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The Community of Writers at Squaw Valley announces the Alexander Cushing Scholarship for Locals

Feb 09, 2016 09:31AM ● By David Norby

The Community of Writers holds several week-long gatherings of serious poets and writers every summer in Squaw Valley. These conferences include workshops, panel discussions, craft talks as well as special interest classes.

This year a full scholarship will be awarded to one poet and one writer who are accepted to the program and live within a 100-mile radius of Squaw Valley. The Alexander Cushing Scholarship for Locals is given in honor of Alexander Cushing (1913-2006), who established Squaw Valley as a ski resort and international ski destination. He was a great champion of the Community of Writers. His family provides the funds for the scholarship.

The Poetry Workshop will be held June 18-25, 2016. The sixty poets that are admitted to the program meet daily to share poems written during the previous 24 hours, as well as attend craft talks and readings. 

2016 staff members include Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Robert Hass and Sharon Olds, as well as Kazim Ali, Cathy Park Hong, and Thomas Sayers Ellis.

The Writers Workshop will take place July 25-August 1, 2016 and accepts up to 120 fiction, nonfiction, and memoir writers. The writers meet in small groups to workshop their submitted manuscripts, attend craft lectures and panels, and learn the ins and outs of the publishing business from editors and agents. The 2016 teaching staff includes fiction and nonfiction writers as well as literary agents and editors working in publishing today. 

Featured writers this year include Thomas Barbash, Ron Carlson, Louis B. Jones, Sands Hall, Dana Johnson, Jason Roberts, Robin Romm, Gregory Spatz, Elizabeth Tallent, and Al Young. Authors who are new to the Community of Writers and who will teach this summer include Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Edie Meidav, Victoria Patterson, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Natalie Serber, Julia Flynn Siler, Héctor Tobar, Jane Vandenburgh, Mary Volmer, and Don Waters. There will be Special Guest appearances by Jane Ciabattari, Michelle Latiolais, Matt Sumell, and international bestseller, Amy Tan.

This year, two special sessions will be offered during the week in additional to the daily morning workshops: Screenwriter Craig Bolotin will teach an Adaptation Class; and novelist Mark Childress will offer a special revision workshop.

Admissions are competitive and the writing level is high. Acceptance is based on a submitted original writing sample, which is evaluated by a panel of judges on the basis of literary merit only. The deadline to apply for summer 2016 workshops is April 2. Some financial aid is available.

For more information, please visit or contact Brett Hall Jones at (530) 470-8440, or by email at [email protected]