Participants in the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference experience a rigorous program in a beautiful mountain setting.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the oldest writers’ conference in the country, will begin Wednesday, Aug. 10, and continue through Saturday, Aug. 20. Held every summer since 1926 on the college’s Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, the conference remains one of America’s most respected literary institutions. Ten days of workshops, lectures, classes and readings provide writers with rigorous practical and theoretical approaches to their craft, and offer a model of literary instruction. A dynamic setting, the mountain campus has attracted many renowned literary figures such as Robert Frost, Carson McCullers, John Irving, Terry Tempest Williams, Ted Conover and Julia Alvarez.

“The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference continues to provide a diverse and engaging forum for writers to exchange ideas, seek advice and develop their craft,” said Director Michael Collier. “No one who has experienced Bread Loaf, with its beautiful wilderness setting and intensive programming, has failed to be inspired, encouraged or changed by it.

This year, more than 270 writers, students, faculty, literary agents and editors will gather to participate in the 86th session of the conference. The general public is invited to attend a daily schedule of readings and lectures that take place in the Little Theatre, located on the Bread Loaf campus on Route 125.

The 2011 session of public events will open on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 8:15 p.m., with a welcome by Collier, who will also give a reading on Friday, Aug. 19, at 8:15 p.m. Collier is the author of five books of poems, including “The Ledge,” which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2000, and, most recently, “Dark Wild Realm.” “An Individual History,” his sixth, will be published in spring 2012. Collier’s welcome will be followed by readings by Bread Loaf faculty members Charles Baxter and Ellen Bryant Voigt.

For a complete schedule of lectures and readings, see the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Web page. Events are subject to change. Call to confirm dates and times at 802-443-5286, through Aug. 8; 802-443-2700, after Aug. 8.