Summer Literary Seminars, 9-22 July 2017, Georgia

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Summer Literary Seminars 2017

Summer Literary Seminars, one of the world’s preeminent international literary programs, is excited to announce our first program in beautiful Georgia, July 9th-22nd, 2017. The rich literary tradition and culture of Georgia, the work of its writers and, in particular, poets, from Rustaveli to Tabidze, from Tsereteli to Iatashvili, from Vazha-Pshavela and Baratashvili to Chavchavadze, has inspired many great international poets, including Osip Mandelstam, Boris Pasternak, and Marina Tsvetaeva, Nikolai Zabolotsky and Anna Akhmatova.

Tbilisi, the country’s capital and one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, is a cobblestoned city situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Georgia boasts unspoiled natural beauty, from the beaches of the Black Sea to the heights of the Caucasus Mountains. It is the ancient land of myths and legends, Jason and the Golden Fleece, some of the world’s earliest cultivated vineyards and winemaking, great art and literature, remarkable hospitality and optimism.

About the program

Continuing in the SLS tradition, our program in Georgia will foster cultural exchange and friendships between the North-American and international writers. Participants will work closely with Georgian writers and artists. To this end, our base in Tbilisi will be the Writer’s House of Georgia, a beautiful Art Nouveau mansion of exceptionally rich literary history.

Three times a week, in the mornings and afternoons, participants will attend intensive workshops with our faculty. The workshop leader will guide the in-depth discussions on the literary work at hand, offer writing excercises and free-writing prompts..

The program will include:

  • lectures and talks by local cultural figures

  • literary walks in the city (such, for instance, as exploring the Tbilisi of Pirosmani);

  • Trips to Sighnaghi, town of artists and writers, and Batumi, a remarkably lively Black Sea resort city

  • Opportunities to attend cultural and social events in the city (for instance, world-renowned Georgian choral singing)

  • Film screenings

  • Time for informal discussion with faculty and local writers.

  • Evening readings by faculty, students and local writers

  • And more to come!

Workshop leaders: Maaza Mengiste (fiction); Josip Novakovich (fiction/nonfiction); Ariana Reines (poetry); Tara Burton (travel writing). More faculty to be announced. 

Program cost: $1950 US (airfare and accommodations not included). Our goal is to make this program as affordable as possible. Note that the overall cost of living in Georgia is lower than in North America.

We also have a number of fellowships available through our Fiction/Poetry contest, as well as need-based fellowships. 

Accommodations: We’ll offer participants a wide selection of affordable and centrally located apartments, as well as directions and assistance with booking.

Contests

The SLS-2017 fiction/poetry contest is now open to submissions. 

SLS, in connection with its upcoming programs in Georgia (July 9th-22nd, 2017) and Kenya (December 2017), and in conjunction with our partner, Fence Magazine, is excited to announce its 2017 literary contest.

The first-place winners in poetry and fiction will have the choice of attending, with all expense paid, one of our innovative 2017 programs in Georgia or in Kenya, and will have their work published in Fence Magazine. Each prize includes airfare, tuition, and housing.

Second-place winners will receive a full tuition waiver for the program of their choice; third-place winners will receive a 50 percent tuition discount. A number of fellowships additionally will be offered to contest participants based on the quality of their submissions.

Submit up to three poems of 10 pages or a story or novel excerpt of up to 25 pages (double spaced) . Multiple entires are permitted, provided each is accompanied by a separate reading fee. Submitted work must be unpublished (unless it has been published on a personal website or social networks).

Entry fee: $17

Deadline: 28 February.

Participants in SLS writing seminars typically include individuals of all ages and all levels of accomplishment — gifted beginners and writers who have already begun publishing; undergraduate and graduate students of creative writing and people turning (or returning) to writing relatively late in life. All are treated with equal respect by our faculty and staff. One does not necessarily have to be an accomplished writer to attend Summer Literary Seminars: an abiding love of literature, intellectual curiosity, openness to new artistic and cultural experiences, and the sincere desire to deepen one’s understanding of the creative process while being immersed in one of the world’s most fascinating locales are the only prerequisites.

We welcome inquiries from creative writing programs – please contact us if you’d like to bring students to an SLS program.

In addition to an application form and the deposit, we ask for a writing sample (10-15 pages of poetry; no more than 20-25 double-spaced pages of prose).

For any inquiries, email slsinfo@sumlitsem.org

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