2020 programming has been cancelled
Please email email@example.com or call 740-427-5196.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the State of Ohio’s accompanying restrictions, Kenyon College has made the difficult decision to close campus through July 31st, so we must cancel Kenyon Review’s residential 2020 Writers Workshops. These are unprecedented times, and we regret we will not see you this summer. We trust you’ll understand this decision as your health and safety are of the utmost concern to us.
Geeta Kothari is the nonfiction editor of the Kenyon Review. She is a two-time recipient of the fellowship in literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the editor of “Did My Mama Like to Dance?” and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters. Her fiction and nonfiction—including “If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I”—have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including the Kenyon Review, the Massachusetts Review, Fourth Genre, and Best American Essays. In 2004, she received the David and Tina Bellet Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition to teaching in the undergraduate curriculum, Kothari also directs the Writing Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
Rebecca McClanahan’s tenth book is The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change. She has also published five books of poetry, three books of writing instruction, and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, winner of the Glasgow Award in nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, the Sun, and numerous anthologies. The recipient of the Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine, a Pushcart Prize, and literary fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, McClanahan teaches in the MFA programs of Queens University (Charlotte) and Rainier Writing Workshop.
Dinty W. Moore’s memoir Between Panic & Desire (University of Nebraska) was winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. His other books include The Accidental Buddhist, Toothpick Men, The Emperor’s Virtual Clothes, and the writing guide, The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction. Moore has published essays and stories in Southern Review, Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore has won many awards for his writing, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.
By using the full range of available literary devices and techniques to tell a story rooted in truth and experience, the particular genre of literary nonfiction is all about pressing against the boundaries of the very term “genre.” As Rebecca McClanahan, one of our instructors, writes, “Though rooted in fact and in actual, lived experience, literary nonfiction aspires to the condition of art, revealing itself in various ways—in close attention to language, for instance, or in an elegant structure, a well-paced narrative, a surprising voice, or in a new take on an old subject.”
The Kenyon Review’s literary nonfiction workshops create the space to explore the possibilities within this rich genre. Through analysis of elements such as frame, structure, pacing and tone, participants investigate how an author’s choices affect the narrative of a lived experience. Writers complete and share daily writing assignments geared toward specific nonfiction techniques, focusing on expanding their knowledge of literary nonfiction and creating new work to develop once their workshop week concludes.
Each class is limited to 12 participants. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, and we make every effort to notify applicants within four weeks of application. The application consists of the online application form, a resume, and a writing sample. The writing sample should be a short nonfiction piece or an excerpt from a longer work. Based on your application, you will be assigned one of the following instructors: Rebecca McClanahan or Dinty Moore in session I or Geeta Kothari in session II.
“The generative model is unique and an especially successful element considering the effect it has on community building and fostering vulnerability and open conversation.”
“The community here has been beyond anything anyone could really hope for. The quick turn-around for assignments was stimulating. The instruction was incredibly inspiring and motivating, and the environment encouraging.”
“The generative approach combined with the generosity of the instructors and fellow participants make it a safe place to try new things, step out bravely, experiment & receive the feedback constructively.”
“I really benefited from the intensity of generating new material every day. This experience is so different—and so much more valuable than most workshops.”
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How is the workshop structured?
Participants attend one 3-hour workshop session each morning. Though the pace and content of these workshops varies, they will involve discussion of assigned reading, sharing individual writing, workshopping each other’s writing, and writing in response to prompts.
How many people are in each workshop?
Each class is limited to 12 participants.
Will I have a chance to write much while I am there?
Yes. You will write a lot, and you will write daily. The Kenyon Review Writers Workshops are unique in that they are generative in nature. Other than the writing sample submitted with the application, participants do not bring previous writing or current projects to workshop. This is a week to work. By the time the week is over, participants, with a number of new pieces well on their way to completion, leave the workshop with a clearer, more self-directed sense of what they need and want to continue working on in their writing.
Is course credit available for participation in the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops?
Yes. Satisfactory completion of the writers workshops will result in a .25 credit that can go toward one’s graduate work or professional development. At the end of the week, participants who would like to receive this credit will complete a credit form that will remain on file with the college.
