Chautauqua Literary Arts convenes readers and writers of all ages in community, conversation, intensive craft development, and exploratory learning opportunities.

The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC) presents weekly lectures by distinguished authors as part of a 140-year tradition of community reading, complemented by a Young Readers program and book discussions programmed by the CLSC and the Alumni Association of the CLSC.

For 30 years, the Chautauqua Writers’ Center has coordinated workshops, free and public weekly readings, and craft lectures by its writers-in-residence. A June Writers’ Festival and Chautauqua literary journal have since become annual highlights.

Books featured in all of these programs are always available at Chautauqua’s Smith Memorial Library and the Chautauqua Bookstore.


072017 sandra cisneros OS 09Reading together since 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle has remained a leader in adult education through quality programming.

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Young Readers Program

YoungReaders Feature BG 07012015 Master 004The CLSC Young Readers program encourages the enjoyment of good reading. The books have been chosen for their quality, the variety of styles and subjects, and their appeal to young adult readers.

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The Chautauqua Prize

081316 CHQPrizeReading sh 02A national prize that celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience.

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The Chautauqua Janus Prize

CM 37The Chautauqua Janus Prize will be awarded for the first time in 2018, celebrating an emerging writer’s single work of short fiction or nonfiction for daring formal and aesthetic innovations that upset and reorder literary conventions, historical narratives, and readers’ imaginations.

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CLSC Alumni Association

CLSC graduationThe 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 the graduated classes. Many of these classes are active for several decades or more.

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Writers' Center

poetry workshopThe 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.

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Writers' Festival

DSC 8714 2The 2018 Festival will take place over the four days before Chautauqua’s summer season commences: from Wednesday, June 20 to Saturday, June 23. 

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Young Writers Institute

0724 YOUNGWRITERS BS006The Young Writers Institute is a five-day immersive, multi-genre creative writing day camp for students 14 to 18 years old.

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Literary Journal

Chautauqua LitJournal 2017 Cover landingChautauqua Literary Arts Friends, formerly known as Chautauqua Readers & Writers, is a volunteer network of writers and readers who work year-round on behalf of the literary arts at Chautauqua.

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Literary Arts Friends

0625 brownbag BH 007Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends (formerly known as Chautauqua Readers & Writers) is an organization of people who appreciate and support the literary arts, whether they are writers or readers. Throughout the Chautauqua summer season, CLAF provides social and intellectual events that bring together people who enjoy prose, poetry, and nonfiction of all types.

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Smith Memorial Library

libraryThe Smith Memorial Library of Chautauqua Institution anchors the southern end of Bestor Plaza.

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