Summer Writing Workshops in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Memoir
July 6-13, 2020
As you may imagine, we are following the news about COVID-19 closely, as we look at our options in regards to possibly cancelling this summer’s writing workshops. The news on the Coronavirus changes hourly, and we are adjusting our expectations accordingly.
The health and safety of our participants, alums, teaching staff, and the wider community is paramount.
If you are hoping to attend this summer, we encourage you apply. If events in 2020 related to the pandemic constrain us from producing the Community of Writers Summer Workshops, your application fee will be refunded in full.
We will keep everybody informed of any new developments or decisions that affect our plans, through email, our website, and social media.
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
- Open Workshop led by Sands Hall
- Special Adaptation class led by Patricia K. Meyer
- Admissions are based on the merit of submitted manuscripts alone
- Financial Aid available
- 120 writers attend
Tuition is $1,400, which includes six 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.
Application Deadline: March 28, 2020
The Application Form link is at the bottom of the page. Please make sure to read all the information here before applying.
We make no admissions decisions before all the submissions have been read and evaluated.
Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work. View as List
Writers Workshops Teaching Staff
Fiction & Nonfiction Authors
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Literary Agents & Editors
Click on the portraits to learn about these editors and literary agents and their work. View as List
Morning workshops meet daily from 8:30-11:30 starting on Monday. 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.
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.
The Alchemy of Adaptation: From Book to Screen
A special lunch-time class led by Patricia K. Meyer
The majority of films and television series are based on source material, particularly books. Adapting a book for the screen requires a comprehensive understanding of screenplay structure and character development, among other visual storytelling elements.
A special afternoon workshop 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.
Nature 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.
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.
2020 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
Alumni who have been part of this reading series include Anita Amirrezvani, Eddy Ancinas, Michael Andreason, Ramona Ausubel, David Bajo, Aimee Bender, Mauro Cardenas, Jade Chang, David Corbett, Charmaine Craig, Frances Dinkelspiel, Heather Donahue, Laurie Ann Doyle, Cai Emmons, Alex Espinoza, Carole Firstman, Joshua Ferris, Amy Franklin-Willis, Jamie Ford, Vicki Forman, Alison Singh Gee, Tanya Egan Gibson, Alan Grostephan, Glen David Gold, Jimin Han, Judith Hendricks, Susan Henderson, Sara J. Henry, Vanessa Hua, Rhoda Huffey, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Alma Katsu, Stephanie Kegan, Mary Kuryla, 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, Brian Rogers, Elizabeth Rosner, Adrienne Sharp, Alice Sebold, Julia Flynn Siler, Jordan Fisher Smith, Scott Sparling, Ellen Sussman, Kimball Taylor, 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
|POETRY WORKSHOP||WRITERS WORKSHOPS|
|Program Dates||June 20 - 27, 2020||July 6-13, 2020|
|Deadline to Apply||March 28, 2020|
(before midnight PST)
|March 28, 2020
(before midnight PST)
|Acceptance Notification||On or before May 1, 2020||On or before May 10, 2020|
|Deposit - Nonrefundable||A deposit of $800 will be due upon acceptance. (Awards of financial aid may reduce this amount.)||A deposit of $800 will be due upon acceptance. (Awards of financial aid may reduce this amount.)|
|Deposit Deadline||May 10, 2020||May 20, 2020|
|Housing||Not included in tuition. See Housing & Meals.||Not included in tuition. See Housing & Meals.|
|Housing & Tuition Balance||Due on or before June 10, 2020||Due on or before June 20, 2020|
|Registration/First Day of Conference||Saturday, June 22, 2020||Monday, July 8, 2020|
Make sure to read all information before applying
|Poetry Website||Writers Workshops Website|
|Returnees||Returning Poetry Lottery Information & Application||-Fiction Participants may attend 2 out of 3 years.
-Nonfiction Participants must take two sessions off before reapplying.
|Financial Aid & Scholarships||View Financial Aid Information||View Financial Aid Information|
|Application Form||Apply Now (Poetry)||Writers Workshops Application Form|
- Deadline for receipt of application/submission: before midnight PST, March 28, 2020.
- Past Writers Workshop participants:
—Fiction Participants: If you attended in 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.)
- 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), and indicate what you are submitting (novel chapter(s), story or stories, essay or essays, memoir chapter(s), nonfiction book chapter(s), etc.)
- 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 (Word.doc or PDF) of your submission ms. to the online application form. Digital files will be deleted after workshops.
- 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.
- Pay online with a credit card
- Or pay with a check 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, 2020.