Summer Intensive Residencies

The 2018 Summer Intensive Residency takes place from Sunday, July 8, through Sunday, July 22. The Residency begins with a welcome reception on Sunday, July 8, at 5:00 pm, in the Taylor Hall Welcome Center.

wildflowers1The MFA summer residency program at Western's campus in Gunnison, Colorado, is an invigorating convocation of poets, fiction writers, script writers, critics, scholars, teachers, publishers, producers, directors, editors, and others actively involved in the writing and film industries. Students take intensive classes for three hours each day, opening a conversation that continues throughout the year. The program also includes workshops, lectures, panels, and special events, effectively creating a writers' colony for two precious weeks during the height of the summer, when the Gunnison Valley is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

All students and faculty not only read and write for many hours each day, but we have a wonderful time with readings, socializing, and recreation in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Rockies.

2014, Roessner and Myers at WtR Reception

See the specific concentration pages in Genre Fiction, PoetryScreenwriting and Publishing for detailed information about the courses offered in each Summer Intensive Residency.

All students must make arrangements for lodging during the summer. Please fill out the GPCW housing reservation form if you plan to stay on campus, and communicate directly about your plans and any special needs with Michelle Wilk, our office Support Coordinator, at, or 970-943-2163. Students may stay off-campus, but please let us know your plans as soon as possible. To learn more about off-campus accommodations, visit the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce.

During the final long weekend of the summer residency, the Graduate Program in Creative Writing also hosts the annual Writing the Rockies conference, the preeminent gathering of its kind in the region, which is open to the public. All matriculated students who attend the Summer Intensive are automatically registered for the Conference, which includes admission to all keynote talks, lectures, one-day workshops and seminars, readings, film screenings and special events, along with a continental breakfast and box lunch. (Additional fees do apply if students elect to attend the opening banquet or take a three-day intensive workshop or critical seminar.) The conference offers beginners, published writers, and anyone else who believes in the power of the written word the opportunity to hone the craft of writing, to explore the changing landscapes of fiction, poetry and film, and to talk with visiting agents and publishers. Among other events, celebrated poets and critics gather at the Critical Path Poets' Symposium to discuss, debate, and explore modern criticism.

All in all, few other summer programs can offer the opportunity to be part of such an intense, focused writers' community in such an inspiring landscape. Surrounded by fellow writers, instructors and guest speakers, you will begin to realize your role in the active creation of literature and film, and gather the skills and knowledge to pursue the writer's life.

Non-Matriculated Enrollment in Summer Intensives

All Summer Intensives in Genre Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting and Publishing are open to the public depending on availability and at the discretion of the instructor.

Courses meet 1:00-4:00 pm for eight days in the second half of July (2018: M-F, July 9-13 and M-W, July 16-18).

There are three categories of non-matriculated enrollment in Summer Intensives available to the public:

1) Students who have been admitted through our admissions process to non-matriculated status (see above). Such students who wish to attend a Summer Intensive pay the same amount per credit as matriculated MA/MFA students and receive transcripted 600-level graduate credit. These credits are transferrable to degree-earning status if students matriculate into the program at a later date.

2) Students who have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and who wish to attend a Summer Intensive without becoming officially non-matriculated students in Western's program. Such students can still earn 2 credits of transferrable graduate-level non-degree-seeking credit. Admission is at the discretion of the instructor and the program director, and is subject to availability. Cost: $1,000.

3) Students who wish to attend a Summer Intensive without earning any credit. Such students may also register at the discretion of the instructor and the program director. The program has offered this option to a wide range of participants, from advanced high school students to members of our local community and visitors who are passionate about writing but not interested in pursuing a degree or graduate credit. Cost: $750.

Please note: Summer Intensive students who decide to enroll in the program and who wish to receive 600-level credit for summer intensive courses must do so before registering for the summer intensive. 600-level credit cannot be applied to transcripts retroactively.

Non-matriculated participation in a Summer Intensive includes classes, and also readings, workshops, lectures and all other special events that are part of the intensive.

Please note that non-matriculated Summer Intensive registration does not include housing, meals, travel and any other events that require extra fees. Please also note that Summer Intensive registration does not include registration for Writing the Rockies, our national conference that begins on the final day of the Summer Intensive and runs through the weekend (July 19 - 23, 2017). Non-matriculated students are welcome to stay for the conference, but that registration is separate.

For more information about registering for a Summer Intensive, please visit the program's "Apply" page and scroll down to "Checklist for Admission to Non-Matriculated Enrollment."

Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information

Register Now for Writing the Rockies