Hurston/Wright Foundation | 2017 Writers Week
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2017 Writers Week

2017 Summer Writers Week

Fiction Workshop led by Tiphanie Yanique

Nonfiction Workshop led by Sheri Booker

Poetry Workshop will be led by Kyle Dargan

Saturday, August 5 – Friday, August 11, 2017

Howard University in Washington, D.C.

For 20 years, the Hurston/Wright Summer Writers Workshop has offered a safe space for writers in intensive workshop sessions and master classes.

Workshops are led by award-winning writers who are influencing today’s literature. The program features critiques, craft talks, writing time and public readings.

Hurston/Wright workshops serve emerging and experienced writers who are starting projects, developing projects or seeking to polish projects. More than a thousand writers have participated in workshops since the first session in 1996.

Hosted in the nation’s capital, the program allows writers to explore storytelling in one of the world’s most intriguing and inspiring cities.

Hurston/Wright is a community that supports you and your writing life.

Summer 2017 Program

Tiphanie Yanique


This workshop for writers of short stories and long fictional narratives focuses on the essentials of skillful storytelling – structure, character development, plot and dialogue.


Workshop Leader: Tiphanie Yanique


Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the novel Land of Love and Drowning, the story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony, and the poetry collection Wife, which won the 2016 Bocas Prize in Caribbean poetry and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Forward/Felix Dennis Prize for a First Collection. Land of Love and Drowning won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award. It also was a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist and a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature. How to Escape from a Leper Colony won her a listing as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5Under35 and was nominated for a Legacy Award in 2011. Tiphanie, who is from the Virgin Islands, is an associate professor in the MFA program at the New School in New York City, where she was the 2015 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Sheri Booker


This workshop explores the challenges of memoir, biography and nonfiction narratives.


Workshop Leader: Sheri J. Booker


Sheri J. Booker is an award-winning author, educator and poet. Her memoir Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner City Funeral Home won the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author and was a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominee. She also is the author of One Woman, One Hustle: A Collection of Poetry and Short Stories. Booker, who has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College and a B.A. in Political Science from Notre Dame of Maryland University, has taught writing in South Africa, India and Baltimore, and in Washington, D.C. as part of the Pen Faulkner Foundation’s Writers in Schools program. She also runs a consulting business, Let Me Be Great, that includes helping aspiring writers tell their stories.

Kyle G. Dargan


Poets often find themselves pulled in different directions–not necessarily opposed, though not always aligned–of exploring their own curiosities or obsessions and communicating to readers and listeners who bring their own needs. How does the poet find a way to do what she/he/they needs to in a manner that preserves the potential to speak to and feed the hearts and minds of those who those poems may (or may not) encounter? “Universality,” for the oppressed or underrepresented, is often nothing more than a prescription to be impotent or toothless. We will workshop our original writing, generate new work, and discuss strategy for not only keeping our unique edges but making them cut in various ways.

Workshop Leader: Kyle Dargan

Kyle Dargan is the author of four collections of poetry —The Listening, which won the Cave Canem Prize; Bouquet of Hungers, which was awarded the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in poetry in 2008; Logorrhea Dementia; and most recently Honest Engine, which was a 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist and a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Dargan is an associate professor of literature and director of creative writing at American University. He resides in Washington, D.C.

Submission Format

For fiction and creative nonfiction, 20 pages maximum, using Times New Roman, 12 point type, double-spaced with 1-inch margins.

For poetry, 3 poems.

Provide a title page that includes the author’s name. Number the pages.

Include a cover letter with information about your writing life and citations of any published work.


Deadline: June 1st.

Application fee: $30

Tuition: $700

Apply to one workshop only.

Previous attendees are eligible to apply.

You will receive notification of acceptance by June 19th.

Apply Now