Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session MyYSS

Director's Welcome: Jotham Burrello

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Photo by Michael Marsland

Dear Writer,

Why do we write? It’s a question both established and emerging writers ask each time they sit before a blank screen or page. It’s hard. But we do it anyway, because we have a story to tell and we want our voices to be heard.

For writers who have filled up the blank screen with words, the process is even tougher. Writers ask, “What am I trying to say? How am I trying to say it? How can I craft these words and sentences into dramatic prose?”

At Yale each June, dedicated writers make an investment. We gather together and celebrate the written word. We attempt to transform our good stories, our heartfelt stories, into written experiences for our readers.

We read the stories of great writers to discover what they are trying to say, and then we read them again to discover the craftsmanship on the page. Our goal? To transfer these insights to our own work. This is part of the magical “process” of writers and what happens in a community of writers. At Yale we move beyond all the talk, to do the hard work of composing compelling narratives for readers.

Working writers and editors are the heart of the conference. Our talented and energetic instructors guide writers on individual journeys of discovery. Drawing on their unique experiences, instructors provide readings and exercises designed to illuminate and improve all aspects of the writing craft. Sessions do not rely on a set curriculum, but instead draw on the instructor’s expertise to provide writers with a personalized experience.

Sessions I and II help writers advance their craft and provide insight and instruction on how to revise current manuscripts, but the endgame of the sessions is this: to leave New Haven better prepared to write the next one.

Welcome to Yale.

Jotham Burrello, Director

Jotham Burrello is the director of the Yale Writers’ Conference. He is the publisher of the award-winning Elephant Rock Books, professor of English at Central Connecticut State University, and curator of the Roar Reading Series.