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Lamppost Literary Conference: Reading and Teaching the Great Books

2023 Theme: Educating for Liberty

Literature teachers, home school educators, administrators of classical and Christian schools, high school students, and all readers of great books are invited to join us Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, from 8 a.m.–7 p.m. for the third Lamppost Literary Conference, to be held in the Geiger Center at OBU. Featured speakers will include Jeremy Tate, Dr. Wilfred McClay, and Katy Bowser Hutson. The conference will also feature engaging breakout sessions for educators and readers, and our College Readiness Student Track for high school students. Registration is free for students and sponsors of student groups.

Register Online Zoom-only Registration

Want to share details about the conference or the writing competition with your group?

Lamppost Flier Lampost Writing Awards Guidelines

Student Writing Competiton

For the first time, this year we will also hold a Lamppost Literary Conference student writing competition, and the opportunity to compete for the Dr. Katherine Rader Scholarship, an award of $1300. Lamppost Writing Awards in the amounts of $100 and $50 will be given to high school students for the top essay, fiction, and poetry submissions, and two educators who support student submissions will be recognized with $150 Lamppost Educator Grants.

Eligibility, Instructions and Submission Form



Jeremy Tate

Jeremy Tate is the founder and CEO of the Classic Learning Test. Jeremy is also the host of the Anchored Podcast, CLT’s top 2% global podcast that features discussions at the intersection of education and culture. Prior to founding CLT, Jeremy served as Director of College Counseling at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, Maryland. He received his Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in Religious Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. Jeremy and his wife, Erin, reside in Annapolis, Maryland, with their six children. You can find Jeremy on Twitter @JeremyTate41.

Wilfred M. McClay

Wilfred M. McClay holds the Victor Davis Hanson Chair in Classical History and Western Civilization at Hillsdale College. Before coming to Hillsdale in the fall of 2021, he was the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, and the Director of the Center for the History of Liberty. His book, "The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America," received the 1995 Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history. Among his other books is "The Student’s Guide to U.S. History," "Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America," "Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past," "Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Public Life in Modern America," and "Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story." He served for eleven years on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is currently is a member of the U.S. Commission on the Semiquincentennial, which has been charged with planning the celebration of the nation’s 250th birthday in 2026. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Academy of Education, and served as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in American History at the University of Rome. He is a graduate of St. John’s College (Annapolis) and received his Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University.

Katy Bowser Hutson

Katy Bowser Hutson is a writer and songwriter. She is the author of "Little Prayers for Ordinary Days" along with Tish Harrison Warren and Flo Paris Oakes, as well as a poetry collection, "Now I Lay Me Down to Fight," chronicling her season with cancer (InterVarsity Press). She has essays exploring children’s spirituality and creativity in "It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God" and "Wild Things and Castles in the Sky" (Square Halo Books). She is a founding member of Rain for Roots, a music collective that makes scripture songs for children and adults, as well as Indelible Grace, a project that puts old hymns to new music. She is also a co-creator of kid’s jazz band Coal Train Railroad. Her current subject of exploration is playfulness. Katy lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her musical husband Kenny and their two delightful wild things, Story (12) and Del (9).

Conference Schedule