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16th annual Literature &… Conference brings community together to recognize importance of literature

Photo credit: Shae Killam
Kaitlyn Lavichant from Flintridge Preparatory School shares her piece, “Life Through a Digital Camera,” at the annual Literature &… Conference Friday, March 8. The conference took place in the library from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and upper school students were invited to attend during their free periods or English classes throughout the day.

At the 16th Literature &… Conference Friday, March 8, high school students, teachers and families from across Los Angeles gathered in the library to share their diverse perspectives and experiences centered around literature.

The annual Literature &… Conference celebrates student writers and literature as a whole. The event was divided into five panels: “Author[ity],” “Lenses on Language and Lit,” “Into This World,” “Mind Readers” and “Girlhood.” Members of the Lit &… Leadership Team moderated each section and a Q&A with the presenters, where many gave insight into their writing process and how they chose their topics.

The conference ran from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and upper school students were invited to attend during their free periods or as part of their English class. Twenty students, including six from Archer, presented at the event, with between three and five on each panel. The works presented ranged from personal narratives to comparative analyses to creative writing.

Lit &… Lead Student Coordinator Nita Kelly (’24) discussed her experience being a presenter in the past and taking on a leadership role this year.

“I began participating in Lit &… as a presenter, which was a very different experience compared to the organizing role I have now. I would say both times it was so special, but for different reasons,” Kelly said. “Lit &… is this conference that’s been going on for more than a decade, closer to two decades now, and so I already entered into it feeling like there’s this huge history behind it … I felt so honored to be a part of something that’s so special to so many people.” 

A Lit &… program features students from across L.A. The conference showcased 20 presenters, and they reflected on the importance of literature through their own work. (Photo credit: Shae Killam)

“Into This World” presenter Lucy Row from The Buckley School presented a piece titled “Exlit and Loss,” in which she reflected on the way loss has impacted her life, specifically living in different countries and attending many different schools.

“When faced with concepts difficult to handle, I’ve told myself to focus on what I have,” Row said. “When faced with loss instead of looking at the many things I have lost, I’d rather focus on what I don’t want to lose.” 

“Author[ity]” presenter Guinevere Hesse (’24) shared her piece about “The Truman Show” and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and how these works relate to art and authenticity.

“I feel amazing. I’m so proud of my work and the fact that I was able to share my work with the Archer community and people outside of the Archer community,” Hesse said. “I absolutely loved being able to share something that I’ve dedicated months of my life into, and I feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished.”

In a Q&A session after the third round presentations, one audience member asked the presenters how culture plays a part in their lives, since many of the presentations were influenced by different cultures and upbringings. Row discussed her experience with her culture and the importance of sharing your story with the world.

“You can push away a culture. You can say, ‘I don’t want to do that,’ or ‘I don’t want to involve yourself in that,’” Row said. “But then you lose such a valuable part of yourself and such a valued part of a community … It all comes down to putting yourself into a story and allowing other people to put themselves into your story, into your culture and what you’re trying to understand and communicate as well.”

Additional reporting completed by staff reporter Vivianne Arnold (’26).

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About the Contributor
Shae Killam, Staff Reporter

Shaelyn Killam started writing for the Oracle in 2023. She enjoys baking, cooking, writing, and playing with her cat Zevi.

Comments (2)

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  • B

    Brian WogensenApr 8, 2024 at 8:15 am

    Thank you, Shae, for covering this so well!

  • K

    KylieMar 23, 2024 at 3:51 pm

    I love all the photos you took! Amazing job!!!