Guest Information Summer in Saratoga Getting to Skidmore
Summer Writer's Institute

Summer Writers Institute Faculty
Who Should Apply to the Writers Institute

Since its inaugural season in 1987, the New York State Summer Writers Institute has drawn students from across the United States as well as from Australia, Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, South Korea and Singapore. Students have ranged from 20 to 99 years of age. The Institute is intended principally for students who have had at least one or two previous workshop experiences. It is definitely not for high school students or for freshman college students. The Institute offers courses for undergraduate and graduate credit, as well as noncredit courses. Approximately 50 percent of the program participants are undergraduate or graduate students.

Writers socializing

Experience the Workshops!

Standard three-hour class meetings held each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. are supplemented by a program of Tuesday and Thursday afternoon discussions with visiting writers and other special events. Each workshop is primarily built around discussion of student works, which are collected in early June and run off in multiple sets so that students may receive them throughout their stay at the Institute, a few at a time, to be read in time for the various class meetings. Some instructors also assign writing exercises (optional) and recommend brief readings that are not written by workshop students for classroom discussion. A fiction writer-in-residence reads entire student novels or extensive fiction works in progress—not collections of stories—and meets with students on a tutorial basis. Other distinguished writers-in-residence read book-length poetry or non-fiction manuscripts and offer advice for revisions and eventual book submissions.  The extra tutorial fee is $400. The program sponsors public readings by visiting and staff writers Monday through Friday evenings. Weekend programs, for enrolled students only, include publishing symposia, panel discussions and student readings.

Students may enroll for two weeks (June 30-July 11 or July 14-25) or for the entire four-week session (June 30-July 25).

2014 Workshops

Only four-week students may receive academic credit.  All workshops meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. There is approximately 16 students per workshop.

How to Select a Workshop: Applicants are encouraged to select the workshop which seems most appropriate and attractive to them, but the Director and Associate Director of the program will make the final determinations about placement based upon review of the required writing sample and other relevant factors, including previous workshop experience.

All manuscripts must be received by the Skidmore program office no later than June 1, 2014, and must be addressed to Robert Boyers, Director, New York State Summer Writers Institute, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, 12866-1632.

Workshop Title Two-Week Options (non-credit) Four-Week Options (credit & non-credit)
June 30 – July 11, 2014: Elizabeth Benedict and Victoria Redel (one week each)

July 14–25, 2014: Danzy Senna and Adam Braver (one week each)
June 30 – July 25, 2014: Benedict, Redel, Senna, Braver
June 30 – July 11, 2014: Howard Norman and Cristina Garcia (one week each)

July 14–25, 2014: Amy Hempel and Paul Harding (one week each)
June 30 – July 25, 2014: Norman, Garcia, Hempel, Harding
June 30 – July 11, 2014: Jim Shepard and Joanna Scott (one week each)

July 14–25, 2014: Rick Moody (both weeks)
June 30 – July 25, 2014: Shepard, Scott, Moody
June 30 – July 11, 2014: Campbell McGrath and Rosanna Warren (one week each)

July 14–25, 2014: Peg Boyers (both weeks)
June 30 – July 25, 2014: McGrath, Warren, Boyers
June 30 – July 11, 2014: Master Class with Frank Bidart (both weeks)

July 14–25, 2014: Advanced and Master Class with Henri Cole (both weeks)
June 30 – July 25, 2014: Master Class w/Bidart and Advanced w/Cole (two weeks each)
June 30 – July 11, 2014:  Memoir & Personal Essay with Phillip Lopate (both weeks)

July 14–25, 2014: Miscellaneous Forms (including memoir) with Honor Moore (both weeks)
June 30 – July 25, 2014: Lopate & Moore (two weeks each)


Special Readings/Discussions: Discussions with visiting faculty and special panels are scheduled between 2 and 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday and are open only to students enrolled in the Institute. Summer 2014 writers participating in this program include Russell Banks, Robert Pinsky, Joyce Carol Oates, Caryl Phillips, Siri Hustvedt, Jamaica Kincaid, Jane Shore and Francine Prose.  Public readings, interviews, and discussions are scheduled between 8 and 9:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Student readings are on Sunday evenings. Other special weekend events include two-hour workshops (session one and session two) on “Writing Historical Fiction” and "Fiction Into Film".

Tutorial Sessions

Registering for a Tutorial: Students accepted into the Institute who wish to register for a tutorial program with one of the writers-in-residence will find an opportunity to do so in a letter sent out by the Director in early May.  Once accepted students receive this letter, they may access the Manuscript Tutorial Registration Form here.