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THE WRITER'S HOTEL IS A HYBRID WRITERS CONFERENCE that meets each June in NYC. Our conference is held at a hotel campus between three hotels in Midtown: The Bryant Park Hotel, Library Hotel and The Algonquin Hotel. The Writer's Hotel is not just another writers conference. The environment we foster is much like that of a Creative Writing MFA community. We work with each writer on a target manuscript from the moment of acceptance, for months before the Midtown conference. We offer the rare opportunity to polish manuscripts with professional editors before meeting with instructors, writers, agents, industry professionals and editors on site. Writers tend to arrive at the conference feeling an artistic momentum, since they've been productive in their writing and have focused hard on craft. The Writer's Hotel is ideal for writers who are ready to bring their work to market at the heart of the publishing industry in New York City. 

There is no other writers conference quite like The Writer's Hotel. We are writers ourselves, and strove to create new kind of program--an alternative to the conference or the Creative Writing MFA that is affordable, better, leaner. At TWH, each writer receives personal attention and is given practical approaches to navigating the publishing industry. Before arrival in NYC for the conference on site, our team reads each target manuscript. We also work to connect writers with publishing opportunities.

Via TWH, you'll take your writing from your desk to the publishing marketplace, right in the heart of New York City.  You'll participate in several intensive writing workshops and attend lectures and pitch meetings held in inspiring locations, like the penthouse lofts of The Bryant Park Hotel and Library Hotel. On our weekend reading nights, you'll have the extraordinary opportunity to read your own original work in the city at a well-known venue--at KGB Bar Lit, The Bowery or The Cornelia Street Café. You'll go to daily events, including a gala game of "Wink, Murder" at The Algonquin in the famous Round Room and literary walking tours, hosted by NYPL docents and The Dorothy Parker Society. You'll have a lot of fun, work hard, and you'll take your writing to the next level. 

:: TWH 2017 faculty will include Tim Seibles, Richard Blanco, Roxana Robinson, Mark Doty, Francine Prose, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Rick Moody, Tina Chang, Kevin Larimer, Carey Salerno, Wesley McNair, Bethany Ball, Scott Wolven and Shanna McNair.::

Article on The Writer's Hotel, "A New Kind of Writing Program? The Writer's Hotel Master Class" via The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)


TWH 2016 Major Workshop leaders: Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Scott Wolven and Shanna McNair, Fiction; Tim Seibles and Roger Bonair-Agard, Poetry; Meghan Daum, Nonfiction. TWH 2016 Genre Lab leaders, Poetry: Former NY Poet Laureate Marie Howe and Current Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair; Fiction: Bill Roorbach and Scott Wolven, and Nonfiction: Elyssa East. 2016 Lecturers: Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers, Elaine Trevorrow of Blue Flower Arts, Carey Salerno of Alice James Books and writer Bethany Ball. Faculty Assistants: Adeeba Afshan Rana and Erica Vega. We had nine Teaching Assistants in 2016. Please visit our TA tab for the full list. 

Wow! This was probably the best week of my life so far. I love being with other folks who love writing as much as I do, and I was awed at the talent present! Well-organized and inspiring!
— Sarah J.
This is by far the best conference of its kind available. Not once did I ever feel like I wasn’t being challenged to push my craft to the next level. I can’t recommend TWH highly enough.
— Jeff H. 

pre-conference manuscript reading 

We work with each writer on their writing from the moment of acceptance. This feature is one of the big TWH program components that sets us apart from other writers conferences. No other writers conference program offers pre-conference manuscript reading. We aim to help writers learn new editing tools and focus on craft, and we also aim to help writers polish their target manuscript before they meet with agents and/or editors on site in Manhattan. 

We work with writers virtually, reviewing documents using Word comments and "track changes." Each writer receives one TWH team reading of their target manuscript (their present writing project) and one phone or Skype call to follow up and address questions pertaining to that team reading of the target manuscript. This pre-conference team reading includes line edits and overall manuscript commentary. Fiction and Creative Nonfiction students will receive feedback about plot, character development, dialogue, sentence structure and narrative arc. Poetry students will receive responses involving the elements of poetry, such as use of form, line breaks, rhythm, tone and imagery. 

