2020 Admissions Update

May 1, 2020

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 conference in July.

This was to be the conference’s 40th anniversary, and we will look forward to celebrating that milestone in 2021 with our valued staff, faculty, participants, and local community partners. General guidelines are below; look for the application form to go live in January of 2021.


General Application Guidelines

Enrollment in each poetry, fiction, and translation workshop is limited. Acceptance is based on:

  • A brief statement of no longer than 500 words describing your background as a writer and your interest in the conference.
  • Submission of a qualifying manuscript.
    • for fiction workshops submit 10-15 pages of fiction (2,500 to 3,750 words);
    • for poetry workshops submit five poems;
    • for translation, please submit up to three translated poems (in English) and a brief statement about the project you are working on, or your interest in translation and what you plan on getting out of being in a translation workshop. If possible, please also include the poems in their original language. Work may include any poem by a known author in another language, translated into English by the applicant; applicants without existing translation samples may be considered on the basis of their 500-word statement of intent.

For more guidance on manuscript submission, view our FAQs.

You must pay a nonrefundable $25 reading fee when submitting your application, payable online using a credit card or by individual arrangement. Regardless of how you elect to send us your reading fee payment, you must submit your application online.

Past Participants

If you have been accepted to the conference twice in the past five years and are not applying for financial assistance, you do not need to submit a qualifying manuscript. You should complete the online form, but will not need to supply a reading fee.

If you are a past participant and are applying for financial assistance, you must submit a qualifying manuscript and pay the reading fee.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of grants are available to cover all or part of the conference participation fee, with awards made on the basis of merit and need.

Recipients of grants are automatically also offered community housing with local residents who’ve donated their spare rooms for the conference week. Grant recipients will owe a $50 fee to cover processing and placement costs upon acceptance.

We offer grants at the following levels:

  • Full fee grants: Recipients pay only the $25 reading fee and $50 community housing fee.
  • Half fee grants: Recipients pay the $25 reading fee, $50 community housing fee plus $575.
  • Partial fee grants: Recipients pay the $25 reading fee, $50 community housing fee plus $775.

These general grants are awarded at the discretion of the fiction and poetry staff; the number and amount of grants awarded varies from year to year according to the applicant pool and the funding we have available.

To apply, in addition to your biographical statement, please prepare the following information about your financial situation:

  • personal and, if married, household income
  • any academic stipends, fellowships, or teaching assistantships you currently receive
  • information on any financial responsibilities you may have, such as childcare or tuition
  • anticipated travel costs to the conference
  • any other factors (such as health) which affect your ability to pay the conference fee

Please indicate what level of support you require in order to attend the Conference, while keeping in mind that financial assistance funds are limited and both need and merit-based.