Photo courtesy Florida Keys Public Libraries: Betty Suarez's third grade class, Reynolds Elementary School, 1965-66. Gift Lisa Suarez.

KWLS Alumni Newsletter, Summer 2020

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.

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On Process and Change: Past Emerging Writer Award Winner Shares Story

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.)

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Apply now for scholarship opportunities in 2021

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.

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KWLS Alumni Newsletter, Fall 2019

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.


Reading Between the Lines: Sports & Literature

Recommended Reading for the 2020 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!


Announcing our 2020 Emerging Writer Award Winners

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.


2020 Teacher & Librarian Scholarships

We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2020 Teacher & Librarian Scholarships! Each year we recognize a diverse group of individuals who are making a positive impact on readers in their communities. We are pleased to offer these talented educators and librarians full scholarships to our annual Seminar. We hope that participation in our literary community inspires fresh engagement with literature in schools and libraries around the country.


KWLS Alumni Newsletter, Spring 2019

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.


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, and in the dynamic natural landscape that inspired them.


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!


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.