English Undergrad-Friendly Conferences

kboles150by Kelsey Hixson-Bowles
Student Advisor
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

I am a conference-going junkie. Seriously. I love presenting my research, hosting workshops, and traveling to different cities. The Sigma Tau Delta 2010 Convention in St. Louis was my first conference-like experience. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to attend our annual convention, you know what I mean when I say it is a great place to meet people you never knew you missed. Convention bonds English majors.

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Sigma Tau Delta members Hunter Gilson, Alicia Beeson, Kelsey Hixson-Bowles, and Rachel Smith explore the town during the Midwest Writing Center Association Conference in Chicago.

Convention is so much more than just a social experience. What I loved most about convention is also the part that made me search out other conferences: it is a concentration of ideas. It is a place to refresh your brain, gather new insights on your favorite author, reshape the way you have always thought about what qualifies as literature. As a writer, a reader, a feminist, and a thinker, I was interested in finding other conferences that engage in discussions beyond literature.

Like many of you I tutor writing. As a beginning tutor I thought, “Great, I can help people and enhance the marketability of my English skills.” The more I tutored and read about tutoring, the more I realized that there is a lot more to it than I originally thought. This was exciting and I wanted to share my excitement with other writing center enthusiasts.

Students presenting at the Midwest Writing Center Association Conference. From left to right Alicia Beeson, Dory Cochran, Kelsey Hixson-Bowles, and Kate Nygren.

Students presenting at the Midwest Writing Center Association Conference. From left to right Alicia Beeson, Dory Cochran, Kelsey Hixson-Bowles, and Kate Nygren.

Lucky for me (and for you), writing center conferences are especially friendly to undergraduate scholars. Undergraduates are treated as equals among the graduates and faculty. Though I’m a grad student now, as an undergrad I always felt welcome and comfortable with the writing center crowds at the International Writing Center Association’s Conference, the Midwest Writing Center Association’s Conference, and the National Conference on Peer Tutoring Writing.

Do you have a favorite conference? Use the comments below to share your conference experiences!

 

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