Who teaches the workshops?
Our instructors are talented writers and teachers from around the country. Many of our instructors have been published in the Kenyon Review. Our instructors have advanced degrees in creative writing, are well-versed in the publishing world, and most teach college during the academic year. We strive for a balance of instructors who are new to our writing workshops and instructors who have been teaching in our workshops for several years. Together, they are a strong team with a deep understanding of the curriculum and philosophy of the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops. Click on the photos above to read more about individual instructors.
What kind of writers enroll in the workshops?
Our participants are a diverse group, representing a wide range of academic and personal interests. Some are experienced writers who are hoping to expand their range and their knowledge of technique. Others relatively new to writing might be seeking an opportunity to receive feedback and instruction on craft. Overall, the participant who will benefit most from the workshop is one who likes to work with other people and who isn’t looking for a traditional approach to writing and learning. Being open to experimenting with new approaches, willing to be playful and take some risks as a learner, being interested in the process of writing more than final goals—these qualities characterize the typical participant in the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops.
Who can apply for the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops?
Anyone 18 years of age or older is eligible to apply.
I’m not a U.S. Citizen. Can I still apply?
Yes. We welcome international applications. If you have specific questions about visa requirements for your country, please contact us.
I attended the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops in the past. Can I apply again this year?
Yes. You will need to apply to the workshop again, using the online application. If accepted, you will receive a $250 returnee discount.
When can I apply?
Applications open on November 4th. Kenyon Review programs are selective, and all applications are reviewed by committee. We make every attempt to let applicants know our admission decision within four weeks of completing the application. Admission is made on a rolling basis, so writers should apply early.
How do I apply?
You will need to create a free Submittable account in order to apply, which you can do on our application page. If you already have a Submittable account, please sign in using your existing account. Be sure to add submittable.com to your address book and/or check your spam folders for email confirmations and notifications that we will send via Submittable.
To complete the online application, you must submit an online application form and a writing sample that showcases your best writing. If you are signing up for a poetry workshop, submit 3 to 4 poems. If you are signing up for fiction or nonfiction workshops, we request between 5-20 pages of prose writing.
How do I know that you received my application?
When you have submitted your application, you should receive an email notification at the address you entered when you signed up for a Submittable account. Be sure to whitelist submittable.com or check your spam folder to ensure that you receive notifications from Submittable. You can also log back in to your Submittable account to check the status of your application at any time. If you have any problems or questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 740-427-5196.
How are applicants chosen for the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops?
In evaluating applications, the writers workshop selection committee pays particular attention to the writing sample. We are looking for participants who show real talent and passion for writing as well as participants who will thrive in both the workshop and residential setting. We strive to admit a diverse group of people with a wide range of writing styles and personal interests. We are selective in our acceptance, but if you are not accepted this year, we encourage you to reapply.
If accepted, can I defer my admission to next summer?
Yes. If you are accepted and pay your $500 non-refundable deposit but find you are unable to attend, we will honor your acceptance for one year, but you will have to resubmit the application form.
If I am put on the waitlist, when will I find out whether a spot has opened up?
We seek to contact waitlisted applicants no later than April 30th. But, as our admissions are rolling, we may also contact waitlisted applicants in May if spots open up last minute.
If I am not accepted, can I apply again?
Absolutely. We encourage this.
How much do the writers workshops cost?
The cost of these workshops is $2,295, which covers tuition, housing in a dorm room single, and daily breakfast and dinner. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the participant. Returning participants receive a $250 discount. Apartment housing options are available for a supplement of $300. Participants arranging independent housing for themselves receive a $150 discount.
If you are accepted to participate in one of these workshops, you will be asked to complete an enrollment form and return it within two weeks of your acceptance with a nonrefundable deposit of $500. The balance of your tuition is due on May 1, 2020.
Is financial aid available?
We have limited funds to offer toward partial scholarships for adult writers workshop participants who demonstrate financial need and have published in reputable literary journals (be sure to include publications in uploaded resume). All scholarships are granted on the basis of both merit and need. We especially encourage writers to apply who belong to underrepresented groups or underserved populations.
