Summer Writers Institute to be held June 16-27

Area writers looking to explore techniques in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction while advancing their writing can join some of St. Louis’ best writers for a two-week intensive creative writing experience.

Washington University’s Summer Writers Institute June 16-27 brings together instructors and participants for workshops focused on developing writing skills. Tuition for the two-week program is $650. The Summer Writers Institute is a program of University College in Arts & Sciences.

Workshops will be held weekdays from 9:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. The teachers — John Dalton in fiction, Ruth Ellen Kocher in poetry and Rockwell Gray in creative nonfiction — will provide both instruction in the genre and constructive criticism of participants’ work.

During the first week of the program, groups will discuss writing submitted in portfolios. The second week’s discussions will center on new writing produced in response to exercises and assignments.

Students will also attend a variety of afternoon sessions including faculty readings, craft talks and panel discussions.

Guest faculty for the institute includes fiction writers Mary Troy and Michael Kahn, poets Mary Jo Bang, Devin Johnston, and Judy Jordan, and translator Philip Boehm. There will be an editorial panel with Jeff Fister of Virginia Publishing and Greg Michalson of BlueHen Books, as well as a panel of magazine editors. Fiction writer Denise Bogard will lead a pedagogy seminar for writers who are also teachers, and the institute will end with an open mic reading by the participants.

Response from past participants has been tremendous.

“It challenged me and led to many ideas for new work,” said Peggy Haphe Lewis, a 2002 institute participant. “I feel confident, and have a better sense of what I need to do to become a better writer. I also learned what a really tough job it is to write well, and am enthused about continuing work on my book,” said Gerry Mandel, another past participant.

Students may arrange to earn three units of undergraduate or graduate academic credit, which requires tuition of $1,300.

All applicants to the institute must include a writing sample of up to 25 pages of prose or 10 poems, and a $15 nonrefundable fee.

For more information and an application, call (314) 935-6759 or visit