The 2017 Conference

July 18 - 30, 2017


Rita, Simon, and John

From July 18–30, 2017, the University of the South will host the 28th session of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Thanks to the generosity of the Walter E. Dakin Memorial Fund, supported by the estate of the late Tennessee Williams, the Conference will gather a distinguished faculty to provide instruction and criticism through workshops and craft lectures in poetry, fiction, and playwriting.

This year’s faculty includes fiction writers Jeffery Renard Allen, Richard Bausch, Adrianne Harun, Randall Kenan, Margot Livesey, Jill McCorkle, Alice McDermott, Tim O’Brien, Christine Schutt, and Steve Yarbrough; and poets B.H. Fairchild, Mark Jarman, Maurice Manning, Charles Martin, Marilyn Nelson, Mary Jo Salter, A.E. Stallings, and Sidney Wade. Naomi Iizuka and Dan O’Brien will lead the playwriting workshop. Charles Martin, A.E. Stallings, and N.S. Thompson will offer a supplemental poetry translation workshop. Allan Gurganus, Ken Weitzman, and Wyatt Prunty will read from their work.

Martin and KenanIn addition, a group of distinguished writers, critics, agents, and visitors will take part. Those who will discuss writing from the point of view of editing or publishing include Jin Auh (The Wylie Agency), Anna Lena Phillips Bell (Ecotone and Lookout Books), Millicent Bennett (Grand Central Publishing), Glenn Blake (Boulevard), Valerie Borchardt (Georges Borchardt Literary Agency), Michelle Brower (Aevitas Creative Management), MaryKatherine Callaway (LSU Press), George David Clark (32 Poems), David Scott Cunningham (University of Arkansas Press), Barbara Epler (New Directions), Gary Fisketjon (Alfred A. Knopf), Mary Flinn (Blackbird), Gail Hochman (Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents), Parneshia Jones (Northwestern University Press), Allison Joseph (Crab Orchard Review), Mike Levine (Mike Levine Editorial), Speer Morgan (The Missouri Review), Kathy Pories (Algonquin Books), Adam Ross (The Sewanee Review), Elisabeth Schmitz (Grove Atlantic), Philip Terzian (The Weekly Standard), Liz Van Hoose (5E), Michael Wiegers (Copper Canyon Press), Robert Wilson (The American Scholar), David Yezzi (The Hopkins Review and The New Criterion), and Renée Zuckerbrot (Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents).

Other prominent visitors will include literary agents Sarah Burnes (The Gernert Company), Emily Forland (Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents), Anna Stein (ICM Partners), and Amy Williams (The Williams Company). Beth Blickers, theatre agent with APA, and Les Waters, artistic director of the Actors Theatre of Louisville, will meet with playwrights.

Every Conference participant receives assistance covering two-thirds of the actual cost to attend. Additional funding is awarded to fellows and scholars. The Conference will offer its customary Walter E. Dakin Fellowships and Tennessee Williams Scholarships, as well as awards in memory of Stanley Elkin, Horton Foote, Barry Hannah, Anthony Hecht, John Hollander, Donald Justice, Romulus Linney, Howard Nemerov, Father William Ralston, Mark Strand, Peter Taylor, Mona Van Duyn, and John N. Wall. Additional scholarships have been made possible by Valerie Borchardt and Gail Hochman.

If you have further questions about the Conference, please contact Adam Latham at or 931-598-1654.