Early Winter Thoughts of Summer


This year, more than ever, we realize that what we do together each summer can never be repeated, that things will always change. It is those who attend — as teaching staff or as participants— who make each season uncommon.

We need your help this time of year, to help us balance our budget and be ready for the coming year.

We are an independent nonprofit. We have no college or other institution underwriting our operations or providing a venue. Despite our very low overhead, we remain vital and reliable, with a do-it-ourselves ethos that has served us well.

The Annual Fund underwrites essential parts of our operating budget, such as teaching staff honoraria, housing and travel; administrative staff, alumni services, advertising, website development and our tuition waiver program. This important fund helps us bridge the gap between what tuition covers and the actual expense of sending a participant to our summer workshops.

We continue to rely on you to make all this possible. Donations to our Annual Fund may come in all sizes. Large and small, all go to help ensure that others in need have the experience you had, the experience that we hope inspires you to give back, and perhaps has inspired you to return again.

Your contribution can help us continue the living, breathing legacy of this seasonal summer miracle that we work on yearlong.

Please donate to our Annual Fund today.


Alan Cheuse on the Community of Writers

This video of Alan Cheuse was taken by LitQuake’s Jack Boulware in his preparations for the Barbary Coast Award.  So wonderful to have this video, though we would rather we had Alan himself.

A Sonnet for LitQuake’s Barbary Coast Award

A Sonnet for LitQuake’s Barbary Coast Award
to the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley

by Al Young

Jim Houston, Oakley Hall and Alan Cheuse,
Gill Dennis – just the latest loves we’ve lost
up in this true community, win or lose.
Carolyn Doty, too, gave up the ghost.
She loved to sing “Lush Life” real late at night,
wee hours really; crazed, a Follies fan.
Her guitar-playing husband Gardner might
call Jim, who’d then call me, to test a tune
in winter, one we might consider for August.
Just writers, crazed, creative and ready
to spring back into action as much as just
plot or rhyme a way (slowed-down or breathy)
through anything! My well-tuned heart sings out
to all our stories – lyric or devout.

October 14, 2015

The Follies - 1991 With Louis B. Jones, Tom Rickman, Al Young & Jim Houston
The Follies – 1991
With Louis B. Jones, Tom Rickman, Al Young & Jim Houston
Al Young & Jim Houston at the Follies in 2007
Al Young & Jim Houston at the Follies in 2007

Images from the Barbary Coast Award & Tribute

Go Tell It on the Mountain:Litquake’s Barbary Coast Award tribute to the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley

Here are some images from the Litquake’s 2015 Barbary Coast Award tribute which took place in San Francisco on October 14th. It was a wonderful evening which honored the Community of Writers, its people and its history. The show featured Nayomi Munaweera (pictured,) Heather Altfeld, Anita Amirrezvani, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Troy Jollimore, David Perlman, Elizabeth Rosner, Amy Tan & Christopher Upham. The Emcee was Matthew Zapruder.

The band that evening was Los Train Wreck who were joined on stage by Ben Fong Torres, and later by Louis B. Jones, Nion McEvoy, Sands Hall, and Jason Roberts.

Many thanks to Jan Ganahl, Jack Boulware and Jen Siraganian at  LitQuake! And to those who appeared on stage that night on our behalf.

Event photos by Cynthia E. Wood (Courtesy of LitQuake)
Additional photos courtesy of Enmei Tan