Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature (NUCL)

This year's conference will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

Submission deadline: Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

The Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature invites students to share their literary research and creative writing with a community of their peers. Professor emeritus Herman Asarnow founded the conference in 2004 in response to a question from his daughter—"why are there so many science fairs but no literature fairs?" The conference has thrived at the University of Portland ever since, and has grown into the largest gathering of its kind in the region.   



  • NUCL is open to college and university students and honors or advanced-placement high school students.
  • Conference sessions include 3-4 papers, plus student respondents facilitating discussion.
  • NUCL invites 15-18 minute papers embodying your own, fresh response to an English or foreign language literary text or texts. (We will not accept papers longer than 10 pages in length. Papers must be written in English. Consult "Submission Information" for more details.)
  • We welcome students to submit papers as part of pre-formed panels; email for more information on how to do this.
  • While the primary emphasis of NUCL is on critical/scholarly writing, NUCL also invites student poets and essayists to submit 1 essay, or 5-7 poems. Those chosen will read their work in a few sessions reserved for original poetry and personal essays.
  • Prizes are given for best critical paper, best creative submission, best high-school paper, and the "Brass NUCL Award" for the hardest-hitting paper.

Questions? Contact the conference organizers at

NUCL is sponsored by the Department of English, the Provost's Office, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Dean of Admissions.

"To talk in public, to think in solitude, to read and to hear, to inquire, and to answer inquiries, is the business of a scholar." — Samuel Johnson, Chapter VIII, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia