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Summer Words

6/18/2017 - 6/23/2017

Recognized as one of the nation’s top literary gatherings, Aspen Summer Words is a six-day celebration of words, stories, and ideas held annually in Aspen. Advanced workshops with renowned authors and teachers are an intimate place for writers to develop a manuscript, while introductory workshops invite participants to explore the craft of writing. Literary agents and editors meet one-on-one with workshop participants, and public panel discussions provide inspiration and insight for writers and readers alike. Evening events include readings and panel discussions open to the general public.

Schedule of Public Events

Monday, June 19

We All Start Somewhere
The Gant, Maroon Room, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Panelists: Dani Shapiro, Hannah Tinti
You all ventured away from your writing desks to the Rocky Mountains for a week...now what? Dani Shapiro and Hannah Tinti give advice on how to utilize this week to seek progress in yoru writing life.
Literature With Impact
The Belly Up, 5:15pm-6:30pm
Panelists: Chinelo Okparanta, Ben Fountain, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
The $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize was launched this year to honor an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue. How can literature forge connections and shape public conversation around critical issues, without polarizing readership? Chinelo Okparanta, Ben Fountain, and Saïd Sayrafiezadeh will discuss the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.

Tuesday, June 20

Crafting Character
The Gant, Maroon Room, 4:00pm-5:15pm
Panelists: George Hodgman, Jane Hamilton, Bed Fountain
We all have those characters we know and love, that live on in our imaginations long after we finish reading a story. George Hodgman, Jane Hamilton, and Ben Fountain share their advice on writing compelling characters.
Living the Creative Life
The Belly Up, 6:00pm-7:15pm
Panelists: Jess Walter, Dani Shapiro, Jericho Brown
Making a life as an artist has its joys, just as it has its frustrations. Rejection, confusion, disappointment - can all make a creative career an uphill battle. Simply finding time to create can seem impossible. Hear from three authors on their experience of finding ease and clarity in the creative life.

Wednesday, June 21

Summer Words Student Open Mic

Thursday, June 22

The Take Away
The Gant, Maroon Room, 4:00pm-5:15pm
Panelists: Carole DeSanti, Hannah Tinti, Jane Hamilton, Jericho Brown, Jess Walter
Now what? After a week of full immersion into the art of fiction, memoir, and poetry, what will happen when you return to the blank page? Summer Words faculty share their advice for reentering the day to day writing life.
The Gant
Location Address: 
610 S W End Street, Aspen, CO 81611
Admission Price: 
Individual Tickets $25, 3 Day Readers' Retreat $375, 5 Day Workshops $1,375
Contact Phone: 
Contact Email: 


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