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The Rose O'Neill

Literary House

Home to the famous Sophie Kerr Prize (the largest undergraduate writing prize in the country), Washington College has made a name for itself as a school for writers, a place where aspiring poets, novelists, and memoirists can study with prize-winning authors to hone their craft.

At the Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference, rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors can experience the literary community that Washington College has to offer and discover the many opportunities available to undergraduates: internships and funding grants in publishing, writing, and editing; a host of student-run publications; and the chance to serve as editorial screeners on Cherry Tree, Washington College’s national literary journal.

At the Young Writers’ Conference, students can take intensive creative writing workshops in a choice of three genres (poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction). They can discuss literature at the college level with current English department faculty. They can attend professional readings at the Rose O’Neill Literary House. They can even take a class in how to draft effective college admissions statements. 

The 2020 Conference will be July 15-18!



Coronavirus vs. Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference: an Update

Hello from the Rose O’Neill Literary House!

We wanted to get in touch to discuss the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its possible consequences for the Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference planned for this coming July 15-18. Washington College is actively monitoring the outbreak, and will provide regular updates as to how it is affecting our community, with information from the Maryland Department of Health, Kent County Health Department, and other sources. Please see the college’s most recent statement here.

As the conference is still several months away, it is our fervent hope that the conference will be able to proceed as planned, with all due attention to important health behaviors, social distancing, and the vulnerability of individuals who are immunocompromised or have chronic health conditions.

Given the rapidly evolving nature of the situation, we will make a final decision on whether or not to hold the conference no later than June 15, so as to guarantee ample time for travel plan alterations that may become necessary. In the event that the conference is canceled, all registration fees will be refunded in full.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding, and please continue to check your email, our website, and the Washington College home page for future updates. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to be in touch with our Conference Coordinator, Dr. James Allen Hall, at jhall5@washcoll.edu. 


Roy Kesey

Director, Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference

2019 CTYWC group photo

All proceeds are used solely to benefit the operation of the Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference and all associated programs.