Yale Writers' Conference - 2015

Welcome to the Yale Writers’ Conference 

The Yale Writers’ Conference is an intensive program for the committed writer. Our faculty are nationally known writers who are also inspiring and accessible teachers. Our facilities are the Yale campus.

Each year over a hundred and forty writers from around the world have come to New Haven for each of two sessions. They have gone on to publish their first books or stories, produce plays, and organize a writing workshop for veterans.

Join us this summer!

2015 Yale Writers' Conference Agenda (Draft)

Summer 2015 dates:

Session 1: June 6 - 16, 2015

Session 2: June 18 - 21, 2015


In Session I, writers will develop their talents while exploring broad issues of craft in nine days of workshops, individual conferences and readings. Visiting faculty will lead master classes limited to twenty-five writers and deliver craft talks to the Conference as a whole.

And because we write to be read, panels of agents, publishers, and editors will describe the publishing process and the realities of the writer’s life. Our guests have included publications like the Harvard Review and N+1; editors Elizabeth Beier (St. Martin’s), Rebecca Salatan (Riverhead), and George Gibson (Bloomsbury); and agents Lorin Rees, John Talbot, and Erin Harris.

Session II is intended for writers concentrating in a specific genre. Over four days, they will meet in a seminar with eleven colleagues, led by an author established in the field. The seminar will include exercises and readings as well as discussion of student work. After the seminar, faculty will hold one-to-one meetings with participants.  In our final day, faculty, agents, and editors will discuss the business of writing and meet with students.



June 6 - 16

The program’s schedule comprises alternating formats: one day based on the workshop, the next day, the visiting faculty. Registration is the morning of June 6, followed by a keynote address from Dr. Richard Selzer. After lunch, writers will attend their first workshops, then a dinner reception at Mory’s, a Yale tradition since 1848.

The next day will include a morning master class with that day’s visiting faculty. Writers not in the class can meet with faculty in an individual conference or use the time to write. After lunch, the visiting faculty will hold a craft talk, followed by a panel discussion with members of the publishing world.

The following day will begin with workshops in the morning. The afternoon may include guest speakers or writer or faculty readings.

The program ends June 15th after a final workshop, a panel of editors, and a reception on campus.  Check out is the morning of June 16th.


June 18 - 21

Housing check-in and registration are the morning  of Thursday , June 18. That afternoon, writers will attend their first seminar meetings. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the seminars will meet in the morning, with individual conferences or panel discussions in the afternoon.  Sunday afternoon will include panel discussions on the mechanics and business of publishing with faculty, agents, and editors.

Writer and faculty readings will take place every evening.


Session I Workshop (PDF)

Session II Workshop (PDF)

2015 Information Coming Soon

Independent Press Panel 

We’re happy to announce the following independent presses will be represented for a panel discussion followed by individual pitch sessions. Appearing will be:

  • Akashic
  • Elephant Rock Books
  • C&R Press
  • Rose Metal Books
  • Braddock Avenue Books
  • Sarabande
  • Bellevue Literary Press
  • Brooklyn Arts Press

Literary Journals

The following literary journals will appear for a panel discussion to be followed by individual meetings. Present will be:

  • Post Road
  • Tin House
  • The Masters’ Review
  • Redivider
  • Story
  • Harvard Review
  • New Haven Review
  • Agni


In a departure for the typical writers’ conference. we are happy to welcome representatives from major circulation magazines for a panel discussion. They include:

  • GQ
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Rolling Stone
  • Harpers
  • Vanity Fair

Guest Speakers

In addition to panel discussions with literary journals and agents, we will be featuring a number of guest speakers. They will include:

  • Dan Kois , Book reviewer for Slate.com
  • Jonathan Levi, founding editor of GRANTA
  • John Fine of Amazon

Our faculty are accessible teachers as well as accomplished writers. Along with classroom and conference time, they will be available to writers in the dining hall during lunch and around the college throughout the day.

