Longleaf Writers Conference – “Writers in the Classroom”
During the second week of May the Longleaf Writers Conference gathers in Walton County with a clear vision:
1. To bring the Gulf Coast a unique opportunity for writers of all backgrounds to meet and learn and grow alongside contemporary literary masters of genre and form.
2. To provide financial aid for emerging writers and veterans and under-represented writers and to be a springboard for their careers.
3. To develop and sustain the “Writers in the Classroom” outreach program sending fellows and scholars to Walton County schools in order to reveal the value of literature and writing.
4. To make this conference an exemplum of what a small conference should look like by creating a community of writers and poets without any sense of hierarchy or professional competition.
On May 13, 2021 seven fellows and scholars participated in the “Writers in the Classroom” outreach program. This year we had the privilege of working with South Walton High School, Freeport High School and Walton High School. Our fellows and scholars worked with each high school for over 90 minutes to develop an authentic writing work, ranging from poetry to prose. Each student group was given the opportunity to revise, re-draft and polish their original work with their fellow or scholar; culminating with the prospect of reading their work on the final day of the conference. This year three students read their original works on Sunday, at Seaside Assembly hall. Two students from Walton High School and one student from South Walton High School.
On May 14, 2021 three McBride scholarship students from the Colorado School of Mines, visited and spoke with students at the Magnet Innovation Center (MIC). The undergraduate students had an open forum to discuss topics ranging from the university admissions process for STEAM programs and time management within a rigorous college program such as organic chemistry, computer science and chemical engineering. Over 25 MIC students participated in the forum.
In 2013, Jonathan D’Avignon, principal at Walton In”10”sity School of Excellence, founded the Longleaf Writers Conference in collaboration with Dr. Seth Tucker, professor at Colorado School of Mines and Dr. Matt Bondurant, professor at University of Mississippi. Since 2013, the Longleaf Writers Conference has worked with over 1000 Walton County students. For more details please visit https://longleafwritersconference.com/