Returning Poet Lottery


Dear Alumni Poets, 

Our great good luck through the years in supporting poets and poetry has led to a much-needed change in our returning poet lottery policy for returning poets. As you know, this Poetry program depends on its small size and the additions of new voices every year. In the past, poets were asked sit out one session before entering the lottery. And, if their name wasn’t selected in the lottery, admittance was guaranteed the following year. This policy worked out well for years and years, but is no longer sustainable. 

We need a new policy to preserve the size, spirit, and integrity of the program. If you would like to attend the workshops again, we are delighted and encourage you to do so, however we are instigating these new procedures:

  • Please wait out two sessions before reapplying.
  • There is no need to submit a writing sample.
  • If we have more folks than can be accommodated, we will resort to an actual name drawing, foregrounding each year those who were not admitted the previous year.

The important thing about the community is that it is a community. We know that the friendships that are begun in the program, and the workshops and reading groups formed out of these friendships, are a very important part of the ethos of the Community of Writers, so we hope we can make an every-third-year system work, and that you bear with us while we try it out. 

If you would like to enter the lottery for this coming summer, please complete the online Application Form, indicate you are a returnee and send in your deposit by the application deadline. The deposit goes toward the tuition and would reduce the amount due by that amount, if selected.

  • Online deposit payments are subject to a 3.25% service charge, and will be immediately deposited into our account. If you are not selected, your online payment will be refunded, including fees.
  • If you decided to mail in a check for your deposit, your check will only be deposited if you are selected; if you are not selected, your check will be shredded. Please sure the Nevada City address, above. Make check out to Community of Writers and put “Poet Lottery” on the memo line of the check.
  • If you are not selected, your payment will be refunded or your check will be shredded.

Thanks so much for your understanding and patience as we put these rules into practice. We hate to turn anyone away, but circumstances are forcing our hand.


Brenda Hillman                                                           Brett Hall Jones
Poetry Program Director                                         Executive Director

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