Hone your writing skills while deepening your appreciation of literature. Through discussion and close personal attention, you’ll develop analytical, critical reasoning, and communication skills highly sought after by employers in many fields. These skills will also provide you with an excellent foundation for graduate study.

Degree Offered: B.A.
Offered on the Augusta and Bangor campuses

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where will the conference be held?
The conference will be held on Monday, April 16, 2012. The keynote will be held in the Randall Center fireplace lounge on the Augusta campus. Panels will be held in various classrooms in Jewett Hall.

Who is eligible to submit proposals?
Any UMA student may submit a proposal to present work written either independently or for an upper-division course in literature, american studies, film studies, theory, or creative or professional writing.

Who may attend?
All members, alumni, friends, and guests of the UMA English Department are welcome to attend. All who attend (including presenters and their friends and families) are asked to register for the conference, so that enough programs and food can be ordered.

Why should I participate?
Conference participation helps you hone your writing, research, and presentation skills, allows you to share your work with colleagues, and helps you to build your resume for graduate or professional school.

How long should the paper be?
Presentations should be between 10 and 15 minutes long. This translates into 2000-2500 words or 5 to 6 double spaced pages.

If something has been previously published, is that appropriate?
Yes, it is entirely appropriate to present creative work previously published.

What is the deadline for submission?
The deadline for submission is Friday, March 16, 2012 at noon.

When will I hear whether my submission has been accepted for the conference?
Acceptance letters will go out via email by March 30, if not before. The letter will include your presentation time, when you should arrive, and whom to contact with questions.

What happens if something conflicts with my presentation time, a conflict that comes up between submission and acceptance? Can I reschedule?
We will make every effort to change your time. Contact botshon@maine.edu.

How is the conference organized?
The conference will have "sessions," each featuring three or four presenters. Each presenter will have 10-15 minutes to make her or his presentation. Each session will have a moderator who introduces the speakers and facilitates discussion in a way appropriate for the particular session. The moderator is also the timekeeper, and may stop a speaker who goes over the time limit.

How early before my presentation do I need to arrive?
You need to arrive at the room assigned to your presentation at least 5-10 minutes before the session start time to meet your session chair (make sure the chair can pronounce your name) and other panel members.

Will people ask me questions about my presentation?
Yes! Each session will have a moderator who will facilitate a question and answer session after all presenters have presented their work. This is a time to learn, ask questions, and celebrate your work and that of others. It's entirely okay to say "I don't know" or "I'll check on that and get back to you." Relax and let the moderator get the conversation going.

Do I have to stay for the entire conference?
No, we recognize that you may have class, job, or family commitments. We very much hope you will attend all or most of the sessions. It's important for each presenter to have a good audience and for all of us to have a chance to interact and share ideas. Keep in mind that at conferences it is considered professional for presenters to stay for the entire session in order to hear all speakers and engage in discussion.

What is a proposal? And what does one look like?
For this conference you may submit either an abstract or the entire paper. An abstract is a short 100-200 word summary of what your work is about. A good abstract will give the organizers a good idea of what you want to say, why you are saying it, and why they should be interested.

If you are planning to read poems or a short piece of fiction, a short summary of the piece is sufficient for the purposes of this conference.

Tips for Presenters:

How should I prepare for the presentation?
Practice out loud. Test your presentation on a family member or friend. Make sure it's within the 15 minute limit and that it reads smoothly. Practice making occasional eye contact with your audience.

Experiment with format. You don't have to hand in conference papers for a grade. Try using slightly larger type and double spacing to make it easy to read and to write in last minute edits or suggestions from the discussion. Page numbers are essential.

Consider printing an extra copy of your paper in case you need a backup.

Should I use a handout?
Speakers usually prepare handouts only when they have a lot of complicated or long quotations that would be too difficult to follow aurally.