Undergraduate student writers have participated in such writers' conferences as Bread Loaf, the New York State Writers Institute, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Vassar Stage & Screen Program.

The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference is one of America's most valuable literary institutions. For more than 75 years, the workshops, lectures, and classes, held in the shadow of the Green Mountains, have introduced generations of participants to rigorous practical and theoretical approaches to the craft of writing, and given America itself proven models of literary instruction. Bread Loaf is not a retreat--not a place to work in solitude. Instead it provides a stimulating community of diverse voices in which we test our own assumptions regarding literature and seek advice about our progress as writers.

The center for the literary arts in the state of New York, the New York State Writers Institute was founded in 1984 by novelist William Kennedy. Mandated by New York's governor and legislature to provide "a milieu for established and aspiring writers to work together. . .to increase the freedom of the artistic imagination," the Institute is the fruition of Kennedy's vision for a literary crossroads in Albany.

Today the Writers Institute is one of America's premiere sites for celebrating the art of the written word. Numerous and diverse programs meet the challenge of the original mandate by providing the broadest possible educational base for students of writing. It also provides access to some of our greatest living authors for serious readers of literature, enthusiastic audiences in excellent venues for visiting writers and important cultural initiatives for the general public. As it continues to grow, the Institute's central aim is to celebrate literature and to enhance the role of writers as a community within the larger community.

Every July, a group of more than 100 students of writing gathers on the idyllic mountaintop campus of the University of the South for the Sewanee Writers' Conference. During a whirlwind two-week period, these participants talk about the craft of writing with some of this country's finest novelists, poets, playwrights, and professionals in the publishing field.

In small group workshops, they discuss their work and the craft of writing as a profession. In one-on-one sessions with distinguished faculty members, students hone their manuscripts, benefiting from the experience of established writers who identify strengths and weaknesses and make suggestions for revisions. Throughout the day, Conference participants attend readings by faculty members, guest writers, scholars, and fellows.

© 2003 Stetson University English Department