Writers' Workshop

SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 47th WORKSHOP on July 21-26, 2024. Details coming soon!

JULY 23-28, 2023

The Premier Literary Gathering of the Mountain South

Make plans to join us for the 46th annual Appalachian Writers’ Workshop. This week-long residency welcomes published and unpublished writers alike, all learning alongside one another in a supportive environment guided by the region’s unique tradition. 

The Workshop provides an opportunity to study craft in structured workshops, attend special topic sessions, and enjoy captivating readings by our award-winning faculty. This historic gathering is known for providing rigorous instruction in a family-like atmosphere, where writers of place come together at the banks of Troublesome to meet a year-round community. Beginning, emerging, and established writers are all encouraged to apply.


Crystal Wilkinson, the 2021-22 Kentucky Poet Laureate and the national award-winning author of Perfect Black (winner of a 2022 NAACP Image Award), The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), Water Street, and Blackberries, Blackberries., will deliver the Jim Wayne Miller/James Still Keynote Address.

Offering immersive workshops, including one-on-one feedback session, by renowned faculty for the genres of:

  • creative nonfiction (Neema Avashia)
  • novel (Angela Jackson-Brown and David Joy)
  • short story (Mesha Maren)
  • poetry (Doug Van Gundy and Marianne Worthington).

Multiple special topic sessions and panels to enhance your experience:

  • That’s What She Said: The Art of Dialogue (Clapsaddle)
  • The Fantastical Fact: Object, Research, and Obsession in Memoir (Wain)
  • Writing Narrative Identity Beyond Polarizing Discourse (Grover)
  • Magpies & Mockingbirds: Scavenging for Inspiration (Helton)
  • Finding The Line: Designing Structures Narrative (Clapsaddle)
  • Songwriter Psychology (Preston)
  • Beyond Sonnets & Pantoums: Non-Traditional Forms (Helton)
  • Soft Sci-Fi Pasts & Futures (Waters)

Craft lectures with George Ella Lyon, the Workshop’s Senior Writer-In-Residence, and a virtual conversation with Kim Michele Richardson.

Special events including activities with teaching artist Jenn Noble and a book signing reception

Evening readings by faculty


All manuscripts (original, unpublished) should be formatted with one-inch margins, 12-point type with no unusual fonts. Please submit your best work in your chosen genre. Limit your manuscript submission to the following number of pages:

  • Novel: (20 or less, double-spaced)

  • Nonfiction | Short Story: (10-15, double-spaced)
Poetry: (10-15, single-spaced)

Please do not include your name or any identifying information on the manuscript. Use the following protocol to name your manuscript file: Genre_Year_FirstName_LastName.pdf (or .doc or .docx). For example: ShortStory_2023_Josh_Mullins.pdf


A $200 deposit is required at the time of application. 

The cost for tuition, which includes all sessions and special events, is $450. 

For those opting to utilize shared campus housing in one of our historic cottages, the cost is $200 for the duration of the Workshop. We will strive to honor all housing and roommate requests. Additional lodging may be available in area hotels for those wishing to commute. 

Meal plans are also available for the week, beginning with dinner on Sunday and concluding with lunch on Friday. The cost is $225. Our kitchen can accommodate most dietary restrictions with prior notice.

Deadline to apply: May 1

For those with financial need, please explore scholarship opportunities available thanks to our generous donors.


The Workshop offers participants an opportunity to hone their craft and build a tightly woven network of peers across the Appalachian region.

“When a person writes a story, that story does not belong to us anymore. The joy I felt from receiving stories from people like myself all over Appalachia and being able to give my own story was nothing short of uplifting, empowering, and transformational. 

With the Pandemic that has swept through our country—and the world, you cannot begin to imagine how badly I needed that week of clarity, camaraderie, and motivation. I left the Writers’ Workshop feeling rejuvenated not only as a writer, but as a mom, a teacher, and a member of a community that is waiting for its stories to be told. “