Application & Admission
2020 is a year that will be seared in our collective memory for a series of tragic events that have led to an important and intense national conversation on racial equity. Writers in Paradise is an organization devoted to the encouragement and development of a diverse spectrum of emerging writers, helping them refine a craft critical in the effort to educate, entertain and move the world. Beyond the writers we assist every winter, this year we make this modest attempt to extend our impact in supporting emerging and diverse voices: we will make a charitable donation in an amount equal to $10 for every application for WIP 2021 to the Cave Canem Foundation, a 501-c-3 non-profit literary service organization. Cave Canem, “a home for black poetry,” was founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape. Cave Canem Foundation is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. Its honorary directors include: Elizabeth Alexander, Lee Briccetti, Barbara Bristol, Nikky Finney, Nikki Giovanni, Marilyn Hacker, Terrance Hayes, Bob Holman, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dawn Lundy Martin, E. Ethelbert Miller, Walter Mosley, Sharon Olds, and Tim Seibles.
While admission is selective, we accept writers with early potential, as well as those with strong backgrounds in writing.
Application materials are required from all participants. Acceptance is based on a writing sample and a statement detailing your writing background. If you have previously attended the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference, your statement should describe what you learned and what you hope to accomplish by attending again.
For specific guidelines, please visit our application page.
All correspondence regarding receipt of application, notifications, updates, etc., will occur via emails from the Conference Coordinator, Marina Pruna.
August 1, 2020
November 1, 2020
(Submit Online by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time)
November 15, 2020
On or by this date: final decision about holding an in-person conference will be made, applicants will be notified of their standing, workshops assigned, fellowship and scholarship awards announced
Final Due Dates
November 25, 2020
Due Today: final balance of payment, participant registration, and final manuscript to be discussed in workshop
The application fee is due via Submittable’s secure website when you complete your online application. For those accepted, the fee will be count toward your non-credit, workshop-only fee of $900 (or $495 if accepted into a special 3-day workshop). For those who are not accepted or who withdraw from the conference, the application fee is non-refundable.
In the event that the in-person 2021 conference is cancelled, the $25-application fee is still non-refundable. If 2021 is cancelled, we will move all 2021 programming to 2022, and in 2021 offer ALL APPLICANTS access to a two-day webinar with our faculty only featuring craft talks, discussions, and Q&A with daily readings at no additional charge. Details to be announced in mid-November.
Non-credit, Conference Fee
The non-credit conference fee balance is due 10 days after acceptance. Once accepted, you will be sent to a secure link to pay your balance online. You may also send a check to the attention of “Writers in Paradise” and payable to Eckerd College.
($25 non-refundable app fee + $875 balance)
Writers in Paradise offers a limited number of fellowships on a competitive basis.
All fellowships are awarded based on the strength of the writing sample and statement of intent, and with some consideration of published work in nationally-recognized magazines and journals. The Sterling Watson MFA Fellowships are awarded to applicants who are currently enrolled in or have graduated from an MFA program within the past five years. The McCartt, Carlson, and Standiford Fellowships are open to all applicants.
The Larry and Marcia McCartt Fellowship is awarded annually to a woman who has overcome personal hardships and shows talent and a strong commitment to the craft of writing and its ability to heal the human spirit. This fellowship covers the entire cost of the non-credit workshop tuition ($875) and a travel stipend ($200).
This James R. Carlson Fellowship honors the spirit of creativity and innovation of the founder of the Eckerd College Theatre Department and is awarded annually. This fellowship covers the entire cost of the non-credit workshop tuition ($875) and a travel stipend ($200).
The Standiford Fellowships are named in honor of noted author, teacher, and Co-Director of the conference, Les Standiford. The consummate professional writer, Les Standiford always strives not only to improve his own craft but to help the next generation of writers. These fellowships will be awarded to two participants in the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference who show great promise in their craft (one fiction writer and one nonfiction writer). These fellowships will cover the entire cost of the non-credit workshop tuition ($875) and a travel stipend ($200).
The Sterling Watson MFA Fellowships are named in honor of noted author, teacher, and Co-Founder of the conference, Sterling Watson. These 10 fellowships are intended to help support current MFA students as well as recently graduated MFAs (graduation date of 2013-2018) attend Writers in Paradise at minimal costs. These fellowships will be awarded to those who show great promise in the genre they apply and will cover the entire cost of the non-credit workshop tuition ($875).
Writers in Paradise offers a limited number of scholarships on a competitive basis.
Scholarships are awarded to applicants who show great promise in the genre they apply.
The Alumni Scholarship will be awarded to one alumnus or alumna of Writers in Paradise to help support the cost of attendance. This scholarship will be awarded to an alum who shows great promise in the genre they apply and will cover a part of the non-credit workshop tuition ($450).
The AWP Members-Only Scholarships will be awarded to five current AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) members to help support the cost of attendance. These scholarships will be awarded to those AWP members who show great promise in their craft and will cover half of the non-credit workshop tuition ($450).
Writers in Paradise is part of the Writers’ Centers & Conferences branch of AWP, which sponsors an annual competition for three $500 scholarships to support attendance at member conferences. The competition has been expanded this year to include creative nonfiction along with fiction and poetry. For guidelines, visit AWP’s WC&C Competition page.
General scholarship funds will be awarded in $100 increments. Awards will be based on need and merit, as determined by the conference director.
Please see our refund policy here. Applicants who cancel must do so via mail, email, or fax. An administrative fee of $55 will apply for all cancellations and the following refund would apply: those who cancel 30 business days before the start of the conference will receive a full refund. Those who cancel between 15-29 business days will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be issued within 15 business days of the conference, or if the participant chooses to leave the conference early.
All courses, speakers, and faculty are subject to change. Participation in Eckerd College Writers’ Conference is at the sole discretion of the co-directors.
Course Credit for Eckerd Students
Eckerd College students pay no extra fees and do not apply via the Submittable.
Students attending the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference for credit should contact the residential to talk about tuition. Eckerd College students should contact Professor Jon Chopan about enrollment in Writers in Paradise.
A select number of Eckerd College residential and PEL students will participate in the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise for course credit. Two courses will be offered, Intro and Advanced. The Intro course will be an enriching experience for any student regardless of major. Both courses will expose students to some of America’s finest practitioners of the literary arts. You will find complete descriptions of course activities below.
Eckerd College residential and PEL students will register for course credit and will not be charged extra conference fees. Please contact the Creative Writing Faculty with questions regarding academic credit.
How to Enroll
Students enrolling in Writers in Paradise: Advanced or Intro do not fill out the online application located on this website. The application is for non-credit applicants only.
Students with general questions and concerns regarding the conference specifics are encouraged to contact the Conference Coordinator, Marina Pruna. With enrollment questions, please contact the Creative Writing Department at Eckerd College.
Instructor: Scott Ward
Residential and PEL students do not need permission to enroll in Writers in Paradise: Intro. Students may contact the Registrar directly.
Instructor: Jon Chopan
Prerequisites: CW100/any CW200 (or above), Instructor Permission
Residential and PEL students who wish to enroll in Writers in Paradise: Advanced need to email the Conference Coordinator for permission. Once a spot is secured in a workshop, the student can then contact the Registrar to finalize enrollment.