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!

Readers

072017 sandra cisneros OS 09Our 140-year-old lifelong reading program is the centerpiece of our ongoing work to convene readers of all ages in conversation, community and learning through literature.

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Writers 

062018 Writers Festival DM 05From weekly summer workshops at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center to a socially engaged Writers’ Festival, we offer uniquely stimulating opportunities to grow your writing practice — or initiate one.

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Prizes

Prize LogosWe celebrate contemporary literature every year through The Chautauqua Prize and The Chautauqua Janus Prize, honoring extraordinary new books and emerging writers respectively.

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Community

0627 Poetry Makerspace Visits BCH1Learn 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.

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Youth

YoungReaders Feature BG 07012015 Master 004Lifelong 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.

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Literary Arts Contacts 

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Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC)

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Reading together since 1878, the CLSC has remained a leader in lifelong learning through the reading and discussion of literature. Each week of our summer season features at least one author presentation and book signing, as well as community conversation programs. 

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CLSC Young Readers Program

YoungReaders Feature BG 07012015 Master 004

The CLSC Young Readers program encourages the enjoyment of reading extraordinary books from an early age. Each week of our summer season features a lively gathering around a different book, collectively presenting a variety of styles and subjects that appeal to young (and young adult) readers.

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Literary Journal

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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. 

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Literary Arts Contacts

CM 37Reach out to our staff today.

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Alumni Association of the CLSC 

alumni hallThe Alumni Association of the CLSC was incorporated in 1893 to provide an organization that encourages CLSC graduates to continue reading and study. It conducts programs including Brown Bag luncheon/book reviews and Eventide programs. It is also the parent organization for graduated classes, many of which are active for several decades or more.

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Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends (CLAF)

071818 FavoritePoem18 HK 6Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends (CLAF) is a volunteer network of writers and readers who work year-round in support of Chautauqua Literary Arts. 

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Poetry Makerspace

0627 Poetry Makerspace Visits BCH1Throughout 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. 

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Literary Arts Contacts 

CM 37Reach out to our staff today. 

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Chautauqua Writers' Center

062018 Writers Festival DM 05

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. 

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Chautauqua Writers' Festival

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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.

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Young Writers Institute

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Offered during Weeks One and Three of the summer season, the Young Writers Institute is a five-day immersive, multi-genre creative writing day camp for students 14 to 18 years old, led by an exceptional faculty of published teaching artists.

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Poetry Makerspace

0627 Poetry Makerspace Visits BCH1Throughout 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. 

Read More

 

Literary Arts Contacts

CM 37Reach out to our staff today.

Read More

 

 

CLSC Young Readers

YoungReaders Feature BG 07012015 Master 004The CLSC Young Readers program encourages the enjoyment of reading extraordinary books from an early age. Each week of our summer season features a lively gathering around a different book, collectively presenting a variety of styles and subjects that appeal to young (and young adult) readers.

Read More

 

Young Writers Institute

0724 YOUNGWRITERS BS006Offered during Weeks One and Three of the summer season, the Young Writers Institute is a five-day immersive, multi-genre creative writing day camp for students 14 to 18 years old, led by an exceptional faculty of published teaching artists.

Read More

 

Poetry Makerspace

0627 Poetry Makerspace Visits BCH1Throughout 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. 

Read More

 

Literary Arts Contacts

CM 37Reach out to our staff today.

Read More

 

Subcategories

 

The Chautauqua Writers' Center is a lively community of writers at all levels of development who cultivate the courage, craft and vision necessary to grow as artists under the tutelage of nationally recognized authors. Started in 1987, the original core program of eighteen summer workshops, readings and lectures has grown to include the Chautauqua Writers' Festival, the Chautauqua Literary Journal, and an active support organization, Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends.

Whether you are an accomplished writer looking for peer support, a novice striving to take your work to the next level, or simply an avid reader in love with all things literary, we welcome you and hope to see you at one of our many programs.


Writers' Center Programs at-a-glance

  • Readings on the Porch — Each Sunday from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., the week's poet and prose writers-in-residence read from their own work on the porch of Alumni Hall. (free)

  • Brown-bag Lectures — Each Tuesday and Friday from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m., the week’s poet and prose writers-in-residence (respectively) offer a public lecture on the porch of Alumni Hall. Bring your lunch! (free)

  • Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends — $30 annual membership in this literary arts support group includes a copy of the journal Chautauqua, membership in the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC) and perks such as social events. Literary Arts Friends programs include, amongst others, the Chautauqua Poetry Contest and Hauser Prize.


Summer Workshops

Each workshop is taught by an experienced, published author (writer-in-residence) in a small group setting. Most classes are limited to just 12 participants. All workshops are held on the second floor of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall. (Located on the south end of the grounds on Wythe Ave. across from the Hall of Philosophy.)

For specific questions regarding workshops, please contact Clara Silverstein.

Registration begins in April. Call the ticket ofice at 716.357.6250 to register by phone or register online at https://chqtickets.com. You may also register at one of our ticketing windows at our Main Gate Welcome Center.

Weekly prose and poetry workshops have been the core of the Chautauqua Writers' Center for 24 years. Faculty members are selected not only for their national reputations and the quality of their work, but also for their ability to inspire developing writers to grow in their craft.

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 Literary & Scientific Circle Vertical Theme 2015

Books chosen as Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selections in 2015 will celebrate the theme of “truth and consequences.” In most cases, the book will complement the theme of its corresponding week. In all selections, exceptional writing will define the authors honored by the CLSC.

 Author programs are held Thursdays at 3:30 in the Hall of Philosophy unless otherwise noted.

2014 CLSC Selections

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Week One
Roger Rosenblatt
The Boy Dectective