19 May 2022

We’re counting the days to the ’22 Colgate Writers Conference! Congratulations to the 100+ of you who’ve been offered a spot in one of our workshops or as a retreater.

Who’d’ve guessed, back in 1995 when Frederick Busch founded the Chenango Writers Conference, that it would still be going strong nearly three decades later? Our little conference has brought more than 1,500 people to campus nearly every June for a week-long literary feast of readings, craft talks, shop talks, workshops, and more. 


Noteworthy events of the last few years

The Chenango Writers Conference became the Colgate Writers Conference.

Our long-time and much-beloved director, Matt Leone, retired.

Before retiring, Professor Leone edited a volume of craft talks from the conference: Crafting Poetry, Fiction, and Memoir, featuring essays by some of the conference’s most revered regular faculty. A second volume is in the works and should be available within the year.

We created four full fellowships to the conference: two in Professor Leone’s name; two in honor of the Merrill House Porch, our favorite evening hang-out spot.

We had a record number of applicants in 2020, 2021, and 2022. 


Exciting changes and additions for ’22

Gala opening and ending events (details to come, but maybe pack something glittery this year?)

A field trip to Syracuse Stage to see Kyle Bass’ play, salt/city/blues

An optional participant directory, so you can read all about your compatriots

And more…to be announced soon!


In 2019, I took on the role of director. My aim is to raise the profile of the conference without sacrificing any of the qualities that make it feel like one of the writing world’s best-kept secrets: warmth, intimacy, collegiality, and none of the cliquiness that might prevent faculty and participants from mingling.

Colgate is in the midst of a campaign to raise its profile in the arts. Part of that commitment comes in the form of increased funding for the writers conference. Some funding will go toward continuing to attract high-caliber writers and teachers for our faculty; much of it will go toward funding scholarships and our four full fellowships. We’ve also had the great good fortune to hire a new assistant director, Dr. Gabrie’l Atchison

If you’re reading this message and you haven’t yet applied to the ’22 conference, there’s bad news and good news. The bad news is that our scholarship and fellowship funds have all been awarded. The good news is that there are still a (very) few spots available in our two jumpstarter workshops. If you’re interested, write to us as quickly as you can for more information.

If you’re reading this message and you’re already “in” for ’22, congratulations! Between now and June 19th, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write to me or to Gabrie’l: writersconference@colgate.edu.

Warm best,

Jennifer Brice

Associate Professor of English
Director, Colgate Writers Conference