Since 1981, the Napa Valley Writers' Conference has provided an opportunity for fellowship and serious work with a focus on craft amidst the hills and vineyards that have made the region famous. The conference is a project of Napa Valley College.

Save the date: July 28 – August 2, 2019

Our 39th conference will be held July 28 – August 2, 2019. We’re hard at work lining up faculty, workshops, and events — stay tuned! The timeline:

  • December 2018: Faculty announced
  • January 2019: Applications open
  • April 2019: Application deadline
  • May 2019: Acceptance notifications
  • July 28 – August 2, 2019: 39th conference

Meantime, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest announcements, #AWP2019 news (we’ll be there!), and more.

The 38th conference is a wrap!

Thanks to our  faculty, participants, and community supporters for a wonderful 38th conference! Check out our Facebook page for a gallery of conference photos … we wish you a fruitful writing season this fall!

Participant Spotlight: Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora’s first full-length collection, Unaccompanied, debuted in September of 2017 with the kind of fanfare most poets only dream of. But he remembers when, just seven years earlier, he attended the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference as a novice.

“I was 20 years old, a sophomore in college, and someone there  believed in me enough to grant me a scholarship,” he recalled. “The support I received from everyone, teacher, students, staff,  was the wind I needed to believe my words could fly.”

The workshop Zamora joined that year with Brenda Hillman was his first ever; in 2011, he returned to Napa to work with Major Jackson. Poems he first wrote at the conference appear in Unaccompanied.

“In a very literal way, the time and space provided by the conference helped me plant the seeds to what would become a book seven years later,” he said.

From Napa and his undergraduate years at the University of California at Berkeley, Zamora went on to publish a chapbook, Nueve Años Inmigrantes, in 2011, and then earn his MFA from New York University.

Currently, Zamora is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow and holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, MacDowell, the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and Yaddo. The recipient of a 2017 Lannan Literary Fellowship, the 2017 Narrative Prize, and the 2016 Barnes and Noble Writer for Writers Award,  Zamora’s poems appear in Granta, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The New York Times, and elsewhere.

Unaccompanied documents Zamora’s emigration from El Salvador at the age of nine, crossing the border solo on foot before reuniting with his parents, who had arrived in the U.S. before him. Through his poems, Zamora humanizes the polarizing immigration debate.

“The poems are written in a searching, confessional style, in which their author recalls his life as though he is in conversation with the people who helped to shape it,” said The New Yorker in its profile of Zamora.

KQED Arts hailed Zamora’s “courageous offering,” saying, “Unaccompanied is a collection populated by deserts, border violence, a family’s desperate claim to survive, and the conjuring up and remembrance of a country left behind.”

Read more:
Visit Javier Zamora’s Web site
Sample a selection of Zamora’s poems via the Poetry Foundation Web site
Hear Zamora’s collection featured in a recent NPR piece on “3 Books That Capture America in Poetry