Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session MyYSS

Frequently Asked Questions

You are here

Frequently Asked Questions


The Application

FAQ: How do I apply?

Visit Admission

FAQ: What should my submission be like?

A writing sample is required to complete your application. The sample must be about 1,000 words and submitted in Word document. Include your name on each page.  Please use font size 12. If your writing sample is more than 1,000 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?

Writers attend the workshop to improve their writing, so we expect to read work-in-progress not super-polished completed stories. (Do NOT submit published work.) That said, the sample should demonstrate an understanding of basic elements of craft such as point of view, grammar, and punctuation. Our best advice: prior to submission, invite a writer friend to read and comment on your submission, and read it aloud to yourself. We’re eager to read your work.

FAQ: When will I learn if I have been accepted to the program?

Admission decisions will be released on May 3, 2021.

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. Submitted genre must match the workshop genre. Please do not submit poetry for a fiction workshop.

FAQ: I want to attend both the One-Week and the Two-Week Program. 

Since these programs run at the same time, you will not be able to attend both.  

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.


FAQ: Which methods of payment do you accept?

We can accept Visa/MasterCard.

FAQ: Is it possible to obtain a payment plan?

No, we do not offer payment plans.

General Questions

FAQ: How does the Yale Writers’ Workshop differ from other programs that have been around a lot longer?

Unlike many programs our admission is 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. You have access to faculty and visiting writers, plus we 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 workshop, 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 or essays. Writers spend time in workshop, attending craft lectures, and readings, as well as swapping stories over virtual meals. Prior to the start of the program, 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?

Workshop 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 24th

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. 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. We invite literary editors, writers, and agents to discuss the craft of writing and the marketplace. We set up a special submission period for our attendees to submit to visiting magazines. Writers with book-length manuscripts completed have the opportunity to pitch to agents. While we can’t guarantee publication, many of our alumni have published manuscripts work shopped at the workshop. You may be next.

FAQ: What is the difference between the One-Week workshops and the Two-Week Workshops?

Intensity and time for revision. Both offer specific craft instruction on your work in a nurturing environment, but the longer workshop allows for feedback on revised manuscripts during the Workshop. Plus, the One-Week Workshops focus on specific genres, such as Children and Young Adult or the First Ten Pages. In the Two-Week Workshops you will be either in a Fiction or a Non-Fiction Workshop. The online format for 2021 actually allows for more programming, with more guests and a community blog. More bang for your buck.

FAQ: What is the age of YWW participants?

Writers must be over the age of 18.  We have had participants from 18 years of age to 90 years of age attend.

FAQ: Can writers living outside of the United States apply?

Yes, all workshops are online so you are able to attend virtually.

FAQ: What platform will be used for the online Workshops?

Yale uses Canvas for distance learning. We will provide instructions for use, links to online resources, and a short training video on how to use the platform, plus, we will have a staff member on-call to answer your tech questions

FAQ: Given this year is online, can I work and attend?

That decision is up to you. You will need time to read and comment on your peers’ manuscripts prior to the start, and then have time during the week for assignments and written exercises to maximize the experience. We have staggered the workshop times—morning and afternoon—so participants can pick a workshop that fits their schedule and time zone. All evening programming will be recorded. Workshops will not be recorded. Workshop attendance is mandatory.

Do you have other questions?

Contact YWW