Park partner Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont recently announced that the second annual Tremont Writers Conference, created in collaboration with Smokies Life, is now accepting applications. Applications to participate in the five-day retreat for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry may be submitted online now through April 30 at writers.gsmit.org.
From Wednesday, October 23, through Sunday, October 27, a small group of selected writers will join renowned authors and professional park educators on Tremont’s campus in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Participants will enjoy brainstorming and fine-tuning their work with award-winning author workshop leaders while also learning and writing throughout the day.
Morning workshops in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry will take place outdoors, led by faculty members Monic Ductan (fiction), David Brill (nonfiction) and Maurice Manning (poetry). Guest author Frank X Walker, the first African American Kentucky Poet Laureate and workshop leader at the 2023 conference, will lead several sessions for the entire group, including a guided discussion on the craft of writing.
Each afternoon, writers will join experienced Tremont naturalists for guided explorations that spark curiosity and wonder through a deeper connection to the region’s cultural and natural history. Evenings will conclude with hearty dinners, fellowship with peers, and readings by writing faculty. Meals and lodging are provided.
“A sense of community came from the gathering of creative souls dedicated to their crafts — attendees seeking growth and honing and leaders sharing their insights and guiding us with their experience,” said writer and photographer Michele Sons, who participated in the inaugural Tremont Writers Conference in October 2023, which brought together 20 writers from all over the country. “By stepping out of my comfort zone, I gained confidence in my writing, and I came home with concrete ways to improve my manuscript based on the feedback of our leaders and the group at large.”
Applications for the October conference should be submitted no later than April 30. Acceptance to conference workshops is based on manuscript evaluation, with chosen writers notified by July 14. Additional information about the Tremont Writers Conference and complete 2024 application guidelines can be found at writers.gsmit.org.