Writing, Poetry & Writers Week

The Writing Workshops offer poets and writers at all levels a full immersion experience, designed to deepen your understanding of story and language. Faculty is composed of authors with both long publishing records and extensive teaching experience, eager to help you begin, continue or complete your books, poems, stories and essays.

Registration for Writers Week opens February 1, 2020
Fellowships Applications accepted November 15, 2019 to February 18, 2020

Writers Week

July 6-10, 2020
Coordinators: Victoria Chang and Ed Skoog

Writers from around the world have found a special home at Idyllwild Arts. For decades, it has gathered thoughtful, provoking, and notable guests—among them Ray Bradbury, Norman Corwin, Lucille Clifton, Sharon Olds, Terrance Hayes, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Philip Levine, David St. John, and Natasha Trethewey. Join us to be inspired and challenged by world-class voices at our annual Writers Week.

Work and engage with some of the country’s premier literary artists. Writers Week includes:

  • Workshops
  • Daily craft talks
  • Public readings
  • Book signing receptions
  • Opportunities to socialize and exchange ideas
  • Six Merit Fellowships opportunities idyllwildarts.submittable.com/submit
  • Participant reading and farewell reception


The Idyllwild Arts Writers Week gathers a diverse community of writers who are committed to working together to explore new ideas in the world and in their own creative work. As a Writers Week participant, you will work closely with nationally-regarded faculty in small morning workshops focused on fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. After lunch, you’re welcome to experiment in the Writers Lab, a place where you can generate new work or revise. Each afternoon, you’ll hear special guests speak about their craft, the field of writing, or social issues in inspirational and thought-provoking sessions. Evenings include social time and readings by special guests, teachers, fellows and students.

Workshop groups meet for three hours each morning, with individual meetings on Thursday morning. Workshops are focused on respectful critique of work you submit in advance: 10 pages of poetry (one poem on each page, all in one document), or 15 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction sent by June 15. After enrolling in a genre, you’ll be assigned to a specific faculty member and a workshop group. All students are invited to read your work at the Friday afternoon gathering in the magical outdoor Holmes Amphitheater under the pines.

Skill Level: Idyllwild Arts Writers Week is open to anyone with an interest in writing, from enthusiastic beginners to emerging and established writers, as well as MFA students and recent graduates.
Enrollment limited to 10 students per workshop/teacher


Poetry: Victoria Chang, Diane Suess
Fiction: Vu Tran, Aimee Bender
Nonfiction: Wendy C. Ortiz, Angela Morales

Skill Level: All levels
Tuition: $775
Enrollment limited to 10 students per workshop/teacher

Writers Week Fellowship Applicants

**NOTE: Submissions for Fellowships will be accepted beginning November 15, 2019

Click Here to Apply for a Fellowship


Victoria Chang’s fourth book of poems, Barbie Chang was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2017 and won the Housatonic Book Award. The Boss (McSweeney’s) won a PEN America Literary Award and a California Book Award. Other books are Salvinia Molesta and Circle, and she edited Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation.  She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, and a Poetry Society of America Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for her fifth book of poems, OBIT, which will be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her picture book Is Mommy? (Simon & Schuster), was illustrated by Caldecott winner Marla Frazee and was named a New York Times Notable Book.  She is a contributing editor of the literary journal, Copper Nickel and a poetry editor at Tupelo Quarterly. She is currently on the National Book Critics Circle Board.  She lives in Los Angeles with her family and her wiener dogs, Mustard and Ketchup, and is Core Faculty at Antioch University’s low-residency MFA Program.  www.victoriachangpoet.com @VChangPoet 

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of three books: Excavation: A Memoir, Hollywood Notebook, and the “dreamoir” Bruja. In 2016, Bustle named her one of “9 Women Writers Who Are Breaking New Nonfiction Territory.” Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. Wendy is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles.  www.wendyortiz.com

Vu Tran’s first novel, Dragonfish, was a New York Times Notable Book and among the San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Books of the Year. He is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, and his short fiction has appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, and The Southern Review. He is a criticism columnist for the Virginia Quarterly Review and an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts at the University of Chicago. http://www.vutranwriter.com

Ed Skoog is the author of three books of poetry: Run the Red Lights, Rough Day, Mister Skylight, and a fourth, Travelers Leaving for the City, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020.  His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review and Harper’s, and he has held fellowships from Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, The Lannan Foundation, Richard Hugo House, and George Washington University. A former chair of the Idyllwild Arts Academy’s Creative Writing Department, he has taught in the Summer Program since 2006. He lives in Portland, Oregon and is a co-host, with novelist J. Robert Lennon, of the literary podcast Lunch Box, with Ed and John.

Developing the Writer Within: The Craft and Art of Fiction

April 5-April 7, 2019
Three-day retreat

Faculty: Janet Fitch

Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Daily life has an insidious way of disconnecting us from our creative impulses. This intensive retreat is designed to reinforce participants’ connection with their creative sources, and explore aspects of craft through discussions and generative exercises. Elements might include nuts and bolts issues such as style, writing from the senses, structuring scene and story, the dialogue scene, to more intimate topics such as time management, fortitude, keeping inspiration alive and other issues which naturally arise in the cohort.  Step aside from the daily grind for a few days and feed the writer within.

Tuition: $685

Enrollment limited to 14 students.

To Registerwww.idyllwildarts.org/register.

Housing: Idyllwild offers a lovely variety of Cabins, B&B’s, & Inns. If you would like to be connected with other students for the possibility of sharing, please let our registrar know and they can help you.

Questions? Registrars – 951-468-7265

Janet Fitch is the author of the novels White Oleander, Paint it Black and The Revolution of Marina M. Her short fiction and essays have been widely published. She has taught creative writing at the Esalen Institute, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, USC’s Master of Professional Writing program, the UCLA Writer’s Program, Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing and Publishing program, and Pomona College, among others. She is frequently invited to speak on special topics in fiction writing. Her Writing Wednesday writing tip videos can be found on her author Facebook page. For more about Janet, check her website, www.janetfitchwrites.com.