The FAQs are divided into categories below for quick reference.
FAQ: How do I apply?
Please visit the application tab of the YWC website and click on the application link.
FAQ: What should my submission be like?
A writing sample is required to complete your application. The sample must be about 1,300 words and submitted in Word document. Include your name on each page. Please use font size 12. If your writing sample is more than 1,300 words only the first portion will be reviewed for admission. Your writing sample needs to be specific to the genre of the workshop to which you are applying.
FAQ: What do you look for in a writing sample?
A voice and words in the right place. The former means that we can hear the writer talking; the latter, prose that’s neither over mannered or awkward. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that we like the piece—just that it’s well written.
FAQ: When will I learn if I have been accepted to the program?
You can expect to receive an admissions decision within two weeks of submitting a completed application.
FAQ: Does my writing sample have to be the same thing I intend to present in the workshop?
For the application, we are interested in getting a sense of your writing. You may submit a different manuscript to your workshop leader .
FAQ: I don’t have any work of the length requested for the writing sample. Can I submit several shorter pieces?
Yes, but remember, whatever you submit has to be appropriate for that workshop. Please combine all pages into one document for uploading with your application.
FAQ: Can I submit a writing sample outside the genre? For example, even if I am applying for fiction, can I submit an essay or poetry?
Please submit a writing sample appropriate to the genre of your workshop choice.
FAQ: I want to attend both Session I and Session II. Do I have to apply to each separately? Do I have to submit two writing samples?
Make sure to indicate on the application that you want to attend both Sessions. Submit an appropriate sample for Session II. If you’re admitted to Session II, you’ll also be accepted for Session I.
FAQ: Can I submit letters of recommendation?
It is not necessary, as your application is evaluated exclusively on the strength of your writing.
FAQ: If I am accepted, what do I have to do to hold my place?
Remit payment by the deadline. Writers are enrolled in order of payment. For that reason, if you delay payment, your first choice workshop can fill up, and you’ll get your second choice. The same is true with master classes. We post workshop and master class closures as they occur.
FAQ: Which methods of payment do you accept?
We can accept a check or Visa/MasterCard.
FAQ: Is it possible to obtain a payment plan?
No, we do not offer payment plans.
FAQ: Do you offer financial assistance?
Yes, there are two scholarships available; one for a current MFA student and one for a Connecticut resident. Applicants may also apply for a scholarship through Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).
FAQ: May I arrive early or stay later in campus housing than the published program dates?
Yes, you may arrive one day early or stay one extra night, at an additional cost per night.
FAQ: Can my spouse or partner stay with me in the residential college?
For security reasons, only those enrolled in the program are allowed to stay on campus. If you travel with a companion, we suggest that you stay in a hotel.
FAQ: If I live on campus, will I have a single room?
Yes, but you will share a common space with other writers.
FAQ: What is in the rooms?
The rooms at Yale are simply furnished and include an extra-long twin bed and mattress, desk, chair, bureau, recycle bin and waste basket. Clothes hangers are not provided. Please remember to bring your own toiletries. The Yale bookstore does sell these items if you wish to purchase them upon your arrival.
FAQ: Will I have a private bathroom?
There is a communal bathroom located in the hallway or entryway. This is shared by those staying on that floor.
FAQ: Do I have to bring my own linens?
All campus housing guests will be issued linen packs, which includes one blanket, one pillow, a fitted sheet, bed sheet, one pillowcase, and three towels.
FAQ: Are the rooms air conditioned?
Yale rooms are not centrally air-conditioned and portable air conditioners are not permitted. You may bring a fan with you if you feel that you will need one, or you can purchase one at the Yale Bookstore.
FAQ: Is there an elevator in the dorm?
There is no elevator in the residential college. Please let us know ahead of your arrival if you need any special accommodations.
FAQ: How often will my room be cleaned?
The cleaning staff is not allowed to enter your room. This means that your room will not be cleaned during your stay, nor will garbage or recycle items be collected from the rooms. You will be responsible for taking your own garbage and recycle items to the main collection bins located in the basement.
FAQ: What meals are provided in the program fees?
Breakfast, lunch and some dinners are provided in the college dining hall for all participants including those living on their own. Each meal comprises several different options, many locally sourced and organic. Here’s a link to give you an idea.
Some dinners are on your own but you won’t lack for options. New Haven has the best and broadest restaurant scene in the state by a wide margin, all within an easy walk of the dorm and classrooms.
FAQ: Can I bring a guest to meals in the dining hall?
Yes. You can pay for their meal at the entrance to the dining hall.
