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About the Yale Writers' Workshop

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YWW Alumni Testimonials

Photo by Michael Doolittle

Alumni Testimonials

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Photo by Michael Doolittle

The Yale Writers' Workshop   

The Yale Writers’ Workshop faculty are talented and seasoned instructors with strong records of publication and teaching. Drawing on their unique experiences, instructors will provide a variety of their own materials and exercises designed to illuminate all aspects of the craft of writing. The workshops do not rely on a set curriculum but will instead draw on the expertise of their instructors to provide all participants with a uniquely tailored experience.

We are offering two sessions this year (one on-campus and one virtual).  You will be able apply to attend either the on-campus program, the virtual program or both.  And new this year is a virtual program for High School Students.

On-campus Writing Workshop: June 4 - 11, 2022

During the seven-day on-campus workshop, you will develop your talent while exploring broad issues of craft through intensive workshops, craft talks, and reading published work. There are 10 -12 writers in each workshop. You will have the opportunity to meet individually with your workshop leader and to participate in a group reading. Visiting writers deliver additional readings and craft talks. Because we write to be read, we will offer panels of agents, editors and literary journals for discussions and pitch sessions. Participants with book-length manuscripts will be invited by their instructors to participate in pitch sessions following the agent panel.

The bulk of your time will either be spent in the workshop with your instructors and peers—or writing and revising. The program’s schedule features six workshops with time allotted for reflection and revision. Plus, to celebrate our return to campus we’ve added an experiential ekphrasis writing adventure. Divided into fiction and non-fiction groups, you will work closely with your instructors. Be prepared to write.

All writers participating in the on-campus Workshop are required to be vaccinated. Yale will confirm vaccination status after admission to the 2022 program.

Six workshops sessions with your instructor include:

  • Intensive group writing workshops with the chance for you to showcase your writing and to receive feedback/critique. (You will receive copies of your peers’ work in advance; you are required to submit a manuscript of 4500 words or fewer for critique. And to provide feedback to peers work.)
  • The chance to learn constructive criticism techniques that support productive feedback.
  • Instruction on technique, revision, and submission, along with other tricks of the trade.

All activities aim to build community and trust among the participants. 

The welcome orientation has been scheduled for June 4 followed by your first workshop. Consult the workshop schedule for a full listing of activities, instructors, and guest writers.

Virtual Workshop: June 12 - 18, 2022

The virtual workshop shares the same concentration on craft and technical improvement as the on-ground workshop. In 2021 our Zoom sessions were lively, and connections were forged over the course of the week. In response to the overwhelming positive feedback we received, this year we’re expanding the programming and adding an hour to the individual workshops. And the virtual lunches are back. It’s a great chance to meet writers and faculty in other workshops. Over seven days, in groups of no more than twelve, you will work with experienced instructors in daily workshops. Participants with book-length manuscripts will be invited by their instructors to participate in pitch sessions following the agent panel.

Each intensive workshop will include exercises and readings as well as discussion of student work. You will participate in a half-hour i conference with your instructor and will also be able to attend a craft lecture, publishing panels and two readings and conversations with published writers. It’s an immersive seven days.

Five remote workshop sessions with your instructor include:

  • Intensive group writing workshops with the chance for you to showcase your writing and to receive feedback/critique. (You will receive copies of your peers’ work in advance; you are required to submit a manuscript of 3000 words or fewer for critique.  And to provide feedback to peers work.)
  • The chance to learn constructive criticism techniques that support productive feedback.
  • Instruction on technique, revision, and submission, along with other tricks of the trade.

An online welcome orientation has been scheduled for Sunday, June 12. The next day you will attend your first workshop. Consult the workshop schedule for a full listing of activities, instructors, and guest writers.

Virtual High School Program: July 10 - 15, 2022

Yale is excited to offer a one-week online summer writing workshop for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. We’re seeking bookish wordsmiths interested in adding to their writerly toolbox. Writers who will generate and share their work in an intimate, non-competitive, online community.

Writers chose from one of four genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry or graphic storytelling. We have capped the workshops at 12 writers per genre to ensure all voice are heard. Participants attend talks on the craft of writing, genre workshops, open mics, faculty and visiting author readings, student readings, and learn about careers in writing.

Each day starts with a craft talk from a visiting writer followed by small group workshop for three hours in the afternoon. The craft talks expose writers to genres outside of their own. The workshop is a safe creative space to experiment, play, and develop narrative tools, and new work over the course of the week. Students will generate new material and then read it back to the group for feedback with an eye for revision.

Participants will read one assigned book from a visiting writer prior to the start of the workshop. This will create a shared literature to study during the week, and allow students to investigate writing strategies from published work, and then have the opportunity to ask said writer about their creative process.

Our faculty are gifted teachers and published writers. They will meet writers where they are but also prepare them with skills to write their next story, essay, graphic story, or poem. With few exceptions, our faculty will be the closest readers you’ve ever had. They will challenge you to produce their best work. And they’ll harness the creative power unique to the writing workshop.


Before You Come:

  • Your instructor will assign a short exercise for you to complete before the first workshop.
  • You’ll be assigned one book to read by a visiting writer. The writer will present and then visit with your genre group
  • Start writing now in your journal. Activate your muse in preparation your visit to Yale.