National Undergraduate Literature Conference (NULC) 2021


Featuring Award-Winning Author

Dr. Clint Smith III

Dr. Clint Smith III is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He has previously received fellowships from New America, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation.

Previously, Clint taught high school English in Prince George's County, Maryland where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He currently teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility.

Clint is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and a 2017 recipient of the Jerome J.  Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review. He was named the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list as well as Ebony Magazine's 2017 Power 100 list. His two TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America, collectively have been viewed more than 7 million times. 

His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, was published by Writ Bloody Publishing in 2016. It won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award, and was selected as the 2017 "one Book One New Orleans' book selection. Clint's debut nonfiction book, How the Word is Passed, explores how different sites across the country reckon with, or fail to reckon with, their relationship to the history of slavery. It will be published by Little, Brown in 2021.

Clint received his B.A. in English from Davidson College and his Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University. Born and raised in New Orleans, he currently lives in Maryland with his wife and their two children. 

Pre-order his book How the Word is Passed today by going to

Read his Essays & Articles by going to

To buy his book Counting Descent, go to


NULC 2021

The 2021 National Undergraduate Literature Conference is scheduled to be held virtually at 6 pm MDT on March 25, 2021. Our keynote address will be given by Dr. Clint Smith III, who will discuss both his collection of poetry and forthcoming book of narrative nonfiction.  He will speak on how powerful the nature of a single narrative, added to a collective narrative, helps address issues facing liberal arts students. Through their courage and ability to share their own narrative, individuals can achieve greater understanding, empathy, and humanity. Q&A to follow.

This year's conference is free and open to the public.

Register in advance for this conference:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the conference.

We hope that circumstances will allow all of you to join us at next year’s conference, where we will welcome our three authors, Tobias Wolff, Ayana Mathis and Clint Smith, who have graciously agreed to reschedule.


Agenda of Events

9:00 a.m. // Weber State University Creative Writing Faculty Reading
NULC Opening Event


10:00 a.m. // Break Out Sessions - Choose One
Design a Game in One Hour or Less - or - List Poems and Odes: A Poetry Workshop


11:00 a.m. // Break Out Sessions - Choose One
How to Make Awesome Art from ANY Idea - or - Performing the Prose Poem


12:00 p.m. // Open Mic


12:30 p.m. // Metaphor Editors' Conference
This portion of the conference is open to Weber State students and current high school students only.
If you are a high school teacher and would like to include your students in this portion of the conference, please contact Ryan Ridge at If you are a high school student and would like to attend this portion of the conference, please talk to your teacher to request access.


6:00 p.m. // Dr. Clint Smith III
Keynote Speaker



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Submission Deadlines

Registration Deadlines

No student submissions will be accepted this year.

NULC 2021 is free and open to the public. No registration necessary.


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The WSU National Undergraduate Literature Conference is sponsored by generous support from:

  • J&J Ferree Foundation
  • John E. Lindquist
  • Kathryn Lindquist
  • Suzanne M. Lindquist
  • WSU Office of the President
  • WSU Office of Diversity
  • WSU Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities
  • WSU Office of the Provost
  • WSU English Department
  • Dean W. and Carol W. Hurst Artist-in-Residence Endowment
  • Suzanne M. Lindquist & John E. Lindquist National Undergraduate Literature Conference Endowment*
  • The National Undergraduate Literature Conference Endowment*
  • *Endowments established in honor of Mikel Vause, Carl Porter and John A. and Telitha E. Lindquist
  • Nebeker Family Foundation
  • MSL Family Foundation
  • Elliot Hulet