Greetings from the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference!

We’d hoped to gather in person this year at our home in Saint Helena, California, to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Obviously circumstances intervened, and our team hopes for the good health of everyone in our conference community—participants, faculty, donors, community housing hosts, winery partners, and many more.

July is usually our busiest month as we prepare for conference week. In the quiet of this year, we’ve been reflecting on how fortunate we are to feature as faculty the finest writers working and teaching today, and to welcome all the writers who come from far and wide to study with them in beautiful Napa Valley.

Our community is united around a belief in the importance of reading, writing, and translating poetry and fiction as we attempt to account for—and to take accountability for—the world around us, with its novel viruses, heartbreaking violence, and entrenched systems as well as its natural beauty, exchanges of compassion, and glimpses of hope for long-overdue social reckoning.

We will miss seeing your faces this week. We’re working hard to figure out a safe way to meet next year, but in the meantime, we’re happy to provide an upcoming “conference” week of daily programming. Each day, we’ll highlight a poet and fiction writer from our faculty, including Brenda Hillman, Yiyun Li, Camille Dungy, Peter Ho Davies, ZZ Packer, Robert Hass, and many others. Each participating faculty member has generously provided inspirational writing prompts and book recommendations, as well as links to online interviews, articles, and video presentations.

As you know, we depend on tuition and donations in order to run the conference, and we deeply appreciate your support. With each of these daily emails you’ll have the chance to contribute, if you are able. You’ll also have the chance to support our longtime bookselling partner, Readers’ Books of Sonoma, by purchasing books by faculty and their book recommendations online. Finally, the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Co., our “caffeinate and donate” sponsor, has agreed to donate to the conference a portion of all online orders this week of our writers’ conference blend.

We hope you’ll enjoy this week’s programming as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Have a wonderful writing week! We hope to celebrate our 40 years with you in person next year—and raise a glass to 40 more.

Angela Pneuman
Executive Director, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference


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Even without a physical conference this year, our staff has been on the job, and we anticipate rising costs and increased need for scholarships as we move into planning for 2021 and beyond.

Please help support the conference in our 40th year — donate today.