Writers' Workshop at Exeter

June 25-30, 2017

I learned to let go and open up to the life and process of writing - it was wonderful to have the time to indulge myself in dreaming, thinking, remembering, challenging, exploring!
Conference participant
I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
Joan Didion

We all have stories to tell and words to share. What is so often missing is the time and space to do so. The Writers’ Workshop at Exeter seeks to give you that time and space. You will spend a week developing your writing on the very campus that has inspired such writers as John Irving, George Plimpton, Roxane Gay, Ilya Kaminsky, and Paul Yoon. Novice and experienced writers alike will spend a week workshopping their writing, generating new work, attending readings, and discussing literature in a supportive and generous Harkness setting. Working with writers and teachers from around the world, participants gain professional development experience while indulging their own creativity.

The conference is limited to 26 attendees.

Who Should Register?

Anyone who wants to write and discuss writing in a nurturing and generous Harkness workshop setting. The conference is open to all skill levels and anyone who writes or wants to write poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction should register to attend.

A Place for Writing Teachers?

While not a requirement, many our participants are also teachers of writing. Teachers will have an opportunity to think like writers, to better understand the techniques a writer uses, and the decisions a writer must make. Participants will leave the conference with new tools and strategies to take back to their classrooms. An open spirit of exchange will encourage participants to improve their individual work as writers and to develop new approaches and techniques for teaching writing.

Manuscript Submission (Optional)

We will be generating much work for critique and editing all week. If you are working on a piece, or have completed a piece and would like feedback during the workshop, please send a manuscript ahead of time.   During the week, you’ll have the opportunity to share both in progress work as well as new pieces you’ll be writing. 

Here are our guidelines for submitting your work ahead of time.

  • Submit either five poems or 10-15 pages of prose (fiction or creative nonfiction).
  • Prose manuscripts should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins and a 12-point font.
  • Poetry can be single spaced.
  • Manuscripts should be paginated and include the writer’s name on each page.
  • Email manuscripts to Mercy Carbonell by June 1st.  Make sure the file name includes your last name for easy identification.

Professional Development Credit

Participants earn 40 clock hours toward professional development goals. At the conclusion of the conference, you will receive a certificate of completion and a clock hour letter for your school administration.

How Your Day is Structured

You will have time each morning to work on your own writing, revising old work or generating new material. You may sit under and old growth elm with a notebook or hold up Exeter’s Louis Kahn designed library or perhaps ride the eight miles out to the stunning New Hampshire Coastline to seek inspiration in the sun rising over the Atlantic.

Midmorning is often used to gather participants around the Harkness table to discuss a piece of literature which we’ll use as a way to prompt or generate new writing of your own.

Afternoons are for manuscript workshops with early evening time set aside for one-on-one conferences with conference leaders.

The evenings are a time for great readings, good conversations, and engaging social activities.

The week as a whole is a chance to write, revise, and revive.

For planning purposes, the workshop starts on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m. Friday.

A formal scheduled will be sent to participants prior to the conference.

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Sylvia Plath

Contact Us

Barb Darby, Conference Manager
bdarby@exeter.edu

603-777-4471

Mailing Address
Phillips Exeter Academy
20 Main Street
Exeter, NH 03833