Writers to Cultivate Their Craft Under Top Faculty at Aspen Summer Words 2014

January 6, 2014

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jamie Kravitz
Program Manager
Aspen Writers’ Foundation
970-925-3122, ext. 2#


Billy Collins, Andre Dubus III, and Meg Wolitzer to headline The Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s 38th Annual Writing Retreat & Literary Festival 

Aspen, CO, January 6, 2014– The Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF) is pleased to announce the lineup for its the 38th annual Aspen Summer Words Writing Retreat and Literary Festival. This coming June in Aspen, AWF will host a faculty of celebrated writers and some of the brightest lights from the publishing industry. Aspen Summer Words will take place at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, CO. Tuition to a 5-Day Workshop begins at $450 for young writers and runs to $1,375 for an intensive manuscript evaluation. For more details and to register, visit www.aspenwriters.org.

From June 13 to 18, aspiring writers will develop their craft in daily workshops taught by literary luminaries such as US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and New York Times bestselling authors Andre Dubus III and Meg Wolitzer. The workshops will cover a range of topics, from Julia Glass’s course on acing the proverbial hook, to Bernard Cooper’s workshop on transforming personal experiences into memoir. Taught by a faculty as highly regarded for their writing as for their teaching, other instructors include Melissa Bank, Meghan Daum, Kathleen Anderson, and Mary Beth Keane.

“Our staff and faculty are deeply committed to nurturing emerging writers by offering theoretical approaches to the craft of writing, rigorous feedback and editorial suggestions, as well as practical advice on breaking into the publishing world,” said AWF Creative Director Adrienne Brodeur. 

“Aspen Summer Words is the Sundance Film Festival of literary publishing, a place outside of Manhattan’s dusty boardrooms for books to germinate and grow,” said 2013 Summer Words faculty member and author of Contents May Have Shifted, Pam Houston.

This unique writing retreat will feature workshops in novel editing, fiction, poetry, and memoir, as well as a Young Writers course and a Readers’ Retreat. The award-winning faculty will be featured in evening public events, from author readings and behind-the-book panel discussions to live music and social gatherings. The AWF will hold its annual Summer Benefit on June 16 at the Hotel Jerome and will feature a presentation by former Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. The week will give writers and booklovers alike the rare opportunity for intimate dialogue with authors, behind-the-scenes glimpses into the publishing industry, and lively interaction between participants.


Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins has published ten collections of poems, the last three of which have broken sales records for poetry. He is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.

Melissa Bank is the author of the best-selling story collections The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing and The Wonder Spot. She received the Nelson Algren Award for short fiction from the Chicago Tribune and she teaches in the M.F.A. program at Stony Brook Southampton.

Bernard Cooper has written three memoirs, a novel, and a short story collection. A recipient of the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award, Cooper is the 2014 Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Iowa and a core faculty member in the M.F.A. Writing Program at Bennington College.

Equal parts reporter, storyteller, and satirist, Meghan Daum is the author of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House. Since 2005, Daum has written a column for The Los Angeles Times, which regularly appears on the op-ed page. She has taught nonfiction writing at the Nebraska Summer Writers’ Conference, Columbia University, and the California Institute for the Arts.

Andre Dubus III is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestsellers: House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie (a #4 New York Times bestseller). His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Julia Glass is the author of four novels. Three Junes, her debut novel, won the National Book Award for fiction in 2002. Glass has taught fiction workshops at the Fine Arts Work Center, Brooklyn College’s M.F.A. program, the Humber School for Writers, and various conferences nationwide.

Mary Beth Keane is the author of The Walking People (2009) and Fever (2013). In 2011, Keane was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35.” She has taught in the writing programs at James Madison University and Temple University.

Meg Wolitzer is a New York Times-bestselling author whose ten novels include The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Interestings.  Wolitzer is a guest artist in the Princeton Atelier program at Princeton University and teaches in the M.F.A. program at Stony Brook Southampton.

Thanks to generous donors of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation and the Aspen Institute, the AWF is able to offer a limited number of fellowships and partial-tuition scholarships. All scholarships are reviewed by a committee and awarded based on merit. 

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation was founded in Aspen in 1976 as a cutting edge poetry conference and literary magazine. Today the Aspen Writers’ Foundation is one of the nation’s leading literary centers and a stage for the world’s most prominent authors. AWF programs employ literature as a tool for provoking thought, broadening perspectives, fostering connections, inspiring creativity, and giving voice. Since 2009, the AWF has partnered with the Aspen Institute, underscoring the highest humanistic ideals of Aspen Institute founder Walter Paepcke: to better understand human challenges by cultivating one’s inner life through the exchange of words, stories, and ideas.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.


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