Frequently Asked Questions

I hear I need to send in a story with my registration. What sort of story?

That’s right! One of the coolest things about the YAC is the workshop, where you’ll get feedback on your writing and give feedback to other writers. When you’re ready to apply, you’ll want to pick a story to send in with your registration. Look through the short stories that you have written and pick one, or write a new one! Any short story or novel excerpt is acceptable, as long as it is:

Prepare the story until you’re ready to have others read it and give you feedback about it. Then check out “How do I apply” below.


How do I apply?

The registration is easy! Just click on the Apply! tab at the top of the page and follow three steps:

  1. complete the registration form (available at, with a parent’s permission,
  2. email your short story or novel excerpt to the YAC team, as prompted when you complete the registration form,
  3. if needed, request scholarship consideration.

The registration form will ask you for some contact information, such as an email address, so that you can receive emails about the conference and your workshop group’s stories. It will also ask you and your parents for some basic health and safety information so that the YAC team can make sure everyone has a positive and safe experience at the conference. Be sure to have your parent or guardian help you complete your registration form.

The short story you email the YAC team as part of your registration will be the story that your workshop group reads and gives you feedback on. So be sure it’s a story you’re excited to have your peers read and critique!


How much does it cost?

There is a $75 application fee for attending the conference, which includes lunch, snacks and participation in all conference activities. Your parents and teachers can attend as well. There’s a full day of activities available for them. There is a $75 registration fee for parent/teacher participants. You can pay the application fee by check at the conference itself, or pay online after you’ve registered.

If you are unable to pay the application fee, we still want you to attend! Please contact the YAC team for more information about financial aid. We have a limited number of scholarships available that may help you cover all or part of the conference cost.


Can my parents come?

Absolutely! We run concurrent activities on raising and supporting young writers for parents and teachers. These activities include sessions on finding opportunities for young writers and giving constructive feedback. There’s also discussions led by MSU instructors and our Writers-in-Residence. Parents/teachers can also sit in on student sessions. The registration fee for parents/teachers is $75 and includes all sessions, lunch, and snacks.


When will I receive my group’s workshop materials?

Early in June you will receive an email with a .pdf file containing your own short story and the short stories of the four other writers in your group. The email will also contain suggestions for how to critique a story and a sample story and critique. Once you receive the email, you should read each story, take notes on it, and write up your thoughts for each story’s author. Bring a printed copy of each story, your notes, and your write-up with you to the conference.


What will the workshop session at the conference be like?

The workshop itself is one of the most exciting aspects of the conference. It’s a chance for you to share your writing and read the writing of other authors your own age.  To make that easier, the conference committee will split the participants into groups of five writers.   At the conference, you will discuss the work of your group, just like professional writers workshop their stories. It should be fun!

You will meet with your workshop group for about two hours – twenty minutes per group member and a bit of time to get to know each other. A trained workshop leader will help your group provide constructive criticism and positive feedback on each writer’s story. You will leave the workshop with new writing friends and a long list of great ideas for revising your story.

Please note: The workshop is the one portion of the conference in which adults aren’t allowed to sit with their child. The workshop is a safe, fun writers-only space.