COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

Application & Acceptance

Applications to the conference will be accepted between November 1, 2019 and February 15, 2020. Acceptance is based on the strength and promise of the writing sample and on the Admissions Board's judgment that the applicant will benefit from the conference.

Two workshops will be offered in poetry; two in fiction; and four in creative nonfiction.

Acceptances will be made on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified whether they have been admitted approximately four to six weeks after they apply. With rolling admissions, those who apply early increase their chances of acceptance; therefore, we encourage you to apply early.

N.B.: Applicants submit their top choices for workshop leader upon acceptance to the conference, noting it on the confirmation form. Participants are then assigned to a workshop based on our commitment to giving all attendees one of their choices.


Participants take part in a workshop and receive feedback on their writing. Acceptance is based on the strength and promise of the writing sample and on the Admissions Board's judgment that the applicant will benefit from the conference. Along with the online application, participant applicants submit a writing sample in the genre in which they are applying (the writing sample can be work that is published or unpublished). See the Manuscript Guidelines for important details.

The fee for participants is $2,450, including tuition, room, and board.

Auditors attend the workshop without a manuscript. Auditors do not submit a manuscript for review and do not receive an individual manuscript conference with the instructor. Auditors are assigned to a workshop and, as the name implies, are asked primarily to listen and observe during manuscript critiques. Outside of the workshop, auditors participate in all aspects of the conference including the daily readings, lectures, craft classes, receptions, and social events. Acceptance is based on the Admissions Board’s judgment that the applicant will benefit from the conference. The auditor application is submitted online, and a writing sample is not required.

The fee for auditors is $2,086, including tuition, room, and board.


Thanks to support from the Katharine Bakeless Nason Endowment, the Michael Collier Endowment, and Middlebury College, the conference is making available a limited number of $500, $750, and $1,000 scholarships as well as full scholarships. The intent of the scholarships is not only to support promising emerging writers but to broaden the community of nature and environmental writers to ensure that nature and environmental writing as a genre represents the relationship between people and nature regardless of race, ethnicity, geography, or socioeconomic standing. 

A financial aid section is included near the bottom of the regular application for the conference. Applicants interested in applying for financial aid should complete that short section and submit a statement of 500 to 800 words to be considered along with the strength and quality of the application itself. Those applying for a scholarship are asked to describe how their participation in the conference will add diversity to the community of voices concerned with nature and environment, and also addressing their financial need. Though the merit of the application carries the most weight, the applicant’s financial aid statement is also considered.

Middlebury College Student Contributor Awards

Middlebury College Student Contributor Award applications are accepted online and must be submitted by March 1, 2020. (Please note that an application fee is not required for this particular application.) These awards are available for current undergraduate students of Middlebury College. In 2020 we are pleased to note that recent alums (graduation years 2018, 2019, and February 2020) are also invited to apply for the Middlebury College Student Contributor Awards. The awards are granted based on the quality of the work submitted. Middlebury College Student Contributor Awards cover tuition, room, and board at the conference ($2,450). Thanks to a generous contribution from the Middlebury College Environmental Studies Program and the Franklin Environmental Center, these awards for the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference will also include a $500 travel stipend.

For this particular award, we also require a completed recommendation form for those who are current undergraduates. Undergraduate applicants ask a Middlebury College instructor to complete the form and send it in. (The instructor can fill in the form or simply answer the questions in the body of an email—more details are noted on the form.)


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 application. There is a $20 application fee due at the time of submission.


Bread Loaf Writers' Conferences
204 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802-443-5286
Fax: 802-443-2087