Marianne D. McComb Biennial Conference on Creative Writing 2018: Nerd Lit

NERD LIT is the theme of the second Marianne D. McComb Biennial Conference on Creative Writing, to be held on March 2-3, 2018 

The conference will focus on those influential imaginative genres that are so dynamic, they come with their own exclamation points—Science Fiction! Fantasy! Horror! Superheroes! Cosplay! Fanfic! The two-day conference will offer students a variety of participatory workshops, presentations, and panels on pop literatures and pop culture, headlined by prolific and acclaimed writer BEN PERCY, author of the novels THE DARK NET and RED MOON and writer of DC Comics’ TEEN TITANS and GREEN ARROW. The conference is open to Miami students and (by application) to undergraduates and high school students from elsewhere. 

  • Nerd Lit PosterConference Schedule
  • Keynote–March 2nd, 6PM: Ben Percy will offer the keynote presentation, “Thrill Me.”
  • Plenary Panel–March 3rd: “Nerd Lit: Creativity, Community, and Culture” will explore the craft and cultural reach of these fantastic genres with Ben Percy, Tiffany Knoell (Department of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University), Aiesha Little (cosplayer and co-founder of the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance), and Geoffrey Girard (author of the speculative dark fiction novels Mary Rose and Truthers). A gallery will display works by our visitors and other artists. 

Attendee Info:

All conference events are open to the public and free of charge! Delivering a paper or presentation is NOT required. Attendees from Miami and elsewhere are encouraged to:

  • Take part in workshops on comics, speculative fiction, genre filmmaking, fanfic, and cosplay;
  • Go to seminars on nerd genres, subgenres, and fandoms;
  • Attend talks by famous pop lit & pop culture artists and scholars;
  • Request a one-on-one consultation on your creative writing with a Miami MFA graduate student (use the application form below). 

Submit a Paper/Presentation Proposal:

We're interested in papers or presentations on a variety of subjects across nerd lit genres, particularly as these intersect with creative writing, creative performance, and/or the creative process. Topic examples include:

  • The literary merits, techniques, or influence of popular titles or series such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc.
  • Storytelling techniques in serialized or episodic television shows such as Doctor Who, Westworld, Star Trek: Discovery, Game of Thrones, etc.
  • The connections between role-playing games such as D&D and creative writing;
  • An examination of current nerd cultures, communities, and controversies;
  • Cosplay as creative performance;
  • The rise and impact of the superhero film;
  • The blurring line between “literary” and “genre” divisions;
  • Any nerd-lit topic exploring the narrative or cultural value of a work from any medium (TV, books, film, video games, animation) that you’re passionate about and feel others might learn from. 

More Info:

Write to us at and RSVP to the Marianne D. McComb Conference Facebook event for updates/announcements or follow us on Twitter @MiamiOH_CW