Author: Freya Hendrickson

2019 Teacher & Librarian Scholarship Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2019 Teacher and Librarian Scholarships!

Each year we recognize a diverse group of individuals who are making a positive impact on readers in their communities. We hope that participation in our literary community will inspire fresh engagement with literature in schools and libraries around the country. Scholarship recipients will gain exposure to contemporary authors and texts, expand their professional network of teachers, librarians, and writers, and be inspired to bring new ideas to the institutions and communities they serve.

We have selected twenty-one dedicated teachers and librarians to join us for the seminar in January. Thank you to everyone who applied, and congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients!

KWLS Alumni Newsletter Volume 2

Summer is kicking into full gear here in Key West: mangoes are falling from the sky, humidity is creeping up, and the ocean is calling louder day by day.

This newsletter brings updates from KWLS workshop alumni, former Emerging Writer Award winners, scholarship winners, and writers-in-residence.

From Appalachia to the Caribbean: Writing Toward a Cultural Connection at KWLS

My husband and I are on a plane to Key West, where I am participating in this year’s Key West Literary Seminar as a Teacher and Librarian Scholarship winner. The theme is “Writers of the Caribbean,” and we will be joined by writers like Jamaica Kincaid (born in Antigua), Edwidge Danticat (Haiti), and Marlon James (Jamaica.)

I went to Key West with the understanding that I was learning and thinking from a position of white privilege, having grown up in a culture seemingly far-removed from those represented in the literature of this seminar. But I was also seeking a connection-however tenuous-between my rural Appalachian culture and theirs. Later, I realized that very connection may be the question of appropriation, and whether it can be both theft and tribute.

Joy Williams says Goodbye to Liz Lear

  Liz Lear arrived in Key West in 1957 and soon became an essential member of Key West’s literary community. Liz was a vital presence during the early years of the Key West Literary Seminar and, until her death on December 15, 2017, served on our board of directors for nineteen ...Read More

The Star Side of Bird Hill: A reading by Naomi Jackson

By Sara Johnson Allen Author Naomi Jackson, who was named one of Publishers Weekly’s “Writers to Watch,” told the audience gathered for her Saturday afternoon reading that the Key West Literary Seminar provided her with a unique opportunity to ­be with both her peers and her heroes. “It’s like my …Read More

Edwidge Danticat’s “A Reading from The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story”

By Audrey Wick Edwidge Danticat spoke Sunday afternoon during the Key West Literary Seminar's free and open to the public session thanks to the generous support of Peggy V. Helmerich and the Helmerich Trust. Haitian-born Danticat read from The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story, which was released in ...Read More

2017 KWLS Award Winners Read at San Carlos Institute

By Amy E. O’Neal Each year, the Key West Literary Seminar presents three prizes for emerging writers: the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award for a short story, the Marianne Russo Award for a novel in progress, and the Scotti Merrill Award for poetry. Winners receive a fully paid trip to the ...Read More

Announcing the 2018 Emerging Writer Award Winners

We are thrilled to announce the 2018 winners of the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award, the Marianne Russo Award, and the Scotti Merrill Memorial Award.