news & updates

Young Writers in Key West find an “Island in the Works”

This summer, twelve South Florida high school students participated in “Island in the Works,” our innovative new studio program for young writers. The week-long session offered a curriculum rooted in great American writers who have lived on this subtropical island, including Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and James Merrill, …Read More

Announcing the 2019 Emerging Writer Award Winners

We are thrilled to announce the 2019 winners of the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award, the Marianne Russo Award, and the Scotti Merrill Award.

We continue to be amazed by the overall quality of the submissions we receive for our three Emerging Writer Awards. We thank all who applied, and we encourage you to keep writing and keep submitting. Our three-round review process is thorough, and we’d also like to thank each of our reviewers for reading along with us. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Without further ado:

The winners are…

Announcing The Writer’s Toolkit

We’re delighted to announce a new addition to the 2019 Writers’ Workshop Program: The Writer’s Toolkit. 

Author Katrin Schumann will lead three optional add-on workshop sessions, which will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons during the week of the workshop program. These sessions are designed to help writers with self-promotion, media interaction, and book marketing.

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!

Recommended Reading for the 2019 Seminar

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!

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.

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.