FAQ: Can I bring a guest to events?
You can bring a guest to public events off campus, such as faculty readings. Due to limited space, guests are not allowed to attend events and sessions on campus.
FAQ: Which Yale facilities are available to YWC participants?
Use of Sterling Memorial Library and Payne Whitney Gymnasium are included in your YWC costs. There are many other university resources available to you as well during your stay, some free and some at a small additional cost (art galleries, museums, musical performances etc.).
FAQ: May I bring my own computer?
Yes, you may use the Yale guest network for internet access while you are on campus. You sign on as Yale Guest.
FAQ: Will there be printing options available?
There are two printing companies located close to campus. Tyco Printing located at 262 Elm Street, or Docuprint located at 27 Whitney Avenue.
FAQ: Can I park at the dorm?
There are no parking lots for the residential colleges. We do offer a parking option in the Pierson-Sage Garage. This garage is gated and patrolled. It is located on the corner of Whitney and Edwards Street at 340 Edwards Street. This is approximately 1 mile from the residential college and classrooms. There is a charge for parking. A free shuttle runs to and from the garage every 20 minutes. Or there are many private lots in New Haven.
FAQ: Can I have liquor in my room?
No alcohol is permitted in your room. In the summer the residential colleges are dry.
FAQ: How does the Yale Writers’ Conference differ from other programs that have been around a lot longer?
Unlike many programs our admissions are selective. But despite—or perhaps because of—competitive submissions, the program’s environment is collegial and friendly. We don’t distinguish the published from the unpublished, and encourage all writers to find their voice. The program is immersive. Writers live and write on the Yale campus. They have daily access to faculty and visiting writers. Our proximity to New York allows us to invite publishing professionals who offer an insider’s perspective on the craft and business of writing. And finally, our alumni community is strong and supportive after the last workshop ends.
FAQ: I’ve never been to a writing conference, what should I expect?
First, the program is appropriate for emerging as well as published writers working on new material. Our emphasis is on the craft of writing, from the identification of what’s working on the page, and then the transference of that knowledge to a writer’s own stories, essays or poems. Writers spend time in workshop, attending craft lectures, master classes and readings, as well as swapping stories over meals and informal events. Prior to arrival, you’ll read and comment on manuscripts from the other writers in your workshop section. Your workshop instructor may also assign reading and writing assignments. In addition, writers should arrive prepared to write. The creative environment at Yale will summon your muse. Be prepared to meet the call.
FAQ: I have not attended a workshop before, or it’s been a long time. Any suggestions to help me prepare?
Conference Director Jotham Burrello has produced a series of videos on the craft. Click here to link to the clip titled, “Why the Writing Workshop.” It offers a good primer on what to expect in your workshop.
FAQ: What else can I do to prepare?
1. Review the list of invited guests and read their books, publications, or body of work to be better prepared to hear their presentations.
2. Click here to download an ebook of craft essays written by Yale faculty. Type code word “Yale” for free download.
3. Be prepared to write while at Yale.
FAQ: When is my manuscript due?
Manuscripts are due to your workshop instructor by May 15th.
FAQ: How do I submit the manuscript?
Your workshop instructor will get in touch with you about how they would like you to submit your manuscript.
FAQ: Will the program get me published?
Many people say, focus on writing, and publishing will take care of itself. In Session I, we invite literary editors, and agents to present and meet with writers. Both sessions present opportunities for writers to better understand the literary marketplace, and their place in it, but more importantly, learn what publishing professionals seek. While we can’t guarantee publication, many of our alumni have published manuscripts work shopped at the conference. You may be next.
FAQ: Is Session II just a shorter version of Session I?
Session I and Session II are entirely different. Session II workshops focus on specific fields, like poetry or play writing, or distinct genres, such as historical fiction or memoir. In Session II, the workshops meet every day, rather than every other day. Session II is intended to focus on issues particular to discrete genres.
FAQ: What is the age of YWC participants?
Writers must be over the age of 18. We have had participants from 18 years to 90 years attend.
FAQ: Can I attend more than one master class in Session I?
Master Classes are limited in size. You may only attend the Master Class to which you have been admitted. However everyone can attend the Craft Talk in the afternoon offered by the Master Class Instructor.
FAQ: Can writers living outside of the United States apply?
Yes, they can attend the program on a B-2 visa.
FAQ: For those participating in both Session I and Session II – Do I need to re-register?
No, you do not need to register twice.
FAQ: For those participating in both Session I and Session II – can I leave campus on the day in between?
Yes, you are free to leave campus between sessions.