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Never in my life have I been part of such a kind and generous community, not to mention talented! My fellow participants made up half of my Juniper experience.

— JIYW participant

Being part of such a diverse, talented community was wonderful. The other participants helped make it such a vibrant experience.

—JIYW participantt

I felt like I was in a place where I belonged for the first time.

—JIYW participant


Located in the beautiful Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, the Institute continues New England’s profound literary tradition. Amherst, famously the hometown of Emily Dickinson, is a quintessential college town, full of great restaurants, cafés, and bookstores. Nearby Hadley and Northampton offer additional cultural attractions and museums. It's also a convenient base from which to visit a variety of college campuses in the Northeast. There are five colleges in the Amherst area—Amherst, Smith, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and the University of Massachusetts—each offering a unique intellectual and social environment. Many more colleges and universities are within driving distance. Participants and parents interested in visiting schools in the region may find it convenient to take a side-trip before or after the Institute.


Institute tuition does not include housing costs. Most students choose to stay in a designated University residence hall for $26 per night. Residence halls are staffed with 24-hour UMass Residential Life personnel. In addition, the Juniper Institute Program Assistants and Residence Director provide general advising, support, and residential life activities, and are available around the clock. An 11PM curfew is strictly enforced.

Upon acceptance, applicants receive information about how to reserve a spot in the residence hall. While it is possible for participants to stay elsewhere, with local friends or family, we encourage participants to stay on campus, as residential life is an integral part of the Juniper experience.


Participants eat meals together in a designated dining commons on campus. The University’s award-winning food service provides a variety of options (including vegetarian and vegan) for each meal. All meals are included in the cost of tuition.

UMass Amherst’s campus is beautiful, and the memory of my friends in the dorms and eating lunch together will stay with me for years to come.

—JIYW participant

The halls were filled with collaboration and elaboration as we helped each other push the barrier and improve.

—JIYW participant

Daily Schedule

The Institute’s schedule is filled with workshops, studio courses, and other writing-oriented activities, but there is also plenty of time for writing, reflection, and relaxation. Please note that the Juniper Institute provides supervision during scheduled Institute activities only.

I wasn’t expecting to be changed as much as I was here (especially in such a short period of time), and I didn’t think I’d end up making any friends, but I did, and I now feel quite close to them. I just wish the time we had here was longer.

—JIYW participant

I attended Juniper last year, and it was so memorable that I had to return. Last year we were told that it would change us, and, though I was skeptical, it did. Juniper is one of a kind and no one should miss out.

—JIYW participant

This community is one of the most valuable things I've ever been a part of. The amount of support is overwhelming. Juniper allowed me to realize what I want for the future, and set me up with lifelong friends.

—JIYW participant