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The Berkshire Writing Workshop

Intensive writing workshops for adults in a spectacular setting

NEW FOR FALL: Workshop director Alison Lobron will offer a weekly workshop on Tuesday evenings. Learn more.

About the Berkshire Writing Workshop

Located on the bucolic campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, the BWW features week-long intensive workshops with a focus on the creation of new work. Under the guidance of our dedicated instructors, writers should expect one of the most productive writing weeks of their lives.

The Berkshire Writing Workshop completed its inaugural session in July 2012. If you would like to be notified when the 2013 summer schedule is available, please send an email to bww@simons-rock.edu.

The 2013 Berkshire Writing Workshop invites published and aspiring adult writers to join in our annual summer gathering from July 14 to July 19, 2013. Located on the bucolic campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, MA, the program features five days of intensive writing workshops with a focus on creating new work. Under the guidance of our dedicated instructors, writers should expect one of the most productive writing weeks of their lives.

When not in workshop or writing, you will discover what makes the Berkshires a legendary summer retreat, and why Smithsonian Magazine recently named Great Barrington the #1 Small Town in America. With music at nearby Tanglewood, and world-class theater and dance - not to mention fantastic restaurants, swimming holes, golf courses, and antique stores - you are sure to run out of time long before you run out of enticing ways to spend it.

This summer, we will offer two workshops, both focused on creating new work: Fiction with Brendan Mathews, and Memoir with Alison Lobron. Read more about the Fiction workshop here, and the Memoir workshop here. Each workshop is limited to ten students, so we encourage early registration.

 

Register Today!

FAQs

Who is the conference for?

What will my days look like?

When is the conference?

Who teaches the workshops?

What is the cost of the workshop, and what is included?

Do you offer scholarships?

What are your facilities like?

Where will I live?

What meals are included?

What about getting there and getting around?

What kind of access will I have to technology?

How can I learn more about the region?

What if I have additional questions? Please email bww@simons-rock.edu or call 413-644-4954.

 

Who is the conference for?
The Berkshire Writing Workshop is open to all adults who are enthusiastic about writing and reading. We ask that you come ready to work hard at your own writing and to give your fellow writers the gift of your careful attention and your respect. Workshops are intended for students 21+ except by special permission.
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What will my days look like?
Each day, we’ll gather between 8 and 9 for a continental breakfast, followed by some daily announcements, and then we'll dive immediately into workshops. Classes will take place at the Liebowitz Center for International Studies, which is the newest classroom building at Simon’s Rock. Workshops are followed by lunch, a time to relax and get to know your fellow writers. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy, keeping in mind you will always have a writing assignment for the next day. Nature lovers may want to get outdoors in the afternoon and write at night; foodies may write by day and visit the Berkshires’ wonderful restaurants or performing arts at night. Please note there will be one or two additional events in the afternoons or evening. We will send more details to registered participants as they become available.
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When is the conference?
The conference begins with a welcome gathering on Sunday, July 14 and concludes after lunch on Friday, July 19.
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Who teaches the workshops?
Our instructors are talented writers and experienced, passionate teachers. Please visit the 2013 Workshops portion of the website for individual biographies.
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What is the cost of the workshop, and what is included?
Residential: $1375 ($1295 early registrants and returning students)

Includes: Writing workshop and materials*; 5 nights’ lodging in private dormitory room (includes linens; shared bath); continental breakfast and lunch daily; welcome BBQ on Sunday evening; closing dinner on Thursday; and a week’s pass to the Kilpatrick Athletic Center.

Non-residential: $975 ($895 early registrants and returning students)
Includes: Writing workshop and all materials; continental breakfast and lunch daily; welcome BBQ on Sunday evening; closing dinner on Thursday; and a week’s pass to the Kilpatrick Athletic Center. 

NOTE: New students must register by March 15 to receive the early-registration discount.

Not included: Tickets to outside performances, dinners other than Sunday and Thursday, and any advanced recommended reading for specific courses.
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Do you offer scholarships?
We are pleased to offer a limited number of partial scholarships to help promising writers attend the workshop. Please email Alison Lobron at alobron@simons-rock.edu for details and to request an application. .
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What are your facilities like?
The Berkshire Writing Workshop is located at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in the heart of the Berkshires. Known colloquially just as “Simon’s Rock,” the campus is 2 miles from scenic downtown Great Barrington, which has dozens of shops and restaurants as well as a movie theater and a performing arts center. While on campus, attendees will enjoy comfortable dorm rooms and classrooms, tasty and nutritious meals (breakfast and lunch daily, plus two dinners), and a week’s pass to our state-of-the-art fitness center, the Kilpatrick Athletic Center.

Please note: the Simon’s Rock campus is smoke-free. It is also quite hilly. For students who have any difficulty with mobility, we recommend you contact us before registering to make sure we can provide you with a comfortable environment.

To learn more about our facility, please visit our main web site at www.simons-rock.edu.
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Where will I live?
Writers from out of town will be housed in smoke-free dormitory rooms on our lovely, 275-acre campus. All rooms are private, modern and clean, and come with basic linens, but they are not luxurious – think college dorm, not 5-star hotel. Rooms have twin beds. Bathrooms are shared. Please make us aware if you have special accessibility needs. Please note that not all rooms are air-conditioned. Air-conditioned rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so if A/C is important to you, we very much urge you to reserve a room early.

Students wanting more luxury (or traveling with non-writing partners) may prefer one of our local beds-and-breakfasts, but should be aware that lodging in the Berkshires is quite expensive in July. You may find that a single night’s hotel stay costs the same as a week’s stay on campus.

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What meals are included?
For residential and non-residential students alike, the workshop fee includes a delicious continental breakfast and lunch daily, as well as a welcome BBQ dinner on Sunday, July 14 and a farewell dinner on Thursday, July 19. If you have special dietary restrictions, please contact us before registering to make sure we can accommodate you.

Given that many of the attractions of the Berkshire region take place in the afternoon and evening, we’ve opted not to schedule dinners the other three nights to allow students maximum flexibility to pursue their own interests. We do expect informal group excursions and readings will occur. We are also happy to make restaurants suggestions – or recommend places to pick up a picnic for Tanglewood.
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What about getting there and getting around?
Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation. We encourage attendees to drive as our campus is spread across 200+ hilly acres and the nearest convenience stores/amenities/restaurants are two miles away, in downtown Great Barrington. Parking is plentiful on campus and in town. Bard College at Simon’s Rock is a 2.5 hours’ drive from both Boston and NYC. The closest train stations, with service to NYC, are about 40 minutes away.
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What kind of access will I have to technology?
Non-residential and residential students will have the use of our photocopiers to prepare for workshops, and a guest password to the campus wireless network. We encourage students to bring laptops. Those without laptops may use computers on campus, but should be aware that availability is limited. Cell phone service is spotty throughout the Berkshires and our campus is no exception. We hope students will welcome the respite from 24/7 connectivity, and use it as a way to further their productivity. But for those who need a regular iPhone fix, fear not: We can advise you where on campus to stand in order to pick up one of the elusive signals.
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How can I learn more about the region?
Below are some of our favorite links for regional tourism and events:
www.berkshires.org
www.tanglewood.org
www.jacobspillow.org
www.shakespeare.org
www.berkshireplaywrightslab.org

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