Chautauqua Writers’ Center
The Chautauqua Writers’ Center is a lively community of writers at all levels of development who cultivate the craft and vision necessary to grow as artists under the tutelage of highly-accomplished writers-in-residence. Now entering our fourth decade, the original core program of 20 week-long workshops, 9 weekly Sunday readings, and 18 biweekly lectures on poetry and prose during the summer assembly season has grown to include monthly online workshops, a housing scholarship for first-time Chautauquans, and an active support organization, Friends of the Chautauqua Writers Center. Whether you are an accomplished writer looking for peer support on your latest drafts, a novice striving to take your work to the next level or simply an avid reader in love with all things literary, we welcome you and hope to see you at one of our many programs.
Our three-day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) workshops are taught in a small group setting by a different set of extraordinary writers-in-residence each week of our summer season. All workshops are held on the second floor of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall. (Located on the south end of the grounds on Wythe Ave. across the grove from the Hall of Philosophy.)
Weekly prose and poetry workshops have been the core of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center for decades. Writers-in-residence are selected not only for their national reputations and the quality of their work, but also for their ability to equip developing writers with important tools and insights for their writing in just a few days. Interested in joining us as a writer-in-residence? Please complete this interest form.
As workshop descriptions are announced, each will clarify which of these models that workshop will employ:
- Generative Workshops: Offered occasionally, these workshops focus on in-class craft analysis, discussion and exercises, as well as (time-permitting) take-home prompts; ideal for writers at any level of experience looking for ways to invigorate or initiate their writing practices. $135. Enrollment capped at 12.
- Flexible Workshops: The most frequently-offered option, these workshops first consider work by participants who arrive on Monday with relevant drafts, then workshop participants who’ve generated work during the week, all in the context of regular craft analysis and discussion. $135. Enrollment capped at 12.
- Advanced Workshops: Offered once each season in both poetry and prose, these workshops focus on careful reading and response for everyone’s submitted manuscripts, in the context of craft analysis and sometimes alternative revision strategies; ideal for dedicated and experienced writers hoping to make significant headway on their latest drafts; application required. $170. Enrollment capped at 8.
Participants can register for the Writers’ Center workshops online at learn.chq.org or in person on the grounds during the season. Courses are available for writers at many stages of experience and development, though students must be at least 18 to enroll.
Writers’ Center programs at a glance
Readings by our Resident Faculty Writers (free) — Each Sunday at 3:30 p.m. the Free Faculty Readings, held in the Hall of Philosophy, feature the week’s Writers’ Center Faculty (both poetry and prose) reading from their own work.
Community Reading — Each Friday at 12:15 p.m., the week’s Writers’ Center Faculty will select spotlight readers from their workshops to feature in a community reading on the porch of the Literary Arts Center at the Alumni Hall.
Friends of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center — Writers and readers alike are invited to support the Writers’ Center by joining Friends of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center.
2024 Chautauqua Literary Arts Programming
This summer, the Chautauqua Writers’ Center Resident Faculty (previously, writers-in-residence) and community members will have the opportunity to partake in three-day writing workshops, enjoy our Faculty Reading series on Sundays in the Hall of Philosophy, and attend a newly envisioned Lunch Lecture series on the porch of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall throughout the week.
Here’s a glimpse at our weekly summer scheduling:
- Sundays at 3:30 p.m. – Writers’ Center Faculty Reading in our historic Hall of Philosophy featuring the Poetry and Prose Resident Faculty Writers of the week.
- Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – Writers’ Center Workshops, approximately 2 hours each day, with our usual scheduling of poetry in the morning and prose in the afternoon.
- Our Lunchtime Lecture series on the porch of the Literary Arts Center of Alumni Hall will feature new programing:
- Mondays at 12:15 p.m. – Chautauqua Literary Arts presents the CLSC Book Discussion, featuring two Chautauqua interlocuters presenting on our CLSC selection of the week.
- Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m. – Friends of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center present Author’s Hour
- Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. – Chautauqua Literary Arts presents the CLSC Young Readers Book Discussion, a lecture for educators, librarians, and parents, followed by Play CHQ programming for children on the lawn of Alumni Hall.
- Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. – Alumni Association of the CLSC present Alumni Book Reviews
- Fridays at 12:15 p.m. – Chautauqua Literary Arts presents Community Reading, featuring Spotlight Readers selected from each Writers’ Center Workshop of the week, elevating and augmenting our workshop participants’ experiences.
Our year-round programming will become an ideal space where past Writers’ Center Faculty will be centered, celebrated, and help us develop new innovative ideas for the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, while the summer workshops will provide an ideal introduction to Chautauqua Institution for new faculty. As such, our invitations to join us in Chautauqua for the summer may become less frequent for previous faculty, but our year-round options will hold potential for a variety of collaborations and experiences. Stay tuned for more announcements regarding Chautauqua Writers’ Center year-round programing!