Brice Named Acting Director of the Colgate Writers Conference

Back to All Stories

Associate Professor of English Jennifer Brice will direct the Colgate Writers Conference, June 16–22, as it approaches its 25th year.

Started in 1996 by Professor of English Fred Busch, the conference has long been directed by Professor Matt Leone.

Each summer, as many as 90 writers attend the week-long conference. More than half of them are returning attendees, and roughly one third are Colgate alumni.

Although it offers many of the traditional elements of a writers’ conference, including daily workshops and craft talks, the Colgate conference has a number of qualities that make it distinctive.

“For one thing, our conference has a real reputation for being warm and welcoming, especially to writers who are young in their careers,” Brice said. “And it’s a great part of Colgate’s portfolio in the arts.”

The conference attracts participants of all ages and genres, from around the country and the world. Many are looking for feedback on an in-progress or completed manuscript as well as tips on how to get published. Some simply wonder if they’re meant for the writing life.

Colgate professors Peter Balakian, CJ Hauser, and Brice herself will serve as faculty at this year’s conference. They will be joined by 10 additional faculty, including writers, editors, and agents.

The deadline to apply to the Colgate Writers Conference is March 30. Workshops are being offered in the novel, the short story, the essay, narrative nonfiction, and young adult writing. A new addition this year is a generative workshop for people who want to jump-start a project.

For the first time ever, the Colgate Writers Conference is offering two full fellowships — the Porch Fellowship, named for the tradition of socializing on the Merrill House Porch every evening, and the Matt Leone Fellowship, in honor of the long-serving conference director. Scholarship funds are also available.

Leone is stepping back from the directorship this year in order to write a conference history that will serve as the introduction to a second volume of craft talks. Crafting Fiction, Poetry and Memoir: Talks from the Colgate Writers’ Conference was published by the Colgate University Press in 2008.

For more information and to apply, visit