I just applied to the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference for 2015. “Priority applications” are being accepted through 3/16/15. After which applicants will be added to a “rolling” admissions process, which means that late applications will be considered as they come in, and continue until all workshops are filled.
What does it mean to “apply?” You’ll need to submit a sample of your fiction or poetry. Additionally, you’ll need to write a “statement of qualifications as a writer.” There is a $25 “reader fee” to apply. If you get in, you’ll be paying $975 to attend, unless you’ve applied for financial aid. Read more >>>
Is it worth it? I don’t know. I’ve never been, but I’ve heard good things from past participants and the faculty is spectacular and includes three of my favorites: Robert Boswell, Mary Szybist and Jane Hirshfield!
If it works like other conferences that I’ve attended, you’ll work with one primary faculty member but then listen to others speak.
What did I send in? I sent in a excerpt from the novel I’m working on and a ~500 word letter that (hopefully) shows them that I am very excited to be considered. The letter had a little story and bit about what I’ve written in the past. I also tried to indicate that I wouldn’t be trouble in a group setting — e.g., that I can listen, have a controlled ego and that I value constructive feedback. Caveat emptor: I haven’t been accepted (we find out in mid April), so we shall see if my strategy is actually useful.
The process of applying took me a few hours and ended up being fun. If I get in, great. If not, then I’ll make up some story as to why not… (Plus, I’ve learned that if you allow participants to stay at your house for the week then you can sit in on the sessions. Wink, wink).
Hope to see us both there, but if you get in and I don’t… do you need a place to stay?