2017 Youth Summit


Call for Proposals and Participants:

2017 Writing for Peace Online Youth Summit

Join young artists and writers, ages 18-30, your peers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, in conversation about the matters you care about in this online Youth Summit.

Online Summit Date: Saturday, October 7th

Submission Deadline: Sunday, October 1st

Topic: What I Would Say If I Knew They Were Listening, Conversations on Peace”

Fees: There is no fee for participation in this summit, with thanks to a generous grant from Longwood University in Virginia, United States of America.

Participation: In order to provide a safe environment for participants to express themselves, this event is closed to the public. Participants are invited guests, ages 18-30, and will be given the password for admittance to the Summit following the acceptance of their submissions.

In this online summit, 50 invited participants from schools and colleges in the US, Mexico (through Colectiva Poéticas), and Canada will have the opportunity to submit and present their creative work in the following areas: Creative Writing, Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, and Dance. Submissions will be accepted via Submittable in the following specific formats:

Form of Submission:

Photos: Please submit high-resolution images as JPGs or PNGs. Maximum file size is 5MB.

Creative Writing: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Genre X, in written (PDF, DOC, or DOCX) or video format (see below).

Videos: to submit videos, participants should upload videos to YouTube as a private video and send the unlisted link to SubmissionsForWFP@gmail.com. Please use your first name last name and the title of your film in the subject.

Participants work will appear on the closed summit website for the conference weekend, and then will remain only if the participant desires to include it in the post-summit open website.

Participants in the conference will have the opportunity to hear young people from their generation from around the world—talk about what it’s really like growing up globally, living in the midst of war, and becoming 21st century young activists. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in threaded and real time online discussions with their global peers on topics including the impact young artists can have on Women’s Issues, LGBTQ Issues, Sustainability and The Environment, Hunger, Education, Using the Arts for Social Change, and Using Social Media for Real Change.

Keynote Speakers include:

Nicole Marcelle Avila photo (2)Nicole Marcelle Avila is an immigration attorney based in South Florida. She is originally from Venezuela, but moved to the United States in 2000. Avila the founder of Avila Law PLLC in Weston, Florida. She focuses her practice on helping immigrant families fight for their rights and navigate the law, and especially for the victims of crimes, gang violence, femicide, and domestic violence.

Iris Fen GillinghamIris Fen Gillingham is a 17-year-old who was homeschooled on an off-grid farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Her family lives and teaches sustainability, growing and raising their own food. Iris raises Scottish Blackface and Shetland sheep and is a hand spinner. She is an artist and independent thinker with a deep interest in her Celtic heritage. She has grown up with the threat of the fracking boom coming to her home and the land she loves which led her to become a spokesperson for youth in her community. This brings her to press conferences, rallies, protests and meetings about environmental and social justice issues. She draws on her connection to the land and the warrior spirit of her ancestry to speak from her heart, leading workshops and plenaries on youth engagement, ageism and empowerment. Iris wrote as a journalist for the local town youth-led newspaper for three years and taught climate change awareness through the theatrical arts, touring with NACL Theater.  She is a member of the Earth Guardians RYSE Youth Council and serves as the Regional Youth Director for Earth Guardians New York. Iris is a voting member of her college senate and leads the Earth Guardians SUNY Sullivan crew there.

Alex Odom Photo (2)Alex Odom is a writer, art teacher, artist, CEO of Plume Snake Comics, and the owner-operator of Paint This Town, in Charleston, SC. He specializes in arts integration for diverse communities, including adults with disabilities, and has worked for arts non-profits all over the U.S. Odom is the author of over 50 creative publications in poetry, playwriting, fiction, non-fiction, and comic books.

Jonathan Page photo (2)Jonathan Page is the Director of Citizen Leadership and Social Justice Education at Longwood University in Virginia. He has been an educator for over 20 years in both secondary and higher education settings. Page has extensive training and experience in the areas of diversity, inclusion and social justice.


Writing for Peace is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating empathy through education and creative writing in order to develop a foundation of compassion on which to build a more peaceful world. Our goal is to inspire and guide young writers to refine their craft and to consider the many ways their writing focus can bring us closer to nonviolent conflict resolution, a society that values human rights, as well as environmental and economic sustainability.

Copyright © 2017 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.