The target manuscript can be a full-length manuscript (up to 120K words) or it could be a shorter manuscript, of 30-50 pages. Works-in-progress are also acceptable for our program. 

I left [TWH] feeling inspired and excited. I always felt encouraged and supported, and I thought the critique I got from everyone was really on point and given with kindness and an authentic desire to help us grow as writers.”  “[My reading at KGB] is something that can never be taken from me - I read my work in New York - what an awesome opportunity!
— Lisa R.
Shanna opened or closed many of her emails with, “We are here for you”; and it’s true. Every email exuded encouragement. From manuscript feedback and follow-ups to the details of workshops and readings, The Writers Hotel never fell short on that promise.” “The feedback was solid, both in big-picture and at sentence-level.” “TWH gives writers just the right balance of kindness and criticism that writers serious about their convocation need.
— Jenny G.

On site workshops at our NYC hotel campus

We meet in June in Midtown, where our writers conference takes place. Major Workshops are held in Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry. Many writers find the Major Workshops to be the centerpiece of our on-site schedule.

We host five Major Workshops in all, and they meet at either Library Hotel or The Bryant Park Hotel in their gorgeous penthouse lofts. These Major Workshops are given in the morning and are three hours long. Major Workshop leaders for the 2016 program were Meghan Daum, Tim Seibles, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Scott Wolven, Roger Bonair-Agard and Shanna McNair. We cap each Major Workshop at 13 students. Prose writers submit the first 5000 words of their target manuscript to the Major Workshop and poetry writers submit the first 15 pages of poems (up to 15 poems, 15 pages max) to their Major Workshop. The first pages of any manuscript are very important, and this is why we focus quite a bit on those pages. Those first pages will be read and critiqued by the Major Workshop leader and by peers in workshop.

We also host short workshops, or "Genre Labs" on site. The Genre Labs are given in the afternoon at The Bryant Park Hotel. Writers do not need to prepare any work beforehand for the Genre Labs. Each writer generally attends the Genre Lab in their Major Workshop genre, but writers can choose to study a different genre. For example, a writer attending a Major Workshop in poetry can elect to take a Genre Lab in nonfiction.

                                                     THE ALGONQUIN                                                             LIBRARY HOTEL                                            THE BRYANT PARK HOTEL

THE ALGONQUIN: We host a game of Wink, Murder here on our second night of the conference in the famous Round Table Room, where the so-called "Vicious Circle" met to have their daily meetings. Our event is sponsored by New York Distilling Company, and we serve their fabulous Dorothy Parker Gin, along with Algonquin passed appetizers. 

LIBRARY HOTEL: We hold three of our intensive morning craft workshops here, in the Poetry Garden, the Writer's Den and the Executive Boardroom. These gorgeous spaces are at the top of the hotel, with patio area overlooking Midtown. Workshops run for four morning sessions and are three hours long each day. Workshops are capped at 13 people with one instructor. 

THE BRYANT PARK HOTEL: Three intensive morning craft workshops are held here in The Loft, The Terrace Loft and The Boardroom. The inspiring penthouse rooms extend over the two top floors of the hotel. Workshops run for four morning sessions and are three hours long each day. Workshops are capped at 13 people with one instructor. We also hold all of our writing lectures, acquisition editor panels and our agent speed dating event here in the same rooms at the top of Midtown.

A whirlwind of workshops, lectures, readings, craft lessons, fellow writers, and amazing faculty. A ton of invaluable info packed into one week. The faculty especially were wonderful—so knowledgeable and thoughtful about their craft.
— Sandra H.








