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Appalachian Young Writers' Workshop

young writers together

The 2014 AYWW is June 22-28 on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate. You can download the application form here

The Appalachian Young Writers' Workshop (AYWW) is a seven-day residential writing workshop for rising 10th, 11th, 12th graders, and graduating seniors. 

The AYWW provides the opportunity to explore the craft of creative writing, learning from the region's foremost poets, fiction writers, playwrights, creative non-fiction writers, and lyric writers. Students will be encouraged to consider the region and its environment, policies, literature, culture, music, and more. Whether creative writing is your passion or you would like to learn more about creative writing from published authors, this workshop is for you. 

Like the TYWW, the AYWW will foster a young person's desire to write, will grow their confidence and self-esteem and will challenge them to become leaders in their own communities. Set in the Appalachian Mountains in Harrogate, TN the AYWW will appeal to students who have a particular interest in the Appalachian region whether it is through literature, environmental issues, or for inspiration. Check our Facebook page for news!

Read the 2013 Student Anthology here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible to attend the Appalachian Young Writers’ Workshop?
    Students in grades 10-12 and have a sincere interest in creative writing and the Appalachian region.

  • When is it?
    The AYWW is June 22-28, 2014.

  • Where is it?
    Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN, near the Tennessee/Virginia/Kentucky border. All classes will take place on the university campus and students will stay in dorms on campus. 

  • What is the cost?
    Workshop tuition is $450. This includes all costs for the entire week — room and board, all class materials and Workshop T-shirt, and class instruction.

  • Can I apply for scholarship assistance?
    Yes! All scholarship applicants must demonstrate financial need and writing merit. Interested students should send a complete application to include a 1) registration form, 2) a recent writing sample, and 3) a complete copy of the family’s most recently filed 1040 statement that claims the applicant as a dependent. If no 1040 is required by the IRS, then the statement which shows the family's financial standing may be sent in. Scholarship applicants do not need to send a deposit. Students will be notified of their acceptance by early-June. Scholarship assistance varies from $100 to $450.

  • How do I apply to the AYWW?
    Download the AYWW application here. A complete application consists of a registration form along with a recent sample of your writing and a $100 deposit. All fees can be paid by check (made to Humanities Tennessee), money order, MasterCard or Visa. The $100 deposit will be applied to the total fee. Students will be notified of their acceptance as soon as possible following the receipt of a complete application. Should a student not be accepted into the program, the deposit will be refunded. Scholarship applicants do not need to send in a deposit.

  • When are the application and payment deadlines?
    May 16, 2014: postmark deadline for all scholarship applications and materials
    June 2, 2014: postmark and payment deadline for all general applications

  • Where do students stay during the AYWW?
    Residential life at the AYWW is in supervised residence halls with Workshop counselors on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University. This is a good opportunity to experience what college is like before you actually go to college. Roommates are assigned based on gender and age. Roommate requests are honored when possible. Students have access to the university library and computer lab during the week. When possible, recreational facilities are available to students on campus.

  • How many students are in each class?
    The maximum student:teacher ratio at the AYWW is 12:1 to ensure that all students receive personal attention and instruction from the Workshop’s exceptional faculty and staff. Students attend workshop classes in fiction, lyric writing, poetry, and more each day.  

  • What is a typical day like at the AYWW?
    A typical day at the AYWW begins with breakfast in the cafeteria at 8:00 a.m. Morning classes are from 9:00-11:30 a.m. followed by lunch at 12:00 noon. Afternoon classes are from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Afternoon meeting followed by faculty office hours are from 3:00-4:00 p.m. We will have dinner together and then be treated to special evening programs and activities. Dorm check is at 10:00 and lights out is at 10:30 p.m.

  • Who are the AYWW faculty? We will update the 2014 faculty soon. Check back! The 2013 faculty included:

Darnell Arnoult is currently Writer-in-Residence, Assistant Professor of English, and Director of the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. She is the author of Sufficient Grace and What Travels with Us: Poems which won the 2005 Weatherford Award in Fiction and Poetry, the 2006 SIBA Poetry Book of the Year Award. Darnell's work has been featured on NPR's "The Writer's Almanac" several times. In 2007 Arnoult was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Southern Cultures, Southwest Review, and Asheville Poetry Review. She holds a BA in American Studies with a concentration in Southern Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill, an MA in English and Creative Writing from NC State University, and an MFA from the University of Memphis. She is a regular faculty member of the Table Rock Writers Workshop, Learning Events, the John C. Campbell Folk School, and the Appalachian Writers Workshop in Hindman, KY. Darnell is co-director and founder of the Appalachian Young Writers' Workshop in Harrogate, TN. Visit her at www.darnellarnoult.com.

Susan Gregg Gilmore is the author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen (Shaye Areheart Books/Crown/2008). Called a “stand-out coming of age novel” by NPR’s Alan Cheuse, this debut novel was a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) 2009 Book Award Nominee. Her second novel, The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove (2010), also reviewed on National Public Radio, was named a 2010 SIBA Summer OKRA Pick and selected as part of TARGET’s Emerging Author Program. Gilmore has also written for Garden & Gun, Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor and the Chattanooga News-Free Press. She earned her MA in American Studies from University of Texas at Austin. She now lives in Chattanooga with her family, including two dogs.Visit Susan at www.susangregggilmore.com.

Jesse Graves was born and raised in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, where his ancestors settled in the 1780s.  His poems and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Southern Quarterly, Connecticut Review, and other journals, anthologies, and collections. He teaches at East Tennessee State University, where he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Literature and Language. His newest book, Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, was published by Texas Review Press in 2011. Visit Jesse at jessegraves.weebly.com.

Belinda Smith is a Dove Award winning songwriter based in Nashville, TN. She has been a professional songwriter and session singer since 1997 when she moved to Nashville from West Virginia. Belinda is a staff writer at Daywind Publishing, and she has had more than 100 songs recorded by artists ranging from Grammy-nominated Ty Herndon to the Dove Award winning group Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. She has won three BMI Awards, several #1 songs, and has been acknowledged with many Dove nominations. Belinda has been a featured performer and speaker at cool venues and workshops for several years now including the world famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, the Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, NPR's Mountain Stage, and the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival - just a few places she is proud to have been recently. Belinda also leads personal mentoring and ongoing creativity classes through Belinda Smith Creative. Belinda released a live album in 2012, "Time Machine,” and her first Christmas musical, “Once You’ve Seen the Star,” is being released in 2014.Visit Belinda at www.belindasmithcreative.com.

If you would like more information or have questions about the AYWW, please e-mail Lacey@HumanitiesTennessee.org

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2013 AYWW Anthology.pdf434.75 KB
2014 AYWW application.pdf196.17 KB