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Southampton Writers Conference

About the Conference

Our History

2003 conference poster

Among the literary luminaries who have visited the Southampton Writers Conference since its founding in 1976 are Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, Joyce Carol Oates, E.L. Doctorow, Elizabeth Strout, Mark Doty and Tom Wolfe. In recent years, regular faculty Meg Wolitzer, Billy Collins and Roger Rosenblatt have been joined by such luminaries as Vijay Seshadri, Natalie Diaz, Sharon Olds, Lauren Groff, Brit Bennett and Marisa Silver.

bobs writing shack poster

Creative writing on the seaside campus of Stony Brook Southampton has a long and distinguished history, due in no small part to its magnificent location in the heart of the Hamptons, a renowned resort area only 80 miles from New York City. Writers, artists and entertainers have been summering here for over a century. Indeed, the literary legacy of the area includes Kurt Vonnegut and Elizabeth Hardwick, Tennessee Williams and John Steinbeck, even Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose father was a 19th-century minister in East Hampton.

It’s no wonder, then, that The Southampton Writers Conference is able to attract world-class authors to its faculty, authors who are also experienced, accessible teachers. Afternoon creative writing workshops are the heart and soul of the summer experience. (Twelve day workshops meet every other afternoon, allowing students to focus on their writing between sessions.) Workshop enrollment is limited to 13 lucky writers. Those accepted have the privilege of sharing their work in an intimate, rigorous and friendly setting.

mcmullan posterRemaining hours are devoted to lectures, readings, performances and panel discussions featuring faculty members and distinguished visiting authors, editors, publishers, and agents. Participants also enjoy a rich schedule of formal and informal social gatherings— author receptions and salons, open mic nights, and a launch party for The Southampton Review. During free time, participants can draw inspiration from Atlantic beaches or explore the area's charming towns. Courtesy shuttles run regularly to the beach and historic Southampton.

The Southampton Writers Conference is part of Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing program. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Please see the Applications & Guidelines.