Friends of Writers is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipend:  Adrienne Perry in Fiction for See Through Girls  and Tariq Luthun in Poetry for How the Water Holds Me. Each winner receives $5000. The judge in fiction was Paul Lisicky. The judge in poetry was Rigoberto González.

Congratulations to Adrienne and Tariq and many thanks to everyone who submitted their fine work. Both judges report that choosing just one winner in each category was a very difficult decision, as there were so many high-quality entries. Finalists in poetry were Rosemary Kitchen for Field Notes for the Magician and Robin Rosen Chang for Bleeding into the Garden. Finalists in Fiction were Taryn Tilton for Night Crane and Hadley Moore for Not Dead Yet and Other Stories.

In 2019 there will again be two awards, one in poetry and one in fiction. Submission guidelines will be available and the amount of the 2019 awards announced as of August 1, 2019, with submissions accepted beginning September 1.


What do you need to help you through the final push to complete your first full-length prose or poetry manuscript? Childcare so your house is quiet? Or time away from the day-to-day on a retreat? Something else? Then, as a graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, it is a great time to apply for the Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipend. Not only has the stipend been increased to $5,000 (to be awarded to one writer of fiction and one poet), but the deadline has been extended to December 1.

Friends of Writers  is pleased to announce that the 2019 MFA Alumni Writing Conference will be held held at Macalester College in Saint Paul MN with the “Full Stay” running from Sunday, July 21 through Saturday, July 27 (check-out Sunday morning the 28th after breakfast). The “Short Stay” will begin on Wednesday, July 24. More information will follow.

Dear Poet: An Anthology of Essays on How Correspondence between Poets and Mentors Fostered the Writing of Poems

Dear Community of Writers:

Friends of Writers seeks essays, short craft memoirs, and excerpts of letters for a new anthology that will explore the central and unique teaching tool of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College: the exchange of letters between students and their faculty mentors. We are looking for edited exchanges, essays, and other writings that capture a lively, moving portrait of the program. Unlike prior anthologies, this one will be the first to include work by poetry alumni about their apprenticeship.

We are inviting poets to submit an abstract describing the way in which a set of letters between you and a faculty mentor illuminated your work, changed your process, or otherwise affected the making of a poem. In this abstract, please make reference to any supporting material pertinent to sections of letters between you and a faculty member. Ideally, your essay will demonstrate how an exchange of letters fostered your writing and deepened your understanding of craft.  Read more

It’s time to register for the 2018 Alumni Conference, often fondly referred to as Wally Camp. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in Northern California beginning July 5. You’ll find everything you need to know at the Friends of Writers Website through this link: 2018 ALUMNI CONFERENCE (

If you’re never been, this is your time to try it out. The conference is a great opportunity to get in touch with your writer self, the one who loved the residencies during your time in the program but could have done without the pressure. Perhaps you are one of those writers who is uncomfortable when it comes to socializing and never quite felt like you fit into the “tribe” yet feel a bit of a tug to see what this is all about. If that’s you, then you definitely need to come.  We’ll welcome you!

Dates you need to know (also at the link).

APRIL 24: Deadline for scholarship requests.
MAY 1: Final day to register with deposit. All registrations after this date must pay in full at time of registration.
MAY 25: Registration closes. Remaining balances due.
JUNE 1: Late/outstanding balances plus $100 late fee payable only by credit card.
JUNE 9: Deposits forfeited if balance is unpaid by June 1 (postmark) or June 10 (credit card).

Friends of Writers is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipend: Rose Skelton in Fiction for HOMESCAR, and Noah Stetzer in Poetry for BOYS GUIDE TO DANGER & HOUSEWORK . Each winner receives $4000. The judge in fiction was Peter Ho Davies.  The judge in poetry was Allison Joseph.


