
  • 2018: Terry Farish

    Terry Farish is a writer with a passion for following the stories of people from many cultures who come as immigrants or refugees to the U.S. The Good Braider is her free verse novel for young adults and adults about 17-year old Viola and her family’s journey from war-torn Sudan, to Cairo, and finally to Portland, Maine.  She wrote The Good Braider after travel to Kakuma Refugee Camp on the border of Kenya and South Sudan and years of collecting oral histories among southern Sudanese families in Portland. The novel was selected as a Best Book of the Year by the American Library Association, Bank Street College of Education, and School Library Journal.  Her picture books include The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, illus. by Barry Root and The Alleyway set in Lawrence, MA.  The Alleyway, about a small boy whose brother has been deployed in the US Army, is in production and will be illustrated by Oliver Dominquez. In 2015 her novel, Either the Beginning or the End of the World, will be published by Carolrhoda Books. Through the New Hampshire Humanities Council, Terry leads literacy programs with refugee and immigrant parents, and she also teaches writing at Manchester (NH) Community College. You can visit her site at
  • 2017: Regie Gibson

    Literary Performer and educator, Regie Gibson, received his MFA from New England College. He’s lectured and performed in the U.S., Cuba and Europe. Representing the U.S., Regie competed for and received the Absolute Poetry Award in Monfalcone, Italy. Himself and his work appear in “love jones”: a feature-film based on events in his life. He is a former National Poetry Slam Champion, has featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, WBUR’s On Point, Radio Boston, and various other NPR programs. Regie has performed at TED X Boston, Ted X Bedford and TED X Natick, and has been nominated for a Boston Emmy. He’s received the Walker Scholarship for Poetry from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and a YMCA Writer’s Fellowship. He’s been published in Poetry Magazine, Harvard’s Divinity Magazine, and The Iowa Review, among others. His volume of poems, “Storms Beneath the Skin”, has received the Golden Pen Award. He has received both an MCC Poetry Award and a Lexington Education Foundation Grant. Regie has performed with and composed texts for The Boston City Singers, The Mystic Chorale and Boston’s Handel+Haydn Society. He performs regularly with Atlas Soul: a world-music ensemble, his own word-music ensemble, The Regie Gibson Project, and is He one half of the duo, Shakespeare to Hip-Hop: An education and performance vehicle integrating the performance and study of classical and modern texts into English curriculums.
  • 2016: Jasmine Mans

    An author, performer, poet, teacher...yes to all of those titles, but more importantly Jasmine Mans is an artist who enjoys having various forums to express her thoughts, moods, opinions and a voice to speak out on behalf of others and the community around her. A recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2014), Jasmine received her BA in African-American Studies (Black Theory & Literature) and is the recipient of the Star Ledger – NJPAC; Arts Millennia; and (New York) Knicks Poetry Slam Scholarships and awards. However, Mans began stringing rhymes together as a middle-school student in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Those artistic skills were honed while attending the first performing arts high school in the nation, Newark Arts High School.

  • 2015: Adam Gottlieb

    Adam Gottlieb is a Poet, Singer/Songwriter, Teaching-Artist who advocates for the power of the spoken word. He was featured in the film Louder than a Bomb, a documentary described as a "celebration of American youth at their creative best." 

    "None of this prepares the viewer for the bomb that is Adam Gottlieb (from tony Northside College Prep), whose first reading at the 20-minute mark, of a poem celebrating poetry, announces a promising new American talent. It’s difficult to resist the comparison to Allen Ginsberg in Gottlieb’s nearly breathless recitation, his use of incantation and rhythmic attack, and the sense of an epic unfolding before our ears. His subsequent reading, on his Jewish roots in Chicago, is pitched in an entirely different register and suggests a novelistic sensibility." - Variety

  • 2014: Juliette Fay

    Author Juliette Fay was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Worcester County Young Writers Conference. Students from around the area gathered to work with writing professionals and share their own work in front of their peers. Student slam poets who competed at the Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam in Boston performed, and writing mentors spoke at a panel on publishing.

    Shelter Me, Juliette’s first published novel, was designated as one of the ten best works of fiction in 2009 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress. It was also named to the Indie Next List of the American Booksellers Association, was chosen as one of six novels for Target’s 2009 Bookmarked Club, and was a Good Housekeeping featured Book Pick. Her second novel, Deep Down True, was published in January 2011 by Viking Penguin, and was short-listed for the Women’s Fiction Award of the American Library Association. The Shortest Way Home, her third novel, was chosen as one of Library Journal‘s Top 5 BEST BOOKS of 2012: Women’s Fiction.

  • 2013: Matthew Quick

    Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which was made into an Academy Award-nominated film. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention, among other accolades. Q lives in Massachusetts with his wife, novelist/pianist Alicia Bessette.

Pictures from the 25th Annual WCYWC (2015)

25th Annual Worcester County Young Writers Conference

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 6 items.

  • Who is eligible to attend?

    Students grades 7-12 with an interest in creative writing. In a typical year, students join us from approximately 40 schools from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. 
  • When and where is the event?

    The conference will take place on March 23, 2024, at Saint John's High School in Shrewsbury, MA. 

    Conference Schedule:
    • 9:00 - 9:15– Participant Registration

    • 9:15 - 10:00 – Student-led Activity

    • 10:00 - 10:15 - Large Group Session 

    • 10:20 - 11:15 - Workshop 1

    • 11:20 - 12:15 - Workshop 2

    • 12:20 - 12:55 - Lunch

    • 1:00 - 1:55  Workshop 3

    • 2:00 - 2:30 - Student Open Mic
  • What happens during workshops?

    Students meet with writing mentors to learn aspects of their craft, generate new writing, and share their work with their peers. Throughout the day, students will attend three different workshops and will try their hand at a variety of types of writing.
  • Who runs the writing workshops?

    Local writers who many years of experience publishing and mentoring. See mentor bios below.
  • What is the cost of the event and what does it include?

    The registration fee is $50 and includes all workshops and lunch.
  • What do I need to register?

    You must complete our electronic form to sign up. To register, you will need to provide
    • your name, 
    • your Email address and a parent’s Email address
    • your school and grade, 
    • your English teacher’s name and Email address
    • your workshop preferences
    The registration fee can be paid online by credit card or with a check by mail.

To Register

Registration for the spring of 2024 is now closed. Please join our mailing list to stay informed about next year's conference.

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