You just finished putting your all into a paper. Looking at it, you actually feel proud of what you have just written. If this is you and you want to share your writings with others, the Southern Appalachian Student Conference on Literature is here to help.

The Southern Appalachian Student Conference on Literature (SASCOL) was started in 2007 by Dr. Katherine Weiss and Dr. Thomas Alan Holmes. The conference was created to give undergraduate and graduate students experience with an academic conference in a supportive environment. The conference consists of students reading their own writings to a panel.

According to Dr. Joshua Reid, an English professor at ETSU, the conference can be beneficial for students professionally.

“It is a wonderful professional development opportunity and it looks great on a resume,” said Reid. “Potential employers like to see that students have public speaking experience, and conference experience looks great on a graduate school application.”

SASCOL took place from 2007-2010 under Dr. Weiss’s and Dr. Holmes’s leadership, and then Dr. Holmes and Dr. Reid brought the conference back in 2015. It has taken place in April every year since. New panels will be arriving this year.

According to Dr. Robert Sawyer, an author and professor at the university, one of these new panels includes literary criticism. This literary criticism panel will include readings of famous poems like Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Choosing from some of his students in his class, as well as being approached by some, Sawyer encourages writers to apply.

At the conference, in addition to students reading their papers, there is also a keynote speaker. This year’s speaker will be Dr. Erin Kingsley from King University, who is giving a paper titled “Bodies in Excess: A (Re)Consideration of Gestational Modernism.”

An award will also be given at the event known as the Essay Achievement Award. Jesse Graves, a professor at ETSU, was a winner of this award back in 2007.

Erin Kingsley, Assistant Professor at King University
(Photograph contributed / ETSU)

According to Reid, there was a record number of 49 attendees last year of undergraduate and graduate students from ETSU, UNC-Asheville, King University, Milligan College, Western Carolina University and Appalachian State University.

The conference, which is free, will be taking place on April 14. Students can submit their 6-8 page double spaced paper, as well as an 150-200 word abstract, to Holmes or Reid from the English department for consideration. The deadline is March 2.

More information about SASCOL can be found at, or by contacting Dr. Reid at and Dr. Holmes at