Writers' Workshop

JULY 19-23, 2021

The Premier Literary Gathering of the Mountain South

Make plans to join us for the 44th 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 This week-long residency welcomes published and unpublished writers alike, all learning alongside one another in a supportive environment guided by the region’s unique tradition.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.


Adriana Trigiani, a native of southwest Virginia and the best-selling author of eighteen books, including the award-winning Big Stone Gap series and The Shoemaker’s Wife, 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 (Monic Ductan and Sonja Livingston)
  • novel (Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Robert Gipe)
  • short story (Leah Hampton)
  • poetry (George Ella Lyon and Frank X Walker).

Multiple special topic sessions and panels to enhance your experience:

  • “Fat Monroe” (Gurney Norman)
  • Poetry (Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon)
  • Food Writing (Ouita Michel)
  • Literary Agent Q&A (Joy Harris and Silas House)

Evening readings by faculty


The safety of participants and faculty is the primary concern of the Settlement. As a result, we have made the decision to offer the Workshop in a hybrid-format for 2021. 

What does this mean? Participants will be able to virtually attend all sessions in real-time from their homes.

Alternatively, those who wish to come to Hindman to get away from the distractions of day-to-day life may opt to do so. Participants will be able to reserve accommodations on campus, either privately or in self-selected groups. We will not assign roommates, but you are welcome to have multiple individuals in a single room based on capacity restrictions. Rooms will be available first-come, first-serve for a flat fee. For lodging options and rates, click here

Meal plans will also be available. Please note that those staying on campus will still be attending classes virtually and there will be no on-campus activities. This is a retreat-style gathering only with HSS providing lodging, meals, and access to campus facilities.

In addition, we have incorporated feedback from our virtual offerings in 2020. These enhancements include the ability to audit select courses from other faculty members, the return of special topic sessions and panels, and the continuation of our community-building initiatives of coffee hours, evening hangouts, and participant readings. As with every Workshop, you will receive daily instruction with your assigned faculty member along with a one-on-one review, nightly readings, and an inspiring keynote presentation.

While we long to fully be together at the banks of Troublesome Creek, we feel that this hybrid-format allows for attendees to participate at their preferred comfort level and ensures the safety of our staff and community.


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. “