The Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference offers a variety of pedagogical formats that in casual parlance are sometimes conflated, confused, or used interchangeably with one another. In an effort to clarify these formats (and with apologies for possible pedantry), descriptions are listed below to help you as you prepare your various events or presentations on the mountain.


A two-and-a-half-hour meeting of up to ten students (and occasional auditor) to discuss manuscripts submitted prior to the conference for review. Workshops (comprised of the same ten students and a possible auditor) meet four times over the course of the week-long conference.



Usually held at 8:45 a.m. in the Barn and open to the entire conference community, a lecture is a presentation on a literary topic or aspect of craft, usually delivered or read from written notes or text. Faculty who deliver a lecture may choose to allow a brief question and answer period after their presentation. Lectures (including the question and answer session) last for a total of 50 minutes to one hour. Many faculty members ask their workshop students to attend all lectures, regardless of genre, and indeed, lectures tend to form the heart of a conference-wide conversation about the state and the practice of the literary arts. While some faculty choose to deliver lectures with visuals or PowerPoint presentations, it’s often hard to project text that is readable to the entire Barn audience; Bread Loafers tend to appreciate and take home handouts, which our back office will make and distribute for you at no charge.



Fifty minute hands-on classes are open to the entire conference community. Craft classes usually discuss a specific problem, concept, or topic of literary craft and often look at specific texts and/or have generative in-class exercises. They are enormously popular and well-loved by Bread Loafers and are held in the afternoon at 2 p.m. in various classrooms in the Barn.



Reading aloud from published or new work by a faculty member, usually held in the Little Theater at 8:00 p.m. Readings are usually planned in advance and are timed carefully not to go over the time limits of twenty minutes for faculty.