Whether this is your first time at Summer Words, or you make the pilgrimage each year, this is the place to find answers to the many questions that pop up while planning your trip. If we do not answer your question here or elsewhere in the Student Portal, please email Marie Chan or call 970.925.3122 ext 5#.

Should I fly into Denver or Aspen? How far is Denver?
The most convenient option is to fly in to the Aspen airport, which is just 10 minutes from the center of town and the conference site. However, flights into Aspen are often expensive, and it is usually much cheaper to fly to Denver, a 3.5 hour scenic drive from Aspen. Visit our Travel page for more information.

Where is the Gant and how do I get there?
The Gant is located in the East end of downtown Aspen at 610 S West End Street, Aspen, CO 81611.
Click here for more information on getting around town.

Where should I stay?
Lodging is not included in the tuition for Summer Words, and participants should make their own lodging arrangements. We recommend staying at The Gant so as to be close to other participants, faculty, and events. Aspen Words has set aside a block of rooms at The Gant. Please make reservations prior to April 30. After that, discounts may no longer apply. Visit our lodging page for more details. 

Where should I eat?
Coffee will be available in The Gant conference center from 8-9am each morning. Lunches Monday through Friday are included with your tuition. The Gant’s Executive Chef prepares delicious, local, healthy buffet-style meals with a variety of options.  Also included in your tuition is the welcome BBQ at The Gant on June 17. For other meals, The Gant’s Pepperjack’s Cafe offers snacks, light breakfast and lunch food each day. Explore the Restaurants & Activities page for more dinner and breakfast options.

Where will my workshop meet?
Workshops will meet in the living rooms at The Gant’s condominium properties. The living rooms are spacious and comfortable and will have writing surfaces. The faculty will also be staying in these same condominiums, so please be respectful of their space and privacy. The exact location of your workshop will be included in your registration materials, which will be distributed at the June 17 orientation.

Will I need my computer?
You do not need to bring a laptop to your workshop, but you are welcome to if you prefer to make notes on a computer rather than a notebook. You may want your laptop for writing in the hours outside of your workshop, or to access some of your work while you are here.

What should I wear?
Aspen Summer Words is casual. Jeans and informal attire are appropriate for workshops, receptions, panels and other events. The benefit dinner is dressier. Most men will wear a jacket, but ties are not necessary. June days in Aspen can be warm, but it cools down significantly in the evenings, so bring a sweater and a light jacket.

What should I do about altitude sickness?
Aspen is 8,000 feet above sea level. It’s common for visitors coming from sea level to experience headaches and shortness of breath the first couple of days at high elevation. Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol as you adjust.

Will I have time to write/hike/meet with my instructor outside of class?
Write: Yes! All afternoon and evening activities are optional, and you are welcome to use this time to write.

Hike: Yes! More details will be included in your registration packet. Visit the Aspen Chamber website for descriptions of various walks and hikes in the area.

Meet with instructor: There is no formal time scheduled for private meetings with your instructor. However, most faculty are happy to meet outside of workshop time, and there are plenty of opportunities for informal meetings at lunch, cocktail hours, and the opening night BBQ.

Can I bring my spouse/partner/friend/child?
You are welcome to bring friends or family to join you on your trip to Aspen. While you are in your morning workshop, they will find plenty to do in Aspen–exploring town, hiking, reading by the pool etc. Your friends and family are also welcome to join us for the afternoon and evening panels, and can purchase a public pass or tickets at aspenshowtix.com when they go on sale in May. A complete list of public events and ticket information will be available then.

Opening Night BBQ and lunches are open to Aspen Summer Words workshops students and Readers’ Retreat Participants only. 

What is the benefit dinner and should I go?
This dinner benefits the programs of Aspen Words, and will feature the winner of the inaugural Aspen Words Literary Prize (to be announced April 10) as the keynote speaker. The reception and dinner will take place at the Hotel Jerome at 330 E. Main Street in Aspen on Tuesday, June 19. All of the Summer Words faculty, agents and editors will attend, along with Aspen Words board members, supporters and friends. We encourage students to join us! Tickets will be available for purchase in late April. Please note that the dinner is not included in the Summer Words tuition.