Congratulations to Rose and Noah, and many thanks to everyone who applied. Both judges report that choosing just one winner in each category was a difficult decision, as there were so many high-quality entries.Finalists in poetry included Francine Conley, Cynthia Saunders Quinones, and Luke Brekke. Finalists in Fiction were Avra Elliott, Laura Moretz, and Terri Leker.

In 2018 there will again be two awards, one in poetry and one in fiction. Submission guidelines will be available and the amount of the 2018 awards announced as of August 1, 2018, with submissions accepted beginning September 1.

Two 2017 Levis Prizes of $4,000 for a First Book of Poetry
and First Book of Fiction

Two Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipends, one in fiction and one in poetry, are given to support graduates of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers who are completing first books. Each 2017 award will be made to a writer in the amount of $4,000. Judges will be announced with the winning manuscripts.

Recent winners of the Larry Levis Alumni Stipend include Edward Porter and Adam Jernigan in Fiction, and Ross White, Ben Jackson, and Jenny Johnson in Poetry.


The Levis Stipends are open only to alumni who have not yet published a full-length collection in the selected genre in a standard edition. A standard edition is defined as 150 or more pages in a print run of 1500 or more copies for fiction, and as 48 or more pages in a print run of 500 or more copies for poetry. Entrants to the competition must hold the MFA degree from Warren Wilson College. All alumni are eligible.


  1. All submissions must be made via Submittable. An entry fee of $30 is required to process the application.
  2. Include in your application a statement regarding how the award will be used, projected completion date of the book manuscript, and a list of publication credits.
  3. Include a 40-page fiction manuscript or 20-page poetry manuscript. Document margins should be at least one inch; text should be in an easily readable 12-point typeface. Pages submitted beyond the page count will not be considered. Manuscripts are judged blindly; your name should not appear anywhere on your manuscript. If it does, your application will be disqualified and removed from consideration.
  4. Submit your entry via Submittable. Do not use your name in the Submittable project title or filenames. (Your project title can be either the title of your manuscript or something like “Levis poetry manuscript.”) Label your attachments “cover letter” and “manuscript.” Both must be submitted as .pdf files.


  • Submissions will be accepted between September 1 and November 15, 2017.
  • Stipends will be awarded in January 2018. Stipends are fully taxable under United Stated tax laws, and Friends of Writers must declare the awards to the Internal Revenue Service. Taxes and payments of taxes are solely the responsibility of individual award winners.

About Larry Levis

Larry Levis (1946-1996) was an award-winning poet who wrote six books of poetry during his lifetime. His collection, Elegy, was published posthumously. A Selected Poems was published in 2000. The Darkening Trapeze, a collection of last poems, was published in 2016. Levis was a much-beloved member of the faculty at the MFA Program for Writers, cherished as much for his incisive mind as for the care and attention he gave to his students.

Any queries or requests for more information should be addressed to:

Ashley Nissler

Levis Fellowship Administrator
[email protected]


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.


As Monday May 30 was a holiday the deadline for registering for the Alumni Conference and (or) the celebration of the Program’s 40th Anniversary has been extended through the end of business on Wednesday, June 1. Come for the full week of readings and classes with your friends and peers, come for the Short Stay of the same, or  come just for the Gala to toast the first and best  low residency MFA program for writers on the globe, but don’t delay — register now at
Alumna Diane Arief (fiction, ’06) shared with Friends of Writers this remembrance of fellow alumna Dana Humbler Hinrichs (fiction, ’00):
I learned some sad news about an old friend who is an alumnus of the MFA program. Dana Huebler Hinrichs died last week after a long battle with lymphoma. For many years, Dana was in my writing group in Los Angeles and was one of the friends who recommended the Warren Wilson program to me. Eventually she left LA and moved to Woods Hole, MA, where she met her future husband, Kai who was working as a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. They moved to his native Germany and settled in Bremen to raise their family. Dana was a generous, gentle friend and a gifted writer.
Dana is survived by her husband, Kai, and her three children Lila, Marko and Zoe.  
Here’s a link to “Our Two Babies,” an essay of Dana’s published in 2013: