Writers Workshops

2018 Dates: July 8 – 15

The rest of this page contains details from our 2017 workshops. Please return to this page in January for updated 2018 details and deadlines.

July 9 – 15, 2017

Writers Workshops in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Memoir

These workshops assist serious writers by exploring the art and craft as well as the business of writing. The week offers daily morning workshops, craft lectures, panel discussions on editing and publishing, staff readings, and brief individual conferences. The morning workshops are led by staff writer-teachers, editors, or agents. There are separate morning workshops for Fiction and Narrative Nonfiction/Memoir. In addition to their workshop manuscripts, participants may have a second manuscript read by a staff member who meets with them in individual conferences. Nonfiction or memoir submissions should be in a narrative form. Travel, self-help, how-to, or scholarly works will not be considered.

  • Participants’ manuscripts are critiqued in daily morning workshops
  • Afternoon & evening craft talks, panels on craft, staff readings, panel discussions on editing & publishing
  • Individual one-on-one conferences
  • Readings by prominent staff writers and special guests
  • Special afternoon Prose-to-Film Adaptation Class led by Christopher Monger
  • Open Workshop led by Sands Hall
  • Admissions are based on the merit of submitted manuscripts alone
  • Financial Aid available
  • 110 writers attend

Tuition is $1,100, which includes five evening meals. Please Note: Tuition does not include housing costs. Housing and Meals. See Fees & Deadlines, below. Financial aid is available. Admissions are based on submitted manuscripts.

Deadline: March 28, 2017

We make no admissions decisions before all the submissions have been read and evaluated. The Application Form link is at the bottom of the page. Please make sure to read all the information here before applying.

Writers Workshops Teaching Staff

Fiction & Nonfiction Authors

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  Or View as List
  • Lisa Alvarez
  • Natalie Baszile
  • Belle Boggs
  • Mark Childress
  • John Daniel
  • Alex Espinoza
  • Janet Fitch
  • Lynn Freed
  • Sands Hall
    Sands Hall
  • Paul Harding
  • Rachel Howard
  • Michael Jaime-Becerra
  • Louis B. Jones
  • Dylan Landis
  • Krys Lee
  • Tom Lutz
  • Christopher Monger
  • Martin J. Smith
  • Gregory Spatz
  • Andrew Tonkovich
  • Josh Weil
  • Al Young
    Al Young

Literary Agents & Editors

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  • Miriam Altshuler
  • Michael V. Carlisle
  • Ann Close
  • Ben George
  • Susan Golomb
  • Tom Lutz
  • Celina Spiegel
  • Peter Steinberg
  • Oscar Villalon

Special Guests

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  • Michelle Latiolais
  • Michael Lavigne
  • Frances Stroh
  • Amy Tan

Daily Schedule

Morning workshops meet daily from 9-12. Each workshop consists of roughly 10 participants and has a different workshop leader each day. In each session, the group discusses two, sometimes three, participant manuscripts. During the course of the week, one manuscript by each participant is critiqued. Participants are asked to arrive with copies of the manuscript they would like treated in workshop. Our directors will assign each participant to the most appropriate staff workshop leader.

Afternoon and evening schedules are quite full, with optional lectures, panel discussions, staff readings, and other presentations. Participants need to set aside time for the reading and evaluation of workshop manuscripts.

Individual Conferences

Each participant is assigned a brief one-on-one conference with a staff member appropriate to his or her manuscript. These conferences are scheduled at the mutual convenience of the participant and the assigned staff member and usually run no longer than twenty minutes. In most cases, the manuscript to be discussed will be the one submitted with the application.

Other Opportunities:

Adaptation Class
A special afternoon class, led by Christopher Monger


Writer/Director CHRISTOPHER MONGER will teach the special Adaptation Class this summer on Film and TV Adaptation, (five 90-minute afternoon sessions). The class will be a practical approach to adapting a novel into a screenplay or miniseries. There will be an overview of the fundamentals of screenwriting as well as an analysis of the specific skills for a successful adaptation. We will explore the crucial differences between the mediums, their respective strengths and weaknesses, and examine a handful of adaptations, comparing and contrasting the films with the original material. This class is only open to those enrolled in the Writers Workshops.  Indicate your interest in the application form.  $250 fee.

Christopher Monger is a writer/director in film and television who has directed eight feature films and written over thirty screenplays. He was born in Wales but has lived in Los Angeles since the mid 80’s. He is best known for his film The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down a Mountain and his screenplay for the Emmy Award-winning HBO film, Temple Grandin, which was also nominated for an Academy Award. For writing and directing, his many awards include, the Christopher Award for the film Seeing Red and the Hollywood Film Festival Award for the Girl From Rio. Currently, here is writing a miniseries for HBO and a feature film for Amazon Films.

Open WorkshopSands Hall
A special afternoon workshops led by Sands Hall

Several afternoons during the week, Sands Hall leads the Open Workshop, which provides another opportunity for participants to share their writing with their conference peers. Work is read aloud and discussed in a spontaneous and productive format. No additional fee.



naturalist will richardsonNature Walk led by resident naturalist Will Richardson

Naturalist WILL RICHARDSON will lead an informative hike up Shirley Canyon on Friday afternoon. This is an opportunity to learn from a professional naturalist about the biology of this valley. This hike is suitable for almost all fitness levels and is free of charge.

