Valley Advocate sponsors scholarship for Juniper Summer Writing Institute

If you’ re a poet, author of fiction, or creative nonfiction writer living in the Pioneer Valley,  you may have the opportunity to win a full scholarship to the Juniper Summer Writing Institute in Amherst,  June 17 to 24th.  The scholarship is made possible by the Valley Advocate.  

The 2018 Valley Advocate Scholarship is a partnership between the Advocate and the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. The scholarship is open to writers of all backgrounds and provides full tuition for recipients to attend the summer writing institute, hosted by the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, according to a press release.  

“We’re honored to partner with the Valley Advocate and recognize the many ways the Advocate contributes to our community, celebrates the arts, and attracts people to the region,” Jennifer Jacobson, director of the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, said. “The Valley Advocate Scholarship nurtures engagement with the literary arts. We are grateful for this continued partnership to bring unique voices to Juniper as we celebrate our 15th year.”

Every summer, about 100 writers come together at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute to hone their craft through workshops led by published authors and poets in categories such as poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and memoirs, she said.

“Everyone has their own goal coming in,” Jacobson said. “Some people might want to generate a bunch of work. Some people might want feedback on a particular part of a novel or short story. Some people might want some writing advice about how to begin something, but the core of the week are the workshops.”

The workshops take place in the afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. and also include two new categories, “Literary Arts in Action”, which explores ways writing can be used for political action and social engagement, as well as “Words and Pictures,” which explores the relationship between visual art and writing.

One of the guest writers for the week is Stephen Graham Jones, a Blackfeet Native American author of experimental fiction, horror, crime, and science fiction. Jones is best known for works such as “The Fast Red Road: A Plainsong,” “Demon Theory,” and “All the Beautiful Sinners.” There are also evening readings on Sundays, which are open to the public.

Stephen Graham Jones at a book signing. Courtesy photo

This is the fourth year in a row the Advocate has sponsored the scholarship, Jacobson said. Past scholarship recipients include Elinam Vanessa Agbo, an emerging fiction writer; poet Shana Haydock, who is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, and Theresa MacPhail, a medical anthropologist and creative nonfiction writer.

Applications for the scholarship will be accepted through March 11 and scholarship winners will be announced in April. For more information about applicatons and a complete program of information visit

Author: Chris Goudreau

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