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Calling All High School Writers

  • The 2019 CTYWC students and interns pose on the Lit House deck.
    The 2019 CTYWC students and interns pose on the Lit House deck.
January 17, 2020
The 2020 Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference is now open for registration.

Toni Morrison. Edward Albee. Gwendolyn Brooks. The Rose O’Neill Literary House has played host to the great literary luminaries throughout its 50-year history.

Five years ago, we had another grand idea: what would it be like to light the literary fire in a young Morrison or Ginsberg? Thus began the Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference, which is now open for registration for the fifth annual Conference, which will run July 15-18.

At the heart of the Conference is the workshop. Students choose one of three genres: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction—each led by a renowned writer who is also a terrific teacher. Young writers come to Washington College’s idyllic campus for four days in the summer to learn from the greats, and to be inspired.

College-level literary discussions are led by WC English faculty members Dr. Courtney Rydel and Dr. Kimberly Quiogue Andrews. They help print a broadside in our letterpress print shop. And of course, they bond with each other and with current students who serve as counselors for the entire conference during evening literary-themed activities designed to delight and instruct. There are readings and craft panels, and in between activities plenty of time for writing and conversation.

Registration for the 2020 conference is now open, with workshops led by Sandra Beasley (poetry), Rahul Mehta (fiction), and Randon Billings Noble (creative nonfiction). Registration is $700, with the option to add an extra workshop in Writing Successful College Admissions Essays ($50)—but before April 5, registration is discounted at $600. Workshops are capped, and space is limited. Scholarships are available as well: four general merit and four dedicated to students from or studying in Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties in Maryland.

We hope to see you in July! For more information about registration and scholarships, please visit

Last modified on Jan. 17th, 2020 at 3:11pm by Marcia Landskroener.