TIM SEIBLES (Major Poetry Workshop)

Tim Seibles is the Poet Laureate of Virginia. He is the author of several books of poems including Hurdy-GurdyHammerlock, Buffalo Head Solos and most recently, Fast Animal, which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and was nominated for a 2012 National Book Award. He has been a National Endowment for the Arts and Provincetown Fine Arts Word Center fellow, and received an Open Voice Award. In 2013 he received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for poetry. Anthology publications include ManthologyBlack NatureSeriously FunnyThe Autumn House Anthology of American PoetrySo Much Things to Say, and Best American Poetry 2010He has taught at Cave Canem, The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, University of Southern Maine, and presently teaches at Old Dominion University. 

RICHARD BLANCO (Major Poetry Workshop) 

Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in US history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban-exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of three poetry collections: Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires and two memoirs: The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey. His chapbook, Matters of the Sea, was read at the historic reopening of the US Embassy in Havana. Awards include the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize, the Beyond Margins Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Thom Gunn Award, and a Lambda Literary Award. In 2015, The Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador. He shares his time between Bethel, Maine and Concord, Massachusetts.

SHANNA MCNAIR  (Major Fiction Workshop) 

Shanna McNair is Founder and Director of The Writer’s Hotel and Founding Editor and Publisher of The New Guard literary review. She writes prose, poetry and scripts and is an award-winning journalist. She has written and directed plays, served as editor of magazines and newspapers and judged writing contests. She recently served as a 2015 RISCA Fiction Fellow Judge, and is an Interdisciplinary Study Adviser at Lesley University. She holds a Creative Writing Certificate from Oxford University, and will graduate Dartmouth College in 2017, where she is earning her second Creative Writing Master's. She has worked extensively in the visual and performing arts. She is at work on her novel, short stories, poems and a novella. 

KEVIN LARIMER (Publishing Lecturer)

Kevin Larimer is the editor in chief of Poets & Writers, where he edits Poets & Writers Magazine, oversees the organization’s website, and directs Poets & Writers Live. He holds a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and received his MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was the poetry editor of the Iowa Review. He has served on a number of panels on publishing at events such as the Library of Congress National Book Festival, the Sozopol Fiction Seminars, the Slice Literary Writer's Conference, Poets Forum, The Writer’s Hotel, and the AWP Conference. His poems have appeared in FencePleiadesVerse, and a dozen other literary magazines. He has written book reviews for American Letters & Commentary, American Book ReviewChelsea, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He lives in New York City.

ROXANA ROBINSON  (Major Fiction Workshop) 

Roxana Robinson is the author of Sparta, four earlier novels including Cost, three story collections, and the biography, Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Four of these were New York Times Notable Books. Robinson’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, BASS, and elsewhere. She was named a Literary Lion by the NYPL, was a finalist for the NBCC Balakian Award, and has received fellowships from the NEA, the MacDowell Colony and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is the President of the Authors Guild.

TINA CHANG (Poetry Genre Lab)

Tina Chang was raised in New York City. She is the first female to be named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn and is the author of the collections of poetry, Of Gods & Strangers (2011) and Half-Lit Houses (2004). She is also the co-editor of the W.W. Norton anthology, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (2008). She is the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Van Lier Foundation among others. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and she is also a member of the international writing faculty at the City University of Hong Kong.

RICK MOODY (Fiction Genre Lab) 

Rick Moody is the author of numerous novels, including Garden StateThe Ice Storm, The Four Fingers of DeathThe DivinersPurple America and Hotels of North AmericaRight Livelihoods, a book of three novellas, was published in 2007. His collections of short fiction include The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven and DemonologyThe Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions was a winner of the NAMI/Ken Book Award and the PEN Martha Albrand prize for excellence in the memoir. His collection of essays, On Celestial Music, was published in 2012. Moody is the recipient of the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim fellowship.

WESLEY MCNAIR (Poetry Genre Lab)

Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair has been called “one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry” poet Philip Levine. McNair has won grants from the Fulbright and Guggenheim foundations, two Rockefeller Fellowships, two NEA grants in creative writing, and an Emmy Award. The Library of Congress has invited him twice to read his poetry. The United States Artists Fellowship honored him as one of America's “finest living artists,” and in April of this year he received the PEN New England Award for Literary Excellence in Poetry, given for his latest collection, The Lost Child. The author of ten volumes of poetry, McNair has published three volumes of nonfiction and several anthologies, and has served four times on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry.

