Chautauqua Literary Arts
For nearly 150 years, the reading and discussion of literature has lived at the center of Chautauqua Institution’s mission of lifelong learning, engaging participants in the social and political issues of our time. Steeped in this history, Chautauqua Literary Arts convenes readers and writers of all ages in community, conversation, intensive craft development, and exploratory learning opportunities. While most of our programs unfold during the nine-week summer season each year, there are a variety of ways readers and writers can join us, including scholarships and a pre-season Writers’ Festival each June. Explore it all below!
Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle
Reading together since 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle has remained a leader in adult education through quality programming. Each summer, the CLSC chooses nine books of literary quality and invites the authors to Chautauqua present their work to an audience of approximately 1,000 readers.
Chautauqua Writers’ Center
Each week of the summer season, the Chautauqua Writers’ Center offers its Free Sundays Reading Series featuring two highly-accomplished writers-in-residence, who also offer free Tuesday/Friday lectures and budget-friendly five-day workshops for writers at all levels of development.
Each June before the summer season begins, writers convene for four days in a hybrid conference-retreat setting to explore the socio-political stakes of craft, develop their manuscripts, and enjoy extraordinary contemporary literature.
The Chautauqua Prize
The Chautauqua Prize is a national prize that celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and honors the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts.
Lifelong reading and writing begin early at Chautauqua, from child- and teen-centered summer programs to local school partnerships like Battle of the Books and the Poetry Makerspace.
The Chautauqua Janus Prize
The Chautauqua Janus Prize will be awarded for the fourth time this summer, celebrating an emerging writer’s single work of short fiction or nonfiction for daring formal and aesthetic innovations that upset and reorder readers’ imaginations.
Learn more about the literary resources we offer our neighbors all year — as well as the lively community-run organizations that support and supplement our summer programs.
Throughout the summer season, any visitor can flex their creative muscles and make a poem in the Traveling Stanzas interactive exhibit, part of an exciting new partnership with Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center.
Chautauqua publishes writing that speaks to Chautauqua’s tradition of inquiry: questions of personal, social, political, spiritual, and aesthetic importance — and when, where, and how those questions intersect.