On March 17 and 18, 2016, over 900 gathered in the JFSB building on BYU campus to attend the enriching Annual Spring English Symposium. This symposium is an annual showcase put on by the English Department and the English Department. It allows students to present their academic and creative writing in a professional format. This year, some 106 students spoke in 38 themed panels, including the genres of literary criticism, research papers, and creative writing.
The conference also featured several speakers. The keynote speaker at the conference, Riley Lorimer, a former BYU English major who is now associate editorial manager of the Joseph Smith Papers, spoke about the importance of questions. ““The only hope we have of understanding one another or the poems, novels and short stories we study is to ask questions,” she said.
Six English students used the five-minute “pecha kucha” style to discuss how they gained English+ by applying their English skills in various ways that helped them develop professionally. Another 22 students competed to present whole papers in less than three minutes. The winners of this competition included Madeline Thatcher, McKay Jacobsen, Baylee Vasquez, Anna Gee, and Tanner Call.
The BYU English Department and BYU English Society were thrilled with the turnout and the participation of the students and attendees in this year’s symposium and can’t wait to see what students bring to the symposium next year.
—Jenny Rollins, president of the BYU English Society