Bethany Ball.

BETHANY BALL (Fiction Genre Lab) 

Bethany Ball holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and has recently been published in BOMBThe American Literary ReviewKveller and 2Paragraphs. Bethany served as a 2015 Teaching Assistant at The Writer's Hotel. Her debut novel is forthcoming in 2016 from Grove Atlantic. Bethany was born in Detroit and has lived in Santa Fe, New York, New Jersey, Miami and Israel and now splits her time between the East Village and the Hudson River Valley, with her family. Photo: Elena Seibert.

FRANCINE PROSE (Fiction Genre Lab) 

“Francine Prose is a keen observer, and her fiction is full of wryly delivered truths and sardonic witticisms that come from paying close attention to the world.” —The Atlantic

Hailed by Larry McMurtry as “One of our finest writers,” Francine Prose is the author of numerous novels. Her most recent, Mister Monkey (2016), was praised by The New York Times Book Review as “so fresh and new it’s almost giddy, almost impudent with originality.” Her work also includes the novels Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; My New American Life; Goldengrove; A Changed Man; and Blue Angel. Prose’s nonfiction books include Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife; Reading Like A Writer, a New York Times bestseller; The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired; Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles; Sicilian Odyssey, a travel book; and Gluttony. Her stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Art News, The Yale Review, The New Republic, and numerous other publications.


MARK DOTY (Nonfiction Genre Lab)

Mark Doty is the author of nine books of poetry, including Deep Lane (April 2015), Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the 2008 National Book Award, and My Alexandria, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK. He is also the author of three memoirs: the New York Times-bestselling Dog YearsFirebird, and Heaven’s Coast, as well as a book about craft and criticism, The Art of Description: World Into Word. Doty has received two NEA fellowships, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, and the Witter Byner Prize.

Scott Wolven.

SCOTT WOLVEN  (Major Fiction Workshop and Fiction Genre Lab) 

Scott Wolven is a TWH & TNG Editor. He is the author of the short story collection, Controlled BurnHis short story, "Playboy," was recently featured in Playboy Magazine. The film, "Hepburn" by Tommy Davis, a work based on Scott's short story, "Hammerlock," was featured last Fall at The New York Film Festival on the Main Stage. Scott's stories have appeared seven years in a row in The Best American Mystery Stories Series, the most consecutive appearances in the history of the series. The title story of the collection appeared in Best American Noir of the Century

SAÏD SAYRAFIEZADEH (Major Nonfiction Workshop)

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author of Brief Encounters with the Enemy, which was shortlisted for the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fiction Prize, and the critically acclaimed memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free. His work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris ReviewGrantaMcSweeney’sThe New York Times and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, among other publications. He is the recipient of a 2010 Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a 2012 fiction fellowship from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Hunter College and New York University, where he received a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award.

CAREY SALERNO (Poetry Publishing Lecturer)

Carey Salerno is the executive editor of Alice James Books, author of Shelter (2009), and co-editor of Lit From Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books (2013). She teaches creative writing for the University of Maine at Farmington and currently serves as a literary curator for Pen + Brush. Salerno has taught or lectured on poetry and editing at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Butler University, Drew University, Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference, Pine Manor College, The Writer’s Hotel, the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance events, and The New School. You may find her poems–and articles and interviews regarding her other professional work–in print and online. Her website is www.careysalerno.com.

faculty assistants

Adeeba Rana

Faculty Assistant

Adeeba Afshan Rana is a poet and a librarian who writes and reads in Brooklyn, New York. She has been a featured performer with Body Politics at the University of Massachusetts, We Got Issues! at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Boston Progress, and the louderARTS project in NYC. She sat on the Diversity Award Judging Committee for the Walter D. Myers Award in 2015. She is a Facilitator at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice in Brooklyn, and the Artistic Director of Kalyani Literary Magazine. Adeeba recieved her MFA in Poetry from USM Stonecoast and her Master's in Library Science at Pratt Institute. 

