A Note from the Director

Dear Writer,

We are cautiously optimistic that starting next summer, we will return to offering our Bread Loaf conferences in-person once again on the Bread Loaf rural campus in Ripton, Vermont. As you can read about in more detail in our application materials, you are invited to apply to the Writers’ Conference in one of three ways: as a contributor, scholar, or fellow. Financial aid is available in each of these categories. Most writers attend as contributor, which is our largest and most wide-ranging group of writers—published or not—who are interested in sharing work in progress and learning more about literary craft and its traditions. Some writers who have amassed significant recent publications but also still see themselves as emerging and interested in sharing work in progress choose to apply at the scholar level. And writers who have a first or second book recently published may apply as fellows; these writers do not have their work reviewed but instead assist a faculty member and contribute feedback to the workshop manuscripts under discussion.

The idea behind these different ways to apply to the conference is a pedagogical one. We have found it useful and inspiring to ensure diverse groups of writers are together on the mountain, exemplifying various ways to be a writer over the long haul of a life or career dedicated to the craft. We believe these multiple ways to apply to the Writers’ Conference are a signature feature of the Bread Loaf model of instruction.

I encourage you to explore our website to find out more about the Conferences, to view or listen to readings and lectures from our archives, and to apply!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Grotz

With a rich literary and intellectual tradition, the 97th annual Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference brings together emerging writers to work closely with a diverse and talented faculty. 

For ten days in August, you’ll experience the intensity—and challenge—of working under the guidance of notable writers, including MacArthur Fellows, U.S. poets laureate, and recipients of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

Our rural and scenic setting amid the Green Mountains on Middlebury’s Bread Loaf campus provides an ideal environment for discussing manuscripts, sharing insights, getting to know agents and editors, and becoming acquainted with the next generation of significant writers.

Overview

Workshops are at the core of the conference. Each faculty member conducts a workshop in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction that meets for five two-hour sessions over the course of the 10 days.

  • Groups are limited to ten writers to facilitate discussion.
  • Participants meet individually with their faculty mentors.
  • Faculty offer lectures on literary writing and classes on specific aspects of the craft.
  • You can attend daily readings by the faculty, participants, and guests.
  • All participants meet with visiting editors, literary agents, and publishers.

The 2022 Session

This year’s conference will take place from Wednesday, August 17 to Saturday, August 27. Find out more about dates and fees.

In addition to their literary accomplishments, our faculty has been specifically chosen for their skill at guiding developing writers. Find out more about faculty and guests.

Financial Aid

Thanks to the generous support of Middlebury and to an endowment fund established by past Bread Loafers and other donors, financial aid is available for both published and unpublished writers. Financial need has no bearing on decisions, except as noted.

Apply

Applications are accepted between November 1 and February 15. Notification letters will be sent by email in late May. See Application Information.

What Past Participants Say:

  • “The diversity panel was amazing. It was great to hear the panelists’ backgrounds, histories, and where they are now in the lit scene and in their own writing journeys.”
    Suhail Mandani
    New York, NY

  • “My meetings with editors and agents were excellent! Even guests with whom I did not have scheduled meetings were happy to chat with me outside their schedules. This is one of the most useful aspects of Bread Loaf, as it is very hard for new writers to meet agents and editors.”
    Madhur Anand
    Guelph, Ontario

  • “Matthew Olzmann’s lecture on imagination and poetry blew something wonderfully open in my current nonfiction project. The lectures were thrilling in how much they fed my soul. I’m so grateful for all Bread Loaf has brought into my life, and for the work to make the space so much more diverse and inclusive. I never thought I’d feel so gender-comfortable there, and this year I did.”
    Alex Marzano-Lesnevich
    Portland, ME

  • “The values that were evident: respect for honest and challenging conversation, creativity, kindness…these come from good leadership. You did an amazing job creating a space for excellence and genuine community.”
    Sean Sakamoto
    New York, NY