Application Materials‌

You will need to assemble a variety of application pieces prior to starting your application. The application will not save your information so everything must be submitted simultaneously.

Here’s what we need:

A statement of purpose: Your statement should be approximately 250 – 750 words and should describe your reading and writing‌ life, how attendance at the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference will contribute to it, and how you believe you can contribute both to the small workshop and to the overall conference. Make sure to upload your statement as either a word document or a PDF. Please put your full name at the top of your Statement of Purpose.

A sample of your writing: a short story, a piece of creative nonfiction, several poems, a play, or a chapter of a novel. Make sure to upload your sample as either a word document or a PDF. Please put your full name at the top of your Writing Sample.

If you are interested in more than one genre, please send samples (if you have them) of all applicable forms of writing. We welcome students to try a genre with which they may have no experience; this is particularly true for playwriting.

This year we will be offering a special course, combining poetry and creative nonfiction, entitled  “Digging Deep: Writing and Discovery.”  This workshop will emphasize discovering new and surprising sources of inspiration—in the natural world, the library, the Ralston Listening Room, and even in what Christina Olson calls “weird science.” Inspired by close observation and reading, students will experiment with both poetry and prose forms and will consider the ways any chosen form both enables and limits discovery, determining what can and cannot be said.  Forms are lenses, and each one brings certain subjects into sharp focus. Though the reading and writing exercises will focus on poetry and creative nonfiction, the craft and techniques covered in this course will be applicable to every genre.

A teacher recommendation: Your recommendation should come from an English teacher, other instructor or counselor who knows you and your writing. Please give your instructor or counselor ample time (3 or more weeks) to write your recommendation.

On your application, you will need to provide us with some general information about your recommender: name, school title, phone number, and email address.

Once your application is officially submitted, your recommender will receive an email with a link to the SYWC Recommendation Page.

Application Process

Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference uses an application form through SLATE Technolutions. This application cannot be saved, so you will want to make sure all of your information is readily available while you are applying. 

SYWC’s application is available here. Official review of applications begins on Friday, February 22, 2019, but we will accept applications throughout the month of March. You will want to encourage your recommender to submit your recommendation as soon as possible. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and continue until all the workshops are full. 

Step 1: Apply with all materials and ask your teacher or counselor to write a recommendation for you prior to submission. 

Step 2: It is your job to confirm that your teacher or counselor received the recommendation form via email. If not, please suggest he or she check "Spam" or "Junk," where messages from unknown addresses sometimes end up. The email will have the subject line Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference Recommendation. We prefer that your teacher use the recommendation email, because it links directly to your application, but if that proves impossible, accessing the recommendation form here is also fine.

Step 3: If you have checked on your application that you will be requesting financial assistance to pay for the program, please review the financial aid application here. 

For questions or concerns about the application process, please feel free to email sywc@sewanee.edu or call (931) 598-1541.


Tuition & Financial Aid

The cost of attending the 2019 Sewanee Young Writers' Conference is $2400. This fee includes tuition, room, and board. Transportation to and from the Nashville airport is available at an additional fee of $150. There is no application fee. 

The SYWC, a tuition-driven program, is only able to offer limited financial aid for a few families who cannot afford the full cost of the program.  If you are seeking financial assistance, you will need to fill out a financial aid application. The financial aid application covers a variety of questions that allow you to articulate your family's need for support to pay for the program.  

You can find the financial aid application here. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at sywc@sewanee.edu.


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