news & updates

Each year, we present three awards to unpublished writers with exceptional talent. This year will be no different–at least in this respect. Even as many of our other programs are suspended due to the pandemic, we’re pleased to once again have the opportunity to support new voices in American literature through the 2021 Emerging Writer Awards.

Key West Literary Seminar’s board of directors has made the unanimous, sensible, and very sad decision to postpone “A Seminar Named Desire” for one year. It will now take place January 6–9, 2022. We are in the process of reconfirming the roster of presenters, and it appears that all will be able to join us for the new dates, along with others to be named later.

It’s a joy to share with you the many recent achievements of our alumni, especially now. We hope you have found ways to keep your own creative growth and literary conversations going, despite the unprecedented events of the past few months.

I’m incredibly excited and grateful to announce that this fall I’ll be on the road east again to Cornell University to get my MFA in creative writing with a focus in poetry. I’ve been holding on to this one for a while, partially because so much has been tossed into the unknown with COVID-19 that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go. And also because as my work is so personal and my professional life is increasingly public, I like to keep more and more to myself. (I’ll continue to do so until I unceremoniously disappear into the woods to become a subsistence farmer writing under a pseudonym.)

We are now accepting applications for our three main scholarship opportunities. Apply now for Teacher and Librarian Scholarships, Emerging Writer Awards, and Workshop Financial Aid.

Our alumni continue to amaze us with their productivity and dedication. Here you’ll find the most recent achievements of our past workshop students, Emerging Writer Award winners, scholarship recipients, and writers in residence.

Many of you have asked for a reading list to prepare for the upcoming presentations and panel discussions, so we’ve put together some recommendations from this year’s planning committee, as well as a sample book from each author that “fits” with this year’s topic. Happy reading!

Each year, we review hundreds of manuscript submissions in search of three emerging writers who possess exceptional talent and demonstrate potential for lasting literary careers. This year’s entries for the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award, the Scotti Merrill Award, and the Marianne Russo Award were especially compelling, and we are proud to announce the recipients of this year’s honors.