Living Writers

Living Writers is a master class in how works of literature come to be. The program is free and open to everyone: the only prerequisite is a passion for reading.

This fall, we’re looking forward to talking about 9 life-changing works of literature with some of the 6,000+ participants in Living Writers.

The new series features several marquee names (Emily St. John Mandel, Kevin Young) along with some exciting new voices (Javier Zamora, Melinda Moustakis), and it includes fiction—long- and short-form—as well as poetry and memoir.

Every single work on our syllabus circles around questions of home: Is it something we make, or is it something we find? Is it made up of people, or is it a place? Will we recognize it the moment we arrive, or is it an epiphany that comes months or years later?

Scroll through the Living Writers FAQs for info about how it works. (Spoiler: You can cherry-pick, joining us for as little or as much as you like.) Join us in person or via Zoom for thrice-monthly author events. Participate in monthly Zoom book discussions. Listen anytime to our LW podcast, featuring 3-question interviews with many of the authors.

September 7

Solito CoverJavier Zamora
Javier Zamora

September 14

Sea of TranquilityEmily St. John Mandel
Emily St. John Mandel
Sea of Tranquillity

September 28

StonesKevin Young
Kevin Young


October 5

History of Present IllnessAnna DeForest

Anna DeForest
A History of Present Illness

October 19

Lark AscendingSilas House

Silas House
Lark Ascending


October 26

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank CoverMelinda Moustakis

Melinda Moustakis


November 2

My MonticelloJocelyn Nicole Johnson
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
My Monticello


November 9

IntimaciesKatie Kitamura
Katie Kitamura 


November 16

Flight of Gemma HardyMargot Livesey
Margot Livesey
The Flight of Gemma Hardy

I appreciate that my college is creating this opportunity for me to engage intellectually with prominent writers, along with a Colgate professor and other students of all ages.

Goldie Blumenstyk ’79, senior writer, Chronicle of Higher Education



Colgate Bookstore

All Living Writers books can be purchased online or in person at the Colgate Bookstore. 

Living Writers is hosted by the Department of English and Creative Writing with generous support from the Olive B. O'Connor bequest as well as the Office of the President, and the Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculty. Co-sponsors in 2023 include the Colgate Arts Council, the Sio Chair in Diversity and Community; the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative; the Departments of Biology, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Computer Science, Educational Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, and Romance Languages and Literatures; and the Programs in Africana and Latin American Studies, LGBTQ Studies, Women's Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Environmental Studies.

Living Writers is made possible every year with support from the Office of Communications and from ITS.