SUMMER WRITING WORKSHOPS
For 45 summers, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley has brought together poets, prose writers, and screenwriters for separate weeks of workshops, individual conferences, lectures, panels, readings, and discussions of the craft and the business of writing. Our aim is to assist writers to improve their craft and thus, in an atmosphere of camraderie and mutual support, move them closer to achieving their goals. The Community of Writers holds its summer writing workshops in Squaw Valley in the ski lodge at the foot of the ski slopes. Panels, talks, staff readings and workshops take place in these venues with the spectacular view up the mountain.
The Community has a competitive admissions procedure and the level of writing is high, but interested writers , poets and screenwriters should not hesitate to apply.
2015 Summer Workshop Dates
& OTHER PROJECTS
• Published Alumni Reading Series
Each summer, recently published Writers Workshops alumni are invited to return to Squaw Valley to read from their books and talk about their journey from unpublished writers to published authors.
• Omnium Gatherum & Newsletter
Chronicling the publishing and other successes of its participants.
• Writers Workshop in a Book
An anthology of craft talks from the workshops edited by Alan Cheuse and Lisa Alvarez
• Annual Benefit Poetry Reading
An event to raise funds for the Poetry Workshop’s Scholarship Fund.
• Notable Alumni Webpage
A website devoted to a list of our notable alumni.
• Facebook Alumni Groups
Social media alumni groups keep the community and conversation going.
• Annual Poetry Anthology – The Squaw Review
Each year an anthology of poetry is published featuring poems first written during the Poetry Workshop in Squaw Valley.
The Community of Writers was established in 1969 by novelists Blair Fuller and Oakley Hall, who were both residents of the valley. It was originally staffed by a band of San Francisco writers including David Perlman, Walter Ballenger, Barnaby Conrad and John Leggett, the latter two of whom went on to found, respectively, the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and the Napa Valley Writers Conference. The Community of Writers continues to be directed by Brett Jones.
Over the years the community has mounted workshops in Fiction, Nonfiction, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Poetry, and Nature Writing (the Art of the Wild Program, which was co-produced by Jack Hicks and University of California at Davis), and Writing the Medical Experience directed by David Watts. Lisa Alvarez and Louis B. Jones now co-direct the Fiction Program and Michael Carlisle directs the nonfiction Program of the Writers Workshop, which were for twenty years directed by Carolyn Doty. Galway Kinnell directed the Poetry Program for 17 years and Robert Hass has directed it since 2004. Diana Fuller directs the Screenwriters Workshop, which was founded by screenwriters Tom Rickman and Gill Dennis.
Squaw Valley, located in the California Sierra Nevada, close to the north shore of Lake Tahoe, is a ski resort, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Summers are warm and sunny; participants will have opportunities to hike to the local waterfalls, take nature walks up the mountain, swim in Lake Tahoe, and play tennis, ice skate, or bike along the Truckee River. The Community of Writers is grateful to the Squaw Valley Ski Resort, which for all of our 44 years has provided us our conference facilities at subsidized rates. Many of our events take place in the Olympic House, the lodge at the foot of the ski area, and the Olympic Village Lodge, just a short walk from there.
Squaw Valley is a four-hour drive from the Bay Area, and a one-hour drive from the Reno/Lake Tahoe Airport. About half of our participants bring cars, the other half carpool or arrive by flying into the Reno Airport. For more information about housing and travel visit our logistics page.
2015 Summer Workshop Dates
Make sure your submission/application arrives before the April 2 deadline; all submissions will be read and evaluated before any admissions decisions are made
Financial aid is available for each of our writing workshops. Requests for financial aid must be made in your application. Please indicate the minimum amount of financial aid you would need to get, in order to attend. Financial aid decisions are made after admission decisions. If an applicant is accepted, but we don’t have enough aid for him or her, we will still issue an invitation in the hopes that other means of support may be able to be found by the applicant to attend. Likewise, if an applicant has indicated that she needs a certain amount of aid, but we can’t provide the full amount, we will grant out what we can.
The Community of Writers presents readings, panel discussions and craft talks to the participants and staff of the workshops. As a service to our community, we offer most of these literary events to the members of the public, free of charge. In July, a Schedule of Events will be posted on this site and can be downloaded in PDF form. If you plan to join us at these events, please consider making a donation to help support this valuable program. Visit the Public Events page.
If you would like would like to be notified of upcoming public events in Squaw Valley, please join our mailing list.
The Community of Writers Workshops are made possible with grants from Hachette Book Group, the Foundation for Art & Healing, the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, the Lojo Foundation, Random House, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, CSU-Fresno, St. Mary's College in Moraga, as well as individual contributions from our friends, former participants, and faculty.
The Community is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax-deductable. Tax ID: 23-7179177
For more information, contact Brett Hall, Executive Director, at (530) 470-8440.