Summer Opportunities In Creative Writing and English Literature

The Morrell-Potter Summer Stipend in Creative Writing, sponsored by the Creative Writing Program of the Swarthmore Department of English Literature, supports a writer of exceptional promise during the summer after the junior year.  Applicants present proposals for summer projects, along with samples of their work, early in the spring semester.

  • Mellon Grants in the Humanities, like the Morrell-Potter Summer Stipend, support students who hope to pursue individual projects during the summer months, typically under the direction of a faculty member.  Recipients of these grants have included creative writers in past years.  The due date for applications this year is February 11, 2015.
  • Our students have often found internships at literary magazines and small presses during the summer.  Recently, for example, Swarthmore students have worked at Saturnalia Press, at Tupelo Press, at Graywolf Press, and at the American Poetry Review.
  • Student poets and fiction writers often attend summer writers’ conferences, workshops, and seminars.  We frequently send students to the annual West Chester University Conference on Form and Narrative in Poetry in June (although this conference is on hiatus this year); several of our students have recently attended the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, scheduled this year from June 8 to 29; and several recent graduates have attended international poetry conferences in Prague and in Canada. A number of Swarthmore fiction writers have taken the Alpha Fantastic Literature Workshop, held each July, at the U of Pittsburgh's Greensburg Campus for young writers ages 14-19.  Students might also consider the Odyssey Fantasy Workshop at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, in June; the Clarion Writing Workshop (one at UC San Diego, the other, "West", in Seattle) that begins in June and runs for six weeks; the Summer Literary Seminars scheduled for Montreal, Lithuania, and Kenya this year; the Baltic Writing Residency; the Iowa Summer Workshops; the New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore in July; the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont in July; the Yeats Summer School in Sligo, Ireland, in July; and hundreds of others.   Student poets and fiction writers often attend workshops at other colleges and universities, as well.  Some URLs:

What have other English majors been doing lately during the summers?  A couple of intriguing examples:

Julia Finkelstein ’13 reports:  Here is a list of what I've done over the past three summers:

  • 2012: Teacher at Salisbury Summer School. I taught two creative writing courses and "Reading and Study Skills." I also acted as a faculty adviser, dorm proctor and tennis instructor.
  • 2011: Internship in Building Community, Columbia University. I was a TA for an Expository Writing course, an RA for the Residential program and I organized trips in NYC and did Community Service projects.
  • 2010: Camp Counselor, Pine Forest Camp. I directed 2 plays and tutored a camper for her Bat-Mitzvah
  • In Spain [where Julia spent a semester abroad], I also taught English at a Spanish high school 6 hours a week.

Nick Gettino ‘13 served as an intern at Tupelo Press:   Although they don't list information about internships on their website, Tupelo will send an info sheet about internships to students who contact them. I've attached it to this email. (I should note: the internship isn't limited to students in the Berkshires, as the document states.)  The community at Tupelo is inviting and knowledgable, and they always keep the loft well stocked with food. Although the daily tasks of the internship are more administrative and managerial, the Publisher is always willing to let students read unsolicited manuscripts, and truly values the feedback he's given.  North Adams, where Tupelo Press is located, is also a nice location for writers. I stayed in a house on the Appalachian Trail and would see hikers cut through the yard while at home—a scenic experience! The hours at Tupelo are flexible, so I'd keep the late afternoons free for writing. There's also an intriguing community of artists in the town, so working in the artist workspaces at MASS MoCA and visiting the galleries on the town's main street are good ways to get material.