Program Director

Terence Hawkins is a graduate of Yale College, where he was publisher of the Yale Daily News.  His first novel, The Rage of Achilles, (2009) is a recounting of the Iliad in the form of a novel in realistic and sometimes brutal prose.  His second, American Neolithic, was called  "a towering work of speculative fiction that will have readers rethinking what it means to be human."  It will appear in Kirkus Reviews Best Of 2014.  His short stories and humor have appeared in Keyhole, Pindeldyboz, Eclectica, and Poor Mojo's Almanac(k).  Click HERE for a recent interview on WABC.  He became the founding director of the Conference in 2011.


Faculty Lists and Biographies:

Session I Faculty (PDF)

Session II Faculty (PDF)


Yale and New Haven:

Accommodation & Facilities

Writers and faculty alike will live in one of Yale’s  residential colleges. They will share breakfast and lunch in the dining hall. The food features organic and locally sourced selections and a wide variety of choices at each meal. Bedrooms are single occupancy but share a common living space and bathroom with writers of the same gender. Please bear in mind that even though it is a striking setting, it is a college dorm and not a hotel. Writers who prefer air conditioning and housekeeping services should consider staying in one of the local hotels that have offered our participants a discount.

While breakfast and lunch are included in tuition, dinner is on your own. We  encourage you to explore downtown New Haven and its dozens of excellent restaurants.

Our writers have access to the entire Yale campus. This includes one of the world’s largest gymnasiums as well as some of the country’s largest libraries. The Yale Art Gallery, including its recently renovated sculpture hall, was renowned architect Louis Khan’s first major commission; his last, the British Art Center, is directly across the street. 


Applications received by February 28 - Decisions made by March 16

Applications received by April 30 – Decisions made by May 18

Total conference  size is limited to one hundred and thirty.

In Session I, each workshop will be limited to ten writers. The master class is limited to twenty-five. Each section in Session II includes no more than twelve writers

Admissions are based solely on the writing sample. The writing sample needs to accompany your application for admission, and may be uploaded electronically. It should be about thirteen hundred words.  Please single space your writing using a 12 pt. font as a Word or PDF document. Each page must include your name.   

Once accepted, an applicant is not considered registered until payment has been received. We accept payment through both check and PayPal.

Writers are assigned to workshops and master classes in the order in which they register. While we will make every effort to honor your faculty preference, we cannot guarantee it, because we can’t assign you to a workshop that has been filled. We will, however, announce the closing of a workshop immediately on our website to give you an opportunity to make another selection.

You can apply for either or both Sessions I and II.

Applicants must be 18 years old by the start of the program.

2015 Costs and Dates: 

June 6 - June 16

Session 1 (Living in residential college): $2725

Session 1 (Not living in residential college): $2145

June 6 - June 16 Novel and Memoir Intensives (for Alumni only)

Session 1 (Living in residential college): $3375

Session 1 (Not living in residential college): $2795

June 18 - June 21

Session 2 (Living in residential college): $1175

Session 2 (Not living in residential college): $925


June 18 - June 21 Novel Generator (for Alumni only)

Session 2 (Living in residential college): $4675 Plus Session I tuition in 2016 (TBD)

Session 2 (Not living in residential college): $4425 Plus Session I tuition in 2016 (TBD)


June 6 - June 21

Both Sessions (Living in residential college): $4035

Both Sessions (Not living in residential college): $3075

Only credit cards are accepted for the application fee. Upon acceptance the program fees can be paid via credit card or check. Check should be made payable to Yale University and mailed to Yale University, PO Box 208355, New Haven, CT 06510. If paying by credit card, you will be charged within a few days of registration.  Program fees are due in full within two weeks of acceptance or your space may be forfeited. We will refund 75% for cancellation requests received by April 15, 2015 and 50% for cancellation requests received by May 15, 2015.   We will be unable to honor refund requests after then.