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Here’s what recent Institute participants had to say about different aspects of the program:

Overall Experience

"This was simply the best-run conference or event that I have ever attended. I was constantly struck by the thoughtfulness of the staff and their generosity of spirit.”






“Overall, this is the best experience I have had in a writing community."


"I loved every minute of it. I came to Juniper feeling isolated in my practice, and left with a network of fellow writers with whom I can collaborate, communicate and foster my creative spirit. The intensity of the Institute allowed me to forge bonds I otherwise would have shied away from and I am so grateful for it!”

“I found Juniper to be phenomenal. The programming was varied and inspiring, the instructors were excellent and always insightful, and the fellow attendees were people with whom I couldn't have had a better time discussing writing nonstop for a week.”

“Attending Juniper provided me with the perfect combination of guidance and validation.”


“I was thrilled with my experience—I learned so much and was able to meet so many wonderful people.”

“Juniper reactivated my poet brain and I came home with a notebook full of good ideas to inspire new writing and tweak my writing habits. It was an amazing week that made my summer.”



“I felt understood and appreciated, and I loved that.”

“I feel more confident in my style of writing, and in my identity as a poet. I have been writing on a near-daily basis since my return home, and I have been experimenting with forms and styles of writing that I was too intimidated to explore before. It has really been an eye-opening experience.”

“I don't know if I can put a finger on what Juniper did for me. Maybe it's because it was magic.”

“I learned so much as a writer and a thinker.”



“The enthusiastic writers I met refueled my spirit. In a sense, this institute helped me rediscover the passion I thought was gone.”

“I have been considering going on for an MFA, and this intensive program has given me the courage to move towards my dream.”


“I definitely feel as though I have found kindred spirits through Juniper and will continue to develop my poetry with both a new confidence and broader awareness.”

“I do not think I can possibly write in the same way after having attended Juniper: my manuscript consultation encouraged me to make significant changes to multiple short stories; they have already become better pieces. My workshop allowed me to generate an entirely new piece that I am excited to continue revising and perfecting. My workshop and craft sessions shifted my way of thinking about all my writing, so that I will more carefully consider my word choices and write in a more surprising, more resonant manner.”

“My week at Juniper reminded me how important it is to cast off my comfort zone in my work and push myself to break the rules, to try new styles and forms, to be more brave on the page.”




“It’s like finding home. Not an outer place, but an internal ‘home’, where there’s recognition and common bonds.”

“I think I have enough material for the whole year ahead.”

“I didn’t know how good it could feel to be surrounded by other imaginative people—the importance of a writing community as ‘moral’ support for the challenges of being a writer. Can’t the whole world be this way?”

"It was the most rewarding and valuable thing I have done for myself as a writer in the last two years."

" It was a really profound experience for me, and I felt both challenged and supported throughout the entire week.

Workshops

“Beyond anything I expected or ever experienced in a workshop environment.”

“My workshop leader made me look at my writing in a completely new way and he gave each student a huge amount of personal attention. I really appreciated his dedication.”

“Our workshop was honest, funny and enlightening. I loved the supportive, but critical environment.”

“I got so much out of working with other writers whose experiences were so different from mine, but who all shared the same focus and seriousness about writing.

“I’d never been a part of a workshop with such an in-depth, intelligent level of conversation.”

“The workshop was open, flexible and positive. There was never competitive vibe in the air.”

“It was like running a marathon with my brain, which means it was demanding, empowering, warm, and engendered a satisfying kind of exhaustion.”

“My favorite aspect of my workshop was the approach to writing, to our work, and to poetry as a whole – 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.”

“…fun and nerve-wracking, completely mystical. But what could be a weary grating experience was one of liberation.”

“I loved that my workshop was generative, about taking risks to begin with, because I think that gave us more to discover and less to defend. I learned a great deal about how to think about writing, how to write, and also how to read.”




 

 

"My workshop leader had enthusiasm for the work and approached the discussions with compassion for the writer. He was generous with his time and energy. Absolutely helped me think about my work, both in analysis and editing as well as first approaches.”



Readings and Q&As

“The readings were an absolute revelation to me. All the readers really brought the medium alive.”

“The readings were a marvelous way to end each day. They were relaxing after a long day, yet also stimulating and inspiring at the same time.”

"Every night I left the readings with a new favorite poet, essayist, novelist, or what-have-you."

“I was especially impressed with the talent and diversity of the featured authors and the friendliness of the instructors.”

“All of the Q&A's provided great insight into the worlds of the authors, allowing me to try and see the craft from different perspectives.”


“Good interviewers asking good questions to jump quickly into some nitty-gritty issues about writing, both general and specific to that author.”


“The Q&A's were very enjoyable, informative, inspiring… Somehow getting to know an author, and their writing practice better, helps to affirm similarities and confirm differences between their style/my style...interests and influences.”

"The Q&As were great for getting into the mind of the writer. Really inspiring."

Craft Sessions

"I was delighted by all of my craft sessions, particularly because they were all so different and yet they still managed to inspire my writing.”

“In all cases, I felt I left inspired and in possession of something (a skill, an idea) I could use in my writing.”

“A total delight. Participatory, informative, very helpful.”

“While in some ways, the craft sessions were little bursts of creative space and inspiration, they were just as much an opportunity to get support, encouragement, strategies, and tricks from the leaders and peers present.”

“The synergies between the craft sessions and the workshops were remarkable.”


Community & Logistics

“For the first time, I was in a community of people who find writing essential to life: and saw that as a reason to nourish each other. I believe that the attitudes and characters of the staff and teachers were essential to creating that sense of community: through their own commitment to supporting the students and their writing, but as importantly, their generosity, approachability, self-reflexivity and friendliness.”

"It was great to be among like-minded people who are on the same journey as me.”


“Amazing! The faculty and staff were wonderful and the camaraderie among participants was a happy surprise.”

“I was so pleasantly surprised at how supportive and friendly everyone but in particular the participants were.”

"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.”

“My experience was just so seamless and positive.”

“It was a very healthy community—much support and collaboration, and no feeling of competition as far as I could detect.”

“I found the community to be warm and supportive.”

“I really feel that everyone at Juniper cares deeply about what they do and just wants to share their talents and insights with their students and colleagues.”

"I got to know many diverse people with unique perspectives on writing, and I think I came away from the experience deeply enriched.”

“The food was excellent, exceeding my expectations and the lunches were good places for conversations to develop.”