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Hosted by the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at UMass Amherst, Juniper offers writers an opportunity to immerse themselves in the writer’s life, to get inspired, and to meet a diverse community of acclaimed and emerging writers from all walks of life.

We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting online applications!



The Juniper Summer Writing Institute is an inclusive literary space that welcomes adult writers from different genres at all stages of their careers. Acceptance to the Institute is based upon the strength and promise of the writing sample. We operate on a rolling admissions basis, and we do our best to make admission decisions within 2-6 weeks of receiving applications.

Once accepted, enrollment in the Institute is guaranteed on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need to put down a non-refundable deposit of $200 to secure your space.

Workshops fill quickly, so we recommend applying and enrolling early.

(Applicants under the age of 18: please apply to the Juniper Institute for Young Writers, our companion program for high school students.)

Application Process Overview

Applications are accepted online and admission is on a rolling basis. See the sections below for detailed information about each part of the application process.

Application materials include:
• $30 application fee
• Writing sample
• Indication of your 1st and 2nd choices for workshop leader
• Personal Statement (if applying for funding)

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $30 (U.S.) is required with each application, and is used to cover the administrative costs of running the program. Applicants pay the fee by debit or credit card through a secure site on the online application.

Writing Sample

The strength and promise of your writing sample is the most important component of your application. Send your best work; it needn’t be published, though published work is acceptable, and does not have to be the same sample you present in workshop. Writing samples are comprised of:
• 5-7 pages of poetry (one poem per page)
• 7-9 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction/memoir (double-spaced)

Samples should be saved in one document (doc, docx, pdf, rtf, or txt). Please include your name & email address as a header or footer in the writing sample.

Workshop Preference

You will have the opportunity in your application form to indicate your 1st and 2nd choices for workshop leader. Every effort will be made to accommodate your requests.

Scholarships & Grants

The Institute awards five work-study* scholarships of 50% tuition remission, several scholarship grants of 25% tuition remission, one full tuition scholarship and four sponsored scholarships in the amount of $500 (each offered by one of our wonderful literary scholarship sponsors).

Scholarship decisions are made on the basis of need and merit. We especially encourage applicants of diverse life experiences and backgrounds, and those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage or discrimination.

Scholarship applicants must include a 1-page personal statement describing their interest in attending the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, their need for scholarship support, and any relevant aspects of their background or experience they’d like to share.

Scholarship applications must be submitted by March 16, 2015.

*Please note that applicants for the work-study scholarships should be able and willing to carry out daily administrative and logistical tasks in support of Institute activities.

Tuition & Housing

Tuition of $1,350 includes all Institute activities, workshops, craft sessions,readings, Q&As, daily lunch, a welcome dinner, and a farewell reception. Once you’ve been accepted, enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. You’ll need to pay a non-refundable deposit of $200 to guarantee your space. The remainder of tuitionis due in full no later than May 15th.

We offer a number of housing options for participants to choose from. Upon acceptance, applicants receive information on a range of convenient options which range from $44/night (shared room in a residence hall) to $75 (nearby inn) to $125 (campus hotel).


We do our best to contact applicants with our admission decision within 2-6 weeks of receiving their applications. Please note that notification can take longer after the scholarship application deadline, as the number of applications received around that time increases exponentially. Your acceptance will come by email.

Scholarship awards will be made by late spring, and notification will come by phone and email.

Cancellation Policy **new**

If you cancel your enrollment before May 15, you will forfeit your initial $200 tuition 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 tuition refunds after June 15 and no refunds in the event of early departure.

Please note that program details and personnel are subject to change as necessary.