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 p.m., in the Taylor Hall Welcome Center.

wildflowers1The M.F.A. 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, Poetry, Screenwriting 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 Lisa Swarts, 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.


Summer Intensive Registration for Non-Matriculated Students

Summer Intensives in Genre Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting and Publishing are open to non-matriculated students depending on availability each year, and at the discretion of the instructor and concentration director. There is no auditing option for summer intensives; all students must either be admitted to the program or hold formal non-matriculated status as described on the admissions page.

Courses meet 1 -4 p.m. for eight days in the second half of July.

Participation in a Summer Intensive includes all classes, readings, workshops, lectures and other special events throughout the entire summer program. Please note: tuition does not include housing, meals, travel and any other events that require extra fees. Summer Intensive registration also 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). General registration for Writing the Rockies is $300 for all attendees. Scholarships are available.

For more information about registering for a Summer Intensive as a formally non-matriculated student, please visit "Admissions Requirements and Application" and scroll down to "Checklist for Admission to Non-Matriculated Enrollment."


Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information


Register Now for Writing the Rockies