Matt Ewalt
Vice President and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education 716.357.6246 | 
Emily Carpenter
Education Department Coordinator
(assistance finding answers about our many programs, memberships for CLSC and CLAF)
716.357.6310 | 
Karen Schiavone
Manager of Special Studies and Youth Programs (Young Readers, Battle of the Books) 716.357.6290 | 
Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
Director, Chautauqua Writers' Festival 
Jill Gerard (she/her/Ms.)
Philip Gerard (he/him/Mr.)
Editors, Chautauqua literary journal 
Cindy Hinsdale (she/her/Ms.) Manager, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall 716.357.6481 (in-season)
Stephine Hunt (she/her/Ms.) Manager, CLSC Veranda 716.357.6293 (in-season)

Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends (CLAF), formerly known as Chautauqua Readers & Writers, is a volunteer network of writers and readers who work year-round in support of Chautauqua Literary Arts. During the nine-week summer program, the Friends provide support to the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, sponsor weekly opportunities for writers to present their work and meet other writers and readers, and organize contests and other special events.

Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends events

(Click here for complete CLAF calendar of events or check The Chautauquan Daily.)

  • Sunday afternoon readings by prose and poetry writers-in-residence at Hall of Philosophy followed by reception and book-signing on the porch of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall. Co-sponsored with Writers’ Center; open to the public.

  • Sunday evening open mic at Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall (ages 18 and up; no registration required)

  • Tuesday informal prose and poetry critiques after Brown Bag lunch events on porch Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall. (No registration required, but bring 10 copies of one page of your work.)

  • Thursday Brown Bag lunch Authors’ Hour readings for CHQ authors on the porch of Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall (Weeks 1–9) – Information and Application

  • Annual Robert Pinsky Favorite Poem Project reading in Hall of Philosophy (July 24) – Information and Application

  • Annual writing contests (poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction; for adults, young adults and young writers; submissions open June 24) – Information and Application.

  • Annual local authors book fair (***July 7 deadline to apply) – Information and Application

  • Annual Reception with Friends (Reservation required at

  • *NEW* Support for young adult writer housing scholarships to attend first Chautauqua Writers' Center workshop

  • Discount voucher for literary journal Chautauqua

Membership Information

Annual membership (new pricing) is $20/person.

All members receive a discount voucher for the newest issue of the literary journal Chautauqua, redeemable for a $5 copy at either the Veranda or the second floor of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall.

Join ONLINE now or in person on the second floor of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall!

June 19-22, 2019
Writing & Reclamation

The 2019 Chautauqua Writers’ Festival takes place over the four days (Wed-Sat) before Week One of Chautauqua Institution's summer season commences.

In addition to the Festival’s tradition of intensive workshops and one-on-one conferences with award-winning contemporary authors, attendees can also experience panel conversations, breakout sessions, and a keynote address. The 2019 theme is Writing & Reclamation, and these various conversations will draw fruitful and urgent connections between the personal, the political, and the craft of writing. All of these features are included in the cost of Standard Registration and available as an option to any workshop participant.

Alternatively, Explorations Registration will make it possible for anyone to pay a reduced rate to attend everything other than workshops, fostering an even more vibrant, dynamic convening of writers from near and far. Explorations Registration is available through June 19 and at the door. Learn more below about registration, applications to join a panel or lead a breakout session, and our incredible faculty!

All registrants receive lodging discounts and special discount dining menus from Afterword and Brick Walk cafes on Bestor Plaza, as well as complimentary daily continental breakfast and airport shuttle service (reservation required; see "2019 Schedule" tab). 

2019 Keynote/Panels


Brown Jericho

Jericho Brown
1 p.m. Thursday, June 20
Parlor, Athenaeum Hotel
Explorations or Standard registration required to attend.

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019). His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

Panels & Breakout Sessions 

Attendees can look forward to panels featuring writers, teachers, editors and publishers across three days of the festival on these topics:

Reclaiming My Time: World History, Personal History, and Other Coopted Narratives
Wednesday, June 19
panel: Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, Anita Powell, Megan Stielstra, Christie Towers (1 p.m., Ballroom, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall)
breakout sessions: Elizabeth Mosier, Hermine Pinson (
2:30 p.m., 2nd floor locations, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall)

Reclaiming Voice: The Recuperative Promise of Poetry
Friday, June 21
panel: Jericho Brown, Lisa Fay Coutley, Shira Dentz, Richard Hamilton, Adam Tedesco (1 p.m., Ballroom, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall)
breakout sessions: S. Brook Corfman, Jessica Fischoff, Sarah Shapiro (2:30 p.m., 2nd floor locations, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall)

Teaching to Reclaim: Towards an Inclusive Creative Writing Pedagogy
Saturday, June 22
panel: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Renee Christopher, Keith Jones, Jillian Powers, Kent Shaw (1 p.m., Ballroom, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall)
breakout sessions: Renee Christopher, Kent Shaw, Christie Towers (2:30 p.m., 2nd floor locations, Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall)

Chautauqua publishes writing that speaks to Chautauqua's tradition of inquiry into questions of personal, social, political, spiritual, and aesthetic importance — and when, where, and how those values and questions intersect.



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 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

Rosenblatt Roger CLSC 062614 cover

Week One
Roger Rosenblatt
The Boy Dectective