Sewanee Writers' Conference

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Sewanee Writers’ Conference

July 21 - August 2, 2020


Writers may apply to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference by submitting applications in one or more of the categories listed below. The application deadline is March 19. There is no cost to apply.

Applicants may apply in more than one genre. The Conference offers contributor positions (general admission) and merit-based scholarships and fellowships (see eligibility criteria). Award applicants who would like to be considered for a contributor position should they not receive an award must submit a separate contributor application in addition to the award application. Writers can only attend the Conference once on a scholarship and a once on a fellowship in any particular genre.

All applicants will be notified of decisions via email the first week of May.

2020 Faculty

Fiction: Chris Bachelder, Jamel Brinkley, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Adrianne Harun, Randall Kenan, Katie Kitamura, Jill McCorkle, Claire Messud, Jess Walter, and Stephanie Powell Watts. Poetry:  Erica Dawson, Mark Jarman, Marilyn Nelson, Carl Phillips, A. E.  Stallings, and Monica Youn. Nonfiction: Alexander Chee, Amitava Kumar,  Elena Passarello, and Aisha Sabatini Sloan. Playwriting: Naomi Iizuka,  Dan O’Brien, Liliana Padilla, and Lloyd Suh.

All participants are expected to attend the Conference for its entire 12-day duration. Applicants must be 21 years of age by the time of the Conference. Past that criteria, age is not a factor in admissions. We welcome a wide range of ages to the Conference. 

Applicants accepted to the Conference will have the opportunity to submit a separate manuscript for workshop as well as their top choices for a faculty reader.

Thanks  to the generosity of the Walter E. Dakin Memorial Fund, supported by  the estate of Tennessee Williams, participants receive assistance covering two-thirds of the actual cost to attend. Additional funding is awarded to fellows and scholars. 

Conference Fees (After Assistance)
Contributors - $1,800 ($1,100 for tuition and $700 for room and board)
Scholars - $700 (Conference covers tuition)
Fellowships - Conference covers tuition, room, and board

All participants, including fellows, are responsible for their own travel costs.      

Cave Canem, Kundiman, and CantoMundo Fellowships

We are excited to offer Cave Canem, Kundiman, and CantoMundo fellowships to this summer's Sewanee Writers' Conference! The Cave Canem and CantoMundo fellowships are open to past and current Cave Canem and CantoMundo fellows. The Kundiman fellowship is open to all Asian  American writers. Fellowship applicants must have at least one book in print by the time of the  Conference. If you are applying for one of these fellowships, please say so in the first sentence of your statement of interest.

The Sewanee Writers’ Conference seeks to foster an inclusive environment for its participants, faculty, visitors, and staff. We believe in the values of respect, equality, diversity, and honest discourse. We welcome attendees of all races, ethnicities, sexual and gender orientations, and those with disabilities. Our commitment to these principles forms the bedrock of this writing community and reflects our ambitions for the writing community as a whole.

We have up-to-date diversity and harassment policies which follow best practices focused on training for all faculty and staff. We provide complaint reporting information to all writers regarding the University of the South's Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy; and have a Conference Deputy Title IX Coordinator. We conduct all Conference activities with compassion and a generosity of spirit. For more information, please visit sewaneewriters.org/apply.


Sewanee Writers' Conference