Chautauqua Literary Arts convenes readers and writers of all ages in community, conversation, intensive craft development, and exploratory learning opportunities. Visit our website for more information about our summer season and year-round resources. Those interested in submitting work to our literary journal, Chautauqua, should visit their Submittable page.

The Chautauqua Writers’ Festival is partnering with VIDA to offer one full-tuition fellowship for women or nonbinary writers of color. Tuition is typically $550. The selected fellows will enroll in a June 24-27 workshop with either Martha Collins (poetry), Marcelo Hernandez-Castillo (poetry), Jess Row (fiction), Marie Myung-Ok Lee (fiction), and Porochista Khakpour (non-fiction). 

VIDA is a non-profit feminist organization committed to creating transparency around the lack of gender parity in the literary landscape and to amplifying historically-marginalized voices, including people of color; writers with disabilities; and queer, trans and gender nonconforming individuals. 

Applications must be submitted by the end of the day on Friday, May 1. The winner enjoys all the dining/lodging discounts other registrants do, as well as a complimentary Buffalo airport shuttle (if flying).

In 2020, we are delighted to additionally offer a housing/meals scholarship should the winner also wish to enroll in either a poetry workshop with Maggie Anderson or a prose workshop with David Giffels, both offered June 28-July 4 through the Chautauqua Writers’ Center (for $135). In short, the winner has the option of a limited stay with a steep hotel discount (see terms of use) or an extended stay with free dormitory housing and cafeteria dining.

The 2020 Writers’ Festival takes place from June 24 to 27 on the historic grounds of Chautauqua Institution in Western New York. In addition to four workshop meetings as a class, workshop participants receive one individual consultation with that same faculty member, as well as access to all other Writers’ Festival programs. These include faculty readings, panel discussions and breakout sessions exploring various facets of the Festival theme, “Personal Geographies,” and Shane McCrae’s keynote address also addressing that theme.

Panels and breakout sessions will explore the topics of  Who is Where You Are: Narrative & Personal Place-making,  Interior Landscapes: Reinventions of the Lyric, and Valuing the Personal: An Engaged Creative Writing Pedagogy. The festival is being cosponsored by Catapult, the Academy of American Poets, Just Buffalo, Wick Poetry Center, Twelve Literary Arts, and VIDA.

Fellowships will be chosen by the Writers’ Festival director, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram. Bertram is the author of four books of poetry (most recently Travesty Generator) and teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program at UMass-Boston.

Chautauqua Writers' Festival

The 2020 Chautauqua Writers' Festival, to be held June 24-27, 2020 on the grounds of the historic Chautauqua Institution in Western New York, is themed on “Personal Geographies.” The festival is co-sponsored by Catapult.

We invite proposals from writers, scholars, editors, and educators who would like to moderate or participate in any of the following panels—or lead breakout sessions that illuminate a craft-based approach to any of these same topics:

  • June 25 – Who is Where You Are: Narrative & Personal Place-making - Proposals for panel topics and breakout sessions can include and are not limited to: use of narrative to establish sense of self, place, and self-in-place,      including place in the body; representations of land, home, borders; environmental humanities; personal geographies; personal narratives of climate change; narratives of personal and public movement; connecting personal and geographic histories; personal and geographic margins and marginalizations; thinking about the Anthropocene.  
  • June 26 – Interior Landscapes: Reinventions of the Lyric - Proposals for      panel topics and breakout sessions can include and are not limited to:      creating and exploring internal landscapes and mental geographies through lyrics and poetry; innovative approaches to the lyric; marginalized voices,      disability poetics, poetry and memory, poetry and embodiment/embodied      poetics; poetry and translation; trans poetics, strategies for reinventing      and re-imagining the lyric; queering poetry practices.
  • June 27 – Valuing the Personal: An Engaged Creative Writing Pedagogy - Proposal for panel topics and breakout sessions can include and are not limited to: holistic and engaged pedagogies for K-12, secondary, and post-secondary levels; creative writing pedagogies for specialized communities (detention centers for adults and juveniles, shelters, faith groups, recovery centers, senior living); multilingual and transcultural pedagogies; queering the curriculum; developing inclusive curriculum and classroom strategies;      classroom dynamics and conflicts. 

All panelists and breakout session leaders receive complimentary Explorations registration and of course our hotel and dining discounts.

Questions? Email the festival’s director, Dr. Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, at

Part conference, part retreat, the Chautauqua Writers' Festival annually features intensive workshops and one-on-one conferences with nationally-recognized authors, this year including Jess Row, Martha Collins, Marcelo Hernandez-Castillo, Marie Myung-Ok Kim, and Porochista Khakpour. Poet Shane McCrae will give the keynote address. For full details, visit

Anyone interested in registering for a Chautauqua Writers' Center scholarship should first visit to learn more about the program, then select "2020 Workshops and Writers-in-Residence" at the bottom of that page to learn more about specific offerings.
Winners of this scholarship will participate in 2-3 weeks of Monday-Friday workshops, supported by free dormitory housing (shared with one roommate), a free 21-meal plan for the week, and a steep gate pass discount.
Winners are obligated to pay the combined cost of workshop tuition and a discounted gate pass, totaling $430-$615 depending on length of stay. (For the same length of stay, the typical total cost of tuition plus gate pass would normally approach $1000 for youth through age 25, $2000 for visitors over age 25.) Considering the additional value of housing/dining on the grounds, this scholarship covers multiple thousands of dollars of costs.
Applicants must be contemplating their first* visit to Chautauqua Institution and be at least 19** years old at the time they hope to arrive on the grounds. There are nine weeks of workshops, and each week features a poetry workshop and a prose workshop.
Winners are chosen based on evidence of a commitment to writing that aligns with the workshop(s) they prefer to attend. We strongly advise applicants to see what other programs they might enjoy attending during their week-long stay and selecting preferred weeks with that in mind.
Each week features readings and lectures by our writers-in-residence, at least one CLSC author presentation, and too many other programs, literary and otherwise, to name here. Gate passes serve as complimentary general admission to all Amphitheater and Hall of Philosophy programs—and more!—from lectures by Franklin Leonard, Jon Meacham, Jeb Bush, Anna Deavere Smith, partnerships with the U. N. Foundation and PBS, and performances by The Avett Brothers, Jay Leno, and Chrissie Hynde to in-residence dance companies, and our very own Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
For more information about the entire 2020 summer season, visit
*One or two spots will be made available to prior winners who would like to return. These opportunities will be competitive, just as the first-time opportunities are.
**If you or a writer you know will be between the ages of 14 and 18 in the summer of 2020, we encourage you to explore our Young Writers Institute.

Chautauqua Literary Arts