If you would like to apply for a partial scholarship, please fill out the scholarship section of the application. To be considered for a scholarship you must submit your workshop application by January 15, 2020. Scholarship recipients will be notified by mid to late February 2020.
How do I pay?
You may pay your non-refundable deposit, tuition balance, housing supplements, and shuttle fees at our online store. We prefer online payments, but you may also pay by check (payable to “Kenyon Review” and mailed to Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, 102 W. Wiggin St. Gambier, OH 43022) or by calling 740-427-5208.
Can I cancel my enrollment?
If you cancel your enrollment before May 15, you will forfeit your initial deposit. If you cancel after May 15, we will keep the initial deposit and an additional $500 cancellation fee, but return the remaining balance paid. There will be no refund of tuition after the arrival date of the workshop and no refund in the event of early departure.
What is the social and cultural life of the program like?
There is a strong social dimension to the workshop, both in and out of class. Participants regularly share their work-in-progress. The focus is on working together as a writing and learning community. This sense of community is strengthened outside of class through the recreational activities, local eating/drinking establishments, access to the Kenyon Athletic Center, and evening readings.
What is the week’s social and cultural life like outside of the workshop classroom?
Classes end at noon each day, leaving ample time for writing, reading and communing. In the afternoon, participants often meet with their instructors, workout at the KAC, gather at the coffee shop, hike the nearby trails, attend a publishing or craft talk, or take a quick nap. Each evening includes a formal workshop reading in which workshop participants share a short segment of a work in progress. Often, after these readings, participants gather at the Village Inn to write or socialize.
What are the dining options
Breakfast and dinner daily, included in the cost of the workshops, are served in Kenyon’s historic Peirce Hall. Vegetarian options are always available and we make every attempt to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions. Lunch is on your own—offering the opportunity to continue small writing discussions following the morning workshop. Local Gambier eateries include the Village Inn, the Kenyon Inn, Wiggin Street Coffee, Chilitos Fresh Mex, and the full-service Village Market (a small grocery store and sandwich shop).
What are the housing options?
You’ll stay in air-conditioned furnished housing on Kenyon’s stunning campus. Housing options and prices vary (see below). Please let us know if you need ground-floor accommodation due to health issues. We make every effort to meet your needs. Several laundry facilities are available on campus.
The workshop fee for all workshops includes the cost of a single private room and shared bathroom in Mather Residence Hall.
Apartment-style housing is available for a supplemental fee: The North Campus Apartments are Kenyon’s newest housing, with each apartment configured as a three-story townhouse. Each townhouse apartment features a first-floor shared common room and full kitchen, three or four single private bedrooms on the second and third floors, plus two shared bathrooms. (Add $300.00 to the base price of the workshop.)
If you prefer a hotel room or bed-and-breakfast, please let us know. You will be responsible for booking your own housing and will receive a discount of $150 on your workshop fee. Here are some local housing options on campus:
How secure and safe is the dorm and the campus?
Officers for Kenyon College’s Campus Safety Office are on duty 24 hours a day, and regularly patrol campus day and night. The campus itself is small, well-lit, and very safe.
What is the writers workshop community contract?
As a participant of the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops, you are part of a writing community where everyone–participants, instructors, college employees, and community members–is treated with common decency, tolerance, respect and consideration. Anyone whose behavior does not align with this shared value will be asked to leave the program.
How do I get to Gambier?
Gambier is located about 45 miles northeast of Columbus, Ohio. The Kenyon College website has a map with driving directions to Gambier. The closest airport is John Glenn International Airport (CMH) and is about an hour’s drive from Gambier. There is no public transportation from the airport to Gambier, so we provide a shuttle service. There is a $70 round-trip ($35 one-way) shuttle fee for this service.
When should I arrive?
Please plan to arrive on campus between 12:00-2:00pm on Sunday for registration and orientation. If you are flying, keep in mind that the Columbus airport is about an hour’s drive from campus. Arrivals by plane should be scheduled no later than 2:00pm when possible.
When should I depart?
The last workshop occurs on Saturday morning. If you are departing from the Columbus airport, please schedule your flight for sometime after 12pm.
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