The Bread Loaf Writers' Conferences


Bread Loaf in Sicily
September 20-26, 2015

The Norman Castle in Erice (photo by Daiken Nelson)

2015 Dates
Sunday, September 20 to Saturday, September 26

This intensive program will provide a small group of writers with a concentrated and personalized Bread Loaf experience.

Bread Loaf in Sicily will feature five workshops with six participants in each group. The faculty includes poets Maurice Manning and Natasha Trethewey; fiction writers Christopher Castellani and Lynn Freed; and nonfiction writer Patricia Hampl.

Click here for a list of faculty biographies.

The workshops will meet four times (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and will be supplemented with individual conferences. Faculty will give a reading and offer a craft class or lecture for all members of the conference.  Workshop participants are invited to share their work in an evening reading for Bread Loafers.

Michael Collier, Director
Noreen Cargill, Administrative Manager
Hope Maxwell Snyder, Staff Assistant

The Conference will be held at the Hotel Villa San Giovanni, which offers modest but very comfortable accommodations and a breathtaking view of the Tyrrhenian Sea and Sicilian countryside. Accommodations are single rooms with private bath. The hotel is a part of a small complex of stone buildings that includes the XIII century San Giovanni Battista Church and a converted rectory where workshops and craft classes will be held.

A walled medieval town of narrow, winding, cobblestone streets, Erice’s compact size makes it easy to walk from the Hotel Villa San Giovanni to restaurants, cafés, and shops, and to explore its beautifully restored churches, Norman-era castle, and ancient walls.  Perhaps as important as Erice's charm and beauty is its quiet, especially during week days.

You may apply to Bread Loaf in Sicily as a contributor or an auditor. A $15 application fee is due at the time of submission.

Contributor applicants submit the online application and a manuscript of unpublished work in the genre in which they are applying. Writers submit up to 6,000 words of fiction or nonfiction or up to eight pages of poetry. Click here to read the manuscript guidelines. The guidelines are also noted on the application.

Auditor applicants submit the online application without a manuscript. A few auditor positions are available for those who would like to participate in the Conference but do not wish to have a manuscript discussed in workshop or in conference with faculty. Auditors are assigned to a workshop, and, with the exception of manuscript critique, participate in all aspects of the Conference.

Bread Loaf in Sicily will have rolling admissions. We strongly encourage you to apply early.  A $300, nonrefundable deposit will be required within two weeks of an acceptance in order to reserve one of the 30 places. We hope to respond to your application in 4-6 six weeks, but depending on the rate of applications, it might take longer.

Bread Loaf uses the Submittable online application program. Applicants who already have a Submittable account in place will be asked to login; those new to Submittable will be prompted to set up a free account before accessing the Bread Loaf in Sicily application.




The fee includes the following:

  • The conference program (workshops, individual conference, lectures, and readings)
  • 6 nights/7 days accommodation (single room with private bath)
  • Three meals daily, except Wednesday. Breakfast and lunch in the hotel dining room and dinners at select Erice restaurants. On Wednesday, the break day, participants are free to make their own arrangements for lunch and dinner.
  • Wine receptions for readings
  • An excursion to Segesta, the site of spectacular ancient Elymian ruins
  • Transfer to and from the Palermo Airport to the hotel on the official arrival and departure days

Airfare and gratuities are not included.

A double room is possible for those who would like to be accompanied by a spouse or significant other. The charge for the additional person is $1,575, which includes the accommodation, meals, attendance at lectures and readings, wine receptions, excursion, and transportation to and from the Palermo Airport on the official arrival and departure days.

Click here to read about the cancellation policy and risk waiver for Bread Loaf in Sicily 2015.

Arrival: Plan to arrive at the Palermo Airport on Sunday, September 20. The trip from the airport to the hotel is approximately one hour and included in the Conference fee.

Departure: On Saturday, September 26, the last day of the Conference, transportation will be provided to the Palermo Airport and is included in the Conference fee.

Meals are a highlight during the program and often consist of two or more courses and a dessert. Regional specialties include fish and shellfish, pancetta bacon, prosciutto, and handmade pasta, to name just a few items.  While the hotel and local restaurants can easily accommodate a vegetarian diet, we have found that managing other special food needs during the program is a challenge.

On arrival day, participants will check in at the hotel front desk and then pick up a registration packet. A light buffet lunch will be available for those arriving in the afternoon and later that night Bread Loafers will gather at the Hotel Moderno for the Welcome Dinner at 8 p.m.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
Breakfast—7:30 a.m.
Craft Classes—9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Workshops—10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Lunch—12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Free Time—2:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Readings—6 p.m.
Dinner—7:30 p.m.

Wednesday is a day without workshops and can be used for sightseeing and exploring. The morning will feature an excursion to Segesta for those who would like to visit the site. The ancient city (5th century BC) contains one of the finest examples of a Doric temple in all of Sicily.  Transportation and a bag lunch will be provided.

Departure transportation provided to the Palermo Airport.