Welcome to Undergraduate Writers’ Conference

The competition culminates in the Undergraduate Writers' Conference on Wednesday, April 9. Your essay is your ticket of admission to the awards ceremony.

You'll get to:

  • Meet other writers and ask them questions about how they work.

  • Dine at the posh Town & Gown

  • Be automatically considered for publication in Scribe the USC Dornsife College online journal produced entirely by undergraduates

  • Be automatically considered for publication in OAPS - Outstanding Academic Papers by Students a collaborative, international program by academic research libraries to encourage, recognize, and preserve excellence in student scholarship.

  • Discuss your and other writers' work in light of themes and questions important to writers.

  • Bolster that ever-lengthening résumé of accomplishments

  • Listen to keynote speaker Jonathan Kirsch, best-selling author, attorney, and LA Times contributor. Learn more about his work here.

How To:

  • 4 categories. On title page, identify the category in which your essay is competing:

    • Professional Writing/Moral Reasoning: papers about ethical dimensions of your discipline or future profession; Marshall white papers; Annenberg analyses of media industries; IR problem-based essays; Philosophy papers; some English & cultural studies essays; WRIT 340 pre-law briefs or memos; researched essays; some GE cat. 6 essays; some GE cat. 2 essays.
    • Analytical essay: thesis-driven essays and editorials; use of theoretical and conceptual models; critical theory; close readings of primary text(s); furthering or interrogating established truths or concepts.
    • Research essay: multiple sources, bibliography; literature and science reviews.
    • Creative Work: short stories, screenplays, collections of poetry, scripts for performance art, one-act plays, multimedia
  • Entry length: Up to 40 pages per essay/creative work.

  • One submission per category, but you can compete in multiple categories.

  • Questions? Ask Professor Norah Ashe-McNalley, ashe@usc.edu

Submit Application

Deadline: Friday, March 7 @ 11:59PM