ERICA VEGA (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction) 
Faculty Assistant

Erica Vega

Erica Vega's writing has appeared in About Place JournalCabildo Quarterly, elginMUSE, and The New Guard, among other publications. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from USM Stonecoast. She has taught literature and composition for the past seven years and most recently at Elgin Community College in Illinois. She continues work on her novel. 

TWH 2014-2016 FACULTY:

Stephen Dunn, Tim Seibles, Marie Howe, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Scott Wolven, Bill Roorbach, Richard Hoffman, Elyssa East, Shanna McNair, Barbara Hurd, Roger Bonair-Agard, Wesley McNair, Carey Salerno, Kevin Larimer, Bethany Ball, Elaine Trevorrow and Kathleen Aguero. Faculty Assistants: Erica Vega and Adeeba Afshan Rana. 







TWH editors

TWH Editors are Shanna McNair, Founder and Director of TWH and TNG and Scott Wolven, Consulting Director. Here at The Writer's Hotel, we work diligently to support writers every day. We're proud of what we offer. We help writers find the tools to better edit their own work. We connect writers to agents and editors, edit, coach and generally do all we can to help our fellow writers in practice and in print. 

"Shanna McNair has an eagle-eye and a deep understanding of the intricacies of the writing process. As editor of The New Guard, she helped me bring my memoir/essay on Saul Bellow into focus and being. Thank you Shanna!" --Fred Marchant, poet, scholar and author of The Looking House and Tipping Point.
Scott Wolven is a TNG Editor and he is also an Editor at The Writer’s Hotel. He is the author of the short story collection, Controlled Burn. His stories have appeared seven years in a row in The Best American Mystery Stories Series, the most consecutive appearances in the history of the series. The title story of the collection appeared in Best American Noir of the Century.
Praise for Scott Wolven's writing: "Wolven has turned raw, unreconciled life into startling, evocative, and very good short stories. He draws on a New England different from Updike’s and even Dubus’, but his fictive lives--no less than theirs--render the world newly, and full of important consequence." --Richard Ford, author of Independence Day and Canada.


TWH Editors also work with a limited amount of writers each year in a component separate from the Master Class in NYC. This component is called "Private Study." Shanna and Scott work intensively with writers on craft, much the same way as they do during the pre-conference editing service. But there are two important distinctions: Writers can submit unlimited pages, and the service is entirely virtual. We work to connect authors with agents and editors via Private Study, just like we do for our conference participants. Private Study is a great option for those who wish to work from home. We offer this service by the year only, with a month off for our NYC conference, as we get busy from mid-May to mid-June. We have limited spots to offer for Private Study. Please email us for more information at editors@writershotel.com

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TWH and THe new Guard 

Our sister website is www.newguardreview.com.

The New Guard literary review is the publishing arm of The Writer's Hotel. We run contests in Fiction and Poetry and publish emerging and established writers in our anthologies.  TNG Volume V Contests are closed. Winners in both categories will be announced in late October. Each winner receives $1500/publication, plus a copy of TNG. We publish 40+ debut authors in each print-only anthology. Finalists are also published. Judges:  Adam Braver and Roger Bonair-Agard. Past judges and contributors include Charles Simic, Joe Wenderoth, Donald Hall, Sharon Olds, Tim Seibles, Tess Gerritsen, Afaa Michael Weaver, Madeleine Blais and more. TNG also runs a monthly feature of emerging writer's short work online, called "BANG!" Writers may submit here. ::SUBMIT:: TNG holds a membership with the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP). 


Every dollar counts to help support writers! We care about our TWH attendees, and donation dollars help to offset costs related to Sara Patton Stipends, Teaching Assistants, Faculty Assistants, NYC reading costs, event costs and so on. There are many costs related to The New Guard publication as well. Donations may be mailed to our postal address, payable to The Writer's Hotel and/or The New Guard or you can donate via the PayPal donation button below. Thank you so very much for your support! 

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