Will Richardson has been birding and conducting field research in the Sierra Nevada since 1994, including several seasons working for PRBO Conservation Science in the Mono Basin and elsewhere in the Eastern Sierra. Richardson received his PhD in Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, studying bird communities in Sierra Nevada aspen habitats. He resides in Truckee and now focuses most of his attention on the natural history of the Lake Tahoe region. He is currently authoring a status and distribution guide for the birds of the Lake Tahoe basin, and is co-founder and Co-Executive Director of a fledgling research, education, and outreach organization: the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science.

Published Alumni Reading Series

Each summer, recently published alumni are invited to return to Squaw Valley to read from their books and talk about their journey from unpublished writers to published authors.

2017 Alumni Readers

The Community of Writers is delighted to celebrate the success of these writers and to present them to the participants, staff, and the public.

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  View as a List

  • Mauro Javier Cardenas
  • 2017_chang
    Jade Chang
  • Carole Firstman
  • Vanessa Hua
  • Kimball Taylor

Alumni who have been part of this reading series include Anita Amirrezvani, Eddy Ancinas, Ramona Ausubel, David Bajo, Aimee Bender, David Corbett, Charmaine Craig, Frances Dinkelspiel, Heather Donahue, Cai Emmons, Alex Espinoza, Joshua Ferris, Amy Franklin-Willis, Jamie Ford, Vicki Forman, Alison Singh Gee, Tanya Egan Gibson, Alan Grostephan, Glen David Gold, Judith Hendricks, Susan Henderson, Sara J. Henry, Rhoda Huffey, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Alma Katsu, Stephanie Kegan, Krys Lee, Paulette Livers, Regina Louise, Michael David Lukas, Peyton Marshall, Marisa Matarazzo, Mark Maynard, Christina Meldrum, Nayomi Munaweera, Janis Cooke Newman, Jessica O’Dwyer, Aline Ohanesian, Marian Palaia, Victoria Patterson, Ismet Prcic, Frederick Reiken, Andrew Roe, Robin Romm, Elizabeth Rosner, Adrienne Sharp, Alice Sebold, Julia Flynn Siler, Jordan Fisher Smith, Scott Sparling, Ellen Sussman, Lisa Tucker,  Juan Alvarado Valdivia, Brenda Rickman Vantrease, Mary Volmer, Dora Calott Wang, M.D., Heather Young, Andrew Winer, Alia Yunis, and Désirée Zamorano among others.

Fees & Deadlines

Program DatesJuly 9 - 15, 2017
Deadline to ApplyMarch 28, 2017
(before midnight PST)
Application Fee$40
Acceptance NotificationOn or before May 10, 2017
Deposit (Nonrefundable)A deposit of $700 will be due upon acceptance.
Deposit DeadlineJune 1, 2017
HousingNot included in tuition. See Housing & Meals.
Housing & Tuition BalanceDue on or before June 25, 2017
Registration/First Day of ConferenceJuly 9, 2017
Program Website
Make sure to read all information before applying
Writers Workshops Website
Returnees-Fiction Participants may attend 2 out of 3 years.

-Nonfiction Participants must take two sessions off before reapplying.

Application GuidelinesPrint Writers Workshop Applications Guidelines
Financial Aid & ScholarshipsView Financial Aid Information
Application Form(Writers Workshops)

Application Guidelines

  • Past Writers Workshop participants:
    —Fiction Participants: If you attended the last two years do not apply this year. (i.e. attendance is allowed 2 out of every 3 years.)
    —Nonfiction Participants:  If you attended last year please do not apply this year. (i.e. attendance is allowed after you have taken 2 years off.
  • Deadline for receipt of application/submission: before midnight, March 28, 2017 PST
  • Applicants, including past participants, should submit a sample of their best, unpublished prose.
  • Writing sample submission ms. may consist of a story (or stories), essay(s) or chapter(s). Book chapters must include a one-page synopsis of the whole book. (Add to the end of ms.) 
  • If you have previously applied to our workshop, please do not apply or bring for consideration the exact same material. You may use previously submitted material that has been revised.
  • Please do not submit previously published material (print or online). However, it is acceptable to send work currently under submission.
  • Submission ms. must be typed, double-spaced and 12 pt. On the first page of the manuscript, applicants must provide the following:
    • Top left side of page: Indicate application program (Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir)
    • Top center of page: Word count for submitted manuscript. Submission ms. (excluding synopsis) must be less than 5,000 words.
    • Top right side of page: Your name in the upper right-hand corner of each page. (Please use your actual name, not the name you write under.)
  • Attach a digital file (PDF or Word.doc) of your submission ms. to the online application form. Digital files will be deleted after workshops.
  • Request participation in the Special Adaptation Class in the online application form, if desired.
  • If applying in more than one category, please send separate applications and submissions, including application fees.
  • Those who require financial aid to attend should request it in the application form. Please see our Financial Aid page for more information.
  • A $40 reading fee will be due with submission, payable by check or online with a credit card. Checks payable to Community of Writers.

    Mail to: Community of Writers – WW
    PO Box 1416
    Nevada City, CA 95959

  • Once you complete the online form, you will receive an email confirmation.
  • Notification of acceptance by May 10.