Juniper was a life-changing experience. My inspiration was floored. I left with a renewed direction and purpose in my writing.
Every summer, the Juniper Institute gathers together a community of writers dedicated to exploring the creative process and advancing their craft.
At the heart of the Institute are intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction/memoir. Working closely with faculty and a core group of peer writers, participants generate new work and revise work in progress. Enrollment in each workshop is limited so that every writer has ample opportunity to present his or her work.
My favorite aspect of workshop was the approach to writing, to our work. . . that is, the focus on POSSIBILITY – tapped and untapped, known and unknown, and how we as writers might arrive at places of unexpected or unseen possibility throughout and within our own craft.
Interactive craft sessions provide contexts for faculty and writers in residence to explore specific techniques, themes, and forms in depth or to lead participants in writing exercises. On alternate days, the Juniper community gathers for moderated Q&As in which eminent members of our faculty discuss issues pertinent to their work and the writing life. Together, craft sessions and Q&As give Juniper participants numerous opportunities to engage with the Institute's distinguished faculty and writers in residence and to delve into diverse areas of craft and process.
The schedule on a typical day of the Institute looks much like this:
10:30 CRAFT SESSIONS/Q&As WITH JUNIPER FACULTY AND WRITERS IN RESIDENCE
12:00 LUNCH AT THE UNIVERSITY CLUB
1:00-3:30 WORKSHOPS WITH JUNIPER FACULTY
7:30 READINGS BY INSTITUTE FACULTY AND WRITERS IN RESIDENCE
I have found kindred spirits through Juniper and will continue to develop my poetry with both a new confidence and broader awareness.
Each evening features dynamic readings by Juniper faculty and writers in residence who share new and selected work. Common meals and open-mic readings, both held at the charming and historic University Club, provide further occasions for conversation and exchange. The daily schedule also includes free time for writing, relaxing, socializing, and enjoying the many charms of the Pioneer Valley.
The food was excellent, exceeding my expectations, and the lunches were good places for conversations to develop.
Institute tuition does not include housing. Participants choose accommodations that best suit their needs. Upon acceptance, applicants receive information about a range of convenient options, including suite-style university residence halls ($43/night), area inns, B&Bs, and hotels.
New England’s literary history is profound. Art, music, theater, dance, and natural beauty abound in the region. Amherst and Northampton offer a wealth of museums, libraries, special collections and archives, independent bookstores, cinemas, music, and restaurants. The neighboring Berkshires are home to world-renowned dance, theater, and music.
It was great to be among like-minded people who are on the same journey as me.
The Juniper Institute welcomes writers of diverse life experiences and writing styles. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Workshops fill quickly, so early application is recommended.
The Institute awards several work-study scholarships and scholarship grants on the basis of need and merit. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2013.
Tuition of $1,150 includes all Institute activities, daily lunch, a welcome dinner, and a farewell reception. Academic credit is available.
Space allowing, individuals may audit the Institute for a fee of $300, which includes craft sessions, Q&As, and evening readings only. Auditors do not attend workshops.
All participants receive detailed attention to their writing in workshop. However, for those interested in private feedback on a longer selection, a limited number of manuscript consultations with Institute faculty and writers in residence are available for a fee of $150.
I often feel alone in this creative writing world, so it was jaw dropping to be able to talk to others about what we all do in isolation. Fantastic people.