Testimonials Archive

2014 | 2015 | General

Summer Words 2015

Levy“I have participated in many national literary conferences and can say without hesitation that Aspen Words is hands down the best there is: excellence without exclusivity, rigorous and generous both, Aspen Words is what every literary gathering should be: truly inspiring, truly elevating.” – EJ Levy (2015 Emerging Writer Fellow)

“My innerds have been rearranged and shuffled around in such a profound way. That’s the only way I can describe the experience that Aspen Words has had on me – a tectonic shift of the soul.” –Marcia Butler (2015 Workshop participant)

Opening-table w Bromiley+Havlen“Superb. This is the best conference of its kind in the country, distinguished by its blend of excellence and generosity. Faculty are top flight; staff are supernaturally gracious, making each participant feel known and welcome. Students are drop-dead serious, often accomplished writers, but also very supportive of one another.” –2015 Workshop participant

“[Akhil Sharma’s] thoroughness rivalled and sometimes even exceeded my MFA workshop experience.”  –2015 Workshop participant

“It is such a wonderful feeling, in the midst of the isolated writing life, to discover one’s tribe. I found such a tribe at Aspen Words, and left humbled and joyous to have shared such good company. What an immeasurable gift…My writing craft was honed and deepened, but also my writing practice, and my life.” – Anna Noyes (2015 Emerging Writer Fellow)

“The chance I was given through the Aspen Summer words scholarship I received — to spend a week with my writing peers, to have my work critiqued by other students and a teacher like Ann Hood, the opportunity to listen to their words on craft and meet with editors and agents — released me from the bubble of motherhood and daily life and has propelled me back into the idea that, yes, I can do this; that writing matters and my investment of time to write is justified.” –Amiee White Beazley (2015 Workshop participant) 

Juster.Rita working outside“The experience was sublime! I truly loved every moment…” – Alison Granucci (Founder and Owner, Blue Flower Arts – a literary speaker’s agency)

“I loved every minute of being at Aspen Summer Words. Truly, it was just a wonderful experience from beginning to end. –Dani Shapiro (2015 Faculty)



Summer Words 2014

“Aspen Summer Words is a thoroughly nourishing experience for students and faculty alike–stimulating creative juices in a physically beautiful and altogether inspiring setting. Run according to high quality standards and including a diverse range of talent, this is a place and a community in which any writer would be privileged to spend time.” – Elizabeth Sheinkman (Literary Agent, William Morris Endeavor)

MarianPalaia-LitCrawl“I have been to many conferences over the years, and never have I been to one that was so welcoming and inclusive. Often there is a distinct divide between participants and the ‘real’ authors, and I did not feel that at Aspen at all.” – Marian P. (2014 Emerging Writer Fellow)

“Beyond the workshop, the afternoon and evening sessions added tremendously to the experience. I still don’t understand how Melissa Bank, Andre Dubus III, Julia Glass, Meg Wolitzer, Meghan Daum, Bernard Cooper, and Mary Beth Keane could all be so equally intelligent and hilarious.” – Celisa S. (2014 workshop participant)

BillyCollin-classphoto“I most enjoyed the instruction our group received from Billy Collins. His teaching style was entertaining and deceptively casual; I walked away with so many concrete bits of wisdom that I could file away for future use in my writing. Second to Billy’s instruction, I enjoyed the synergy among my classmates and the warmth of the ASW staff members, all of which made for incredible hospitality and a feeling of being perfectly at home in Aspen for those few days.” – 2014 workshop participant

“Aspen Summer Words was one of the finest events for creative writers I’ve ever attended. I learned much of value from my workshop leader, Andre Dubus III, a master of the craft and a truly gracious person; I had a meaningful shared experience in learning and connecting with my fellow workshoppers, all high-caliber writers in their own right; and I enjoyed socializing with many other conference attendees. Everyone from the ASW faculty and staff to the hotel staff was incredibly friendly, and made me feel truly valued and at home. Thank you for one of the best weeks of my writing life!” – 2014 workshop participant

billycollins+anniegarrett“Billy Collins was so generous as a teacher and a mentor, offering applicable advice on craft, form, wit, avoiding sentimentality, and returning to the masters to inform our practice and to remind us of the ineffable joy we discover when pursuing this work.” – Annie G. (2014 workshop participant)

“…being around so many great minds and such great advice has truly helped me in the editing process of my book, and reignited a passion for writing and talking about writing that had previously been hard to come by in my everyday life… I would just like to reiterate how wonderful the people at Aspen Summer Words were, from the staff to the teachers to the other students. This is the huge gift of the conference: the chance to remind ourselves that we are not alone with the battles and pleasures of writing, but there are many of us, and in communing we can help each other to keep on and congratulate each other on doing so.” – Molly P. (2014 Emerging Writer Fellow)

EmergingFellow_Reading“Aspen Summer Words was the first writers’ conference I’ve ever been to—and I doubt another one will ever trump it. My week in Aspen was fun, relaxing, validating, truly (literally, I guess) breathtaking. I left the conference with a sense of community and camaraderie that has helped ease some of the frustration, anxiety, and the loneliness that comes with being a writer.” – Mary Kate F. (2014 Emerging Writer Fellow)

2014 | 2015 | General