The 2019 Conference

July 16 - 28, 2019


Rita, Simon, and John

From July 16–28, 2019, the University of the South will host the 30th session of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Thanks to the generosity of the Walter E. Dakin Memorial Fund, supported by the estate of the late Tennessee Williams, the Conference will gather a distinguished faculty to provide instruction and criticism through workshops and craft lectures in poetry, fiction, and playwriting.

This year’s faculty includes fiction writers Tony Earley, Adrianne Harun, Randall Kenan, Michael Knight, Margot Livesey, Bobbie Ann Mason, Jill McCorkle, Tim O’Brien, Christine Schutt, and Steve Yarbrough; and poets B.H. Fairchild, Robert Hass, Mark Jarman, Maurice Manning, Marilyn Nelson, Mary Jo Salter, A.E. Stallings, and Sidney Wade. Dan O’Brien and Liliana Padilla will lead the playwriting workshop. Charles Martin, A.E. Stallings, and N.S. Thompson will offer a supplemental poetry translation workshop. Charles Martin, Alice McDermott, and Wyatt Prunty will read from their work.

Martin and KenanIn addition, a group of distinguished writers, critics, agents, and visitors will take part. Those who will discuss writing from the point of view of editing or publishing include Jin Auh (The Wylie Agency), Anna Lena Phillips Bell (Ecotone and Lookout Books), Millicent Bennett (Grand Central Publishing), Valerie Borchardt (Georges Borchardt Literary Agency), Sarah Burnes (The Gernert Company), George David Clark (32 Poems), David Scott Cunningham (University of Arkansas Press), Barbara Epler (New Directions), Jessica Faust (The Southern Review), Gary Fisketjon (Alfred A. Knopf), Mary Flinn (Blackbird), Emily Forland (Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents), Gail Hochman (Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents), Parneshia Jones (Northwestern University Press), Allison Joseph (Crab Orchard Review), David Lynn (Kenyon Review), Speer Morgan (The Missouri Review), Emily Nemens (The Paris Review), Kathy Pories (Algonquin Books), Adam Ross (Sewanee Review), Elisabeth Schmitz (Grove Atlantic), Anna Stein (ICM Partners), Philip Terzian (Washington Examiner), Liz Van Hoose (5E), Michael Wiegers (Copper Canyon Press), Robert Wilson (The American Scholar), David Yezzi (The Hopkins Review and The New Criterion), and Renée Zuckerbrot (Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents).

Other prominent visitors will include literary agents Margaret Riley King (William Morris Endeavor) and Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management). Beth Blickers, theatre agent with APA, and Hana S. Sharif (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), will meet with playwrights.

Every Conference participant receives assistance covering two-thirds of the actual cost to attend. Additional funding is awarded to fellows and scholars. The Conference will offer its customary Walter E. Dakin Fellowships and Tennessee Williams Scholarships, as well as awards in memory of Stanley Elkin, Claudia Emerson, Horton Foote, Barry Hannah, Anthony Hecht, John Hollander, Donald Justice, Romulus Linney, Howard Nemerov, Father William Ralston, Mark Strand, Peter Taylor, Mona Van Duyn, and John N. Wall. Additional scholarships have been made possible by Valerie Borchardt and Gail Hochman.

If you have further questions about the Conference, please contact Adam Latham at or 931-598-1654.