We are happy to announce that the 2017 annual alumni writing conference will be held at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley MA, from Saturday, July 1 through Saturday, July 8. There will be a Short-Stay option of Tuesday, July 4 through Saturday. If you’ve been here before you’ll be familiar with the beautiful campus (Emily slept here), the unobjectionable and often actually good food, the convenience of a number of shops, pubs, and restaurants just across the street (including an excellent indie bookstore), and our full use of campus facilities. Bradley International Airport (BDL) is about a half hour away, and Amtrak runs through Springfield, Holyoke, and Northampton, all nearby.

There will be Wallies, and there will be readings. These are the core of the conferences for most people. Find the camaraderie, support, incredible talent, and craft-smartness of the peers you came to know at residencies – with none of the pressure and no expectations. Meals, activities, late nights on the dorm porch, these are where the unexpected discussions take place, new friendships are made, old renewed. And the readings each evening: the readers will blow your mind; the audience will lift you up (if you choose to read – please do!).

Workshops, MS Reviews, Fiction Roundtables. Have a story or poem(s) you’d like some input on? Or do you have a collection or novel or other manuscript almost to the finish line? Who more can you trust than your fellows? Who in the wide world of writers understands craft better?

Classes, panels, caucuses, bookshops. Attend one, all, or none at all: peer-taught or –led, or –facilitated. Please teach a 50 minute class!

Let’s not forget the dance!

You spoke, and we heard you. Through sheer happenstance, the last two or three conferences we’ve held at this venue have coincided with unseasonably hot weather for this part of New England (well, it used to be unseasonable, but what is anymore?), and many of you will know that the college does not air condition its dorms. While this led to many wonderful post-reading gatherings on the dorm porch, more than one of you has expressed a desire for a cooling environment. While the college has for some reason declined to install central air for us, the conference coordinator has managed to fit us into a dorm which, thanks to a bigger and wealthier conference than ours, will be outfitted with 20 window AC units (at a moderate additional charge for each room with a unit). (Oh, and for those of you new to Mount Holyoke,the classrooms, our dining room, facilities – all these are air conditioned.)

Yes, I said 20 units. Only 20, which means we will be devising a fair system for assignment of said rooms. As of a date-certain, well announced ahead of time, we will open for AC requests. Once we receive notice from the college as to how many units will be available on a women’s floor, and how many on the men’s, rooms will be assigned. As per contract requirement, AC preference will go first to Full-stayers. Only if fewer than 20 apply would any be available for the Short-stay.

The AC was requested at your suggestion, over many Annual Meetings and in the recent informal survey. That there are only 20 available for this conference is a matter out of our hands, and the Conference Committee agreed that 20 was preferable to none, our only other alternative for the 2017 Conference. Please be accepting of a less than perfect arrangement.


Full Stay (Sat. July 1 – Sat. July 8)                                    $794.00

            Full Stay with AC                                                     $854.00

 Short Stay (Tue. July 4 – Sat. July 8)                               $507.00

            Short Stay with AC if available                            $547.00

Commuter (lunch, dinner, all activities                           $470.00

& facilities)

All prices other than Commuter include a single room and linens, all meals, receptions, and events, and college facilities.

 Deadlines, details, and links to registration and payment sites will be announced and available here in February 2017; notification of same will appear on the Alumni Facebook page, the blog, and the listserv, or you can contact Peter Klank to request inclusion on a 2017 Conference mailing list.


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