Writers' Workshop at Exeter

See you next summer!

Our 2022 conference has concluded. Registration for our 2023 conference will open later this year.

I learned to let go and open up to the life and process of writing - it was wonderful to have the time to indulge myself in dreaming, thinking, remembering, challenging, exploring!"
Conference participant
“For those of us who write, it is necessary to scrutinize not only the truth of what we speak, but the truth of that language by which we speak it.”
Audre Lorde
I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear."
Joan Didion

poetics of justice

We all have stories to tell & truths to ink into being. We are living at a time in which we are being called to discover ~ for ourselves as human beings & as educators of youth ~ what bell hooks named as “writing that truly rescues, that enables us to reach the shore, to recover.” 

What are the poetics & practices that will allow us to release our imaginations as writers & as educators? How do we trust in & envision the creative process in order “to make the world a more human dwelling place?” (James Baldwin).

What might it be like to engage in & to design writing workshops that celebrate our differences? We will use this week-long workshop to awaken experimental play with language, to practice deep listening & to explore new forms as writers. This workshop week aims for a coalition of participant voices/perspectives/styles. 

Now, after two years of living in a global pandemic, perhaps more than ever we need the time & space to reflect, to listen, to heal, to rejuvenate. The Writers’ Workshop at Exeter seeks to offer that refuge to write, to collaborate with other writers/thinkers/educators & to practice emerging workshop models inspired by educators like Felicia Rose Chavez’ in “The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop.” 

You will spend a week writing on the campus that has inspired such writers and thinkers as  John Irving, Charly Evon Simpson, Roxane Gay, Ilya Kaminsky, and Paul Yoon. We will be workshopping our writing, generating new work, attending readings, & discussing literature in a collaborative Harkness setting. Collaborating with writers & teachers from around the world, participants gain professional development experience while restoring our own creativity & envisioning generative ways to return to our classrooms.

The conference is limited to 26 attendees.

Who Should Register?

“Every word that’s ever said tries to find a way to live.” (Poet Laureate Joy Harjo). This writing workshop is for anyone who is eager to write, to awaken acts of imagination & to reflect on the poetics of justice in a collaborative Harkness workshop setting. We will explore & practice ways of creating inclusive & equitable writing experiences for ourselves & for our students. The conference is open to all levels of experience: as educators, as writers, as social justice advocates. Anyone who writes or wants to write poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, manifestos and monologues ~ please register to attend.

A Place for Writing Teachers?

While not a requirement, many of our participants are teachers of writing. Participants will leave the conference with new tools and strategies to take back to their classrooms. An open spirit of exchange will encourage participants to improve their individual work as writers and to develop approaches and techniques for teaching writing that foster inclusion, equity and encourage the role of the arts for justice.

Professional Development Credit

Participants earn 40 clock hours toward professional development goals. At the conclusion of the conference, you will receive a certificate of completion and a clock hour letter for your school administration.

How Your Day is Structured

You will have time each morning to work on your own writing, revising old work and generating new material. You may wander the trails, sit under an old growth elm with a notebook, find a nook in Exeter’s Louis Kahn Library or perhaps ride the eight miles out to the stunning New Hampshire Coastline to seek inspiration in the sun rising over the Atlantic.

Mid Morning is spent around the Harkness table to discuss a piece of literature which we’ll use as a way to generate new writing of our own. We will be reading from a diverse array of voices & styles for inspiration. Afternoons are for workshops of our own writing with early evening time set aside for one-on-one conferences with conference leaders. The evenings include readings by guest writers, conversations with colleagues and engaging in social activities. The week as a whole is a chance to write, revise and revive. For planning purposes, the workshop starts on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m. Friday. A formal schedule will be sent to participants prior to the conference.

There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal."
Toni Morrison

Contact Us

Lauren Rosen

Mailing Address
Phillips Exeter Academy
20 Main Street
Exeter, NH 03833