A week of words: Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing returns July 19

Faculty and attendees from the 2014 MVICW seminar after a rewarding week of creative writing. — Photo courtesy of Alexander Wein

Now in its sixth season, the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing (MVICW) is gearing up for the 2015 Writer’s Retreat, which begins Sunday, July 19. The weeklong seminar will focus on writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and attendees will get to work with awardwinning authors and poets, literary journal editors, and university creative writing faculty from around the country. There will be craft seminars, evening readings, open writing sessions, and panel discussions on the necessary tips and tools for editing and publishing. Attendees will also get the chance to have one-on-one manuscript meetings with the visiting faculty, and the week will end with a celebratory dinner together.

This year’s conference faculty include Michael Martone, Phong Nguyen, Emily Skaja, Marcus Wicker, and MVICW Director Alexander Weinstein.

Michael Martone is the author or editor of more than 20 books of fiction, poetry, and anthologies, including “Michael Martone,” a memoir in contributor’s notes; ”Unconventions”; “Writing on Writing”; “The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction”; and “The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction.” Mr. Martone has been awarded two fellowships by the NEA and a grant from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and is a professor at the University of Alabama.

Phong Nguyen is the editor of “Pleiades Literary Journal” and author of “Pages From the Textbook of Alternate History” and “Memory Sickness, and Other Stories.” He teaches fiction writing and publishing at the University of Central Missouri.

Emily Skaja is the 2014 winner of the Russell Prize from Two Sylvias Press, a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize, a 2015 AWP Intro Award, and the 2015 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize. Her poems have been shortlisted for the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, the Booth Poetry Prize, the Sonora Review Poetry Prize, and the Black Warrior Review.

Marcus Wicker is author of the poetry collection “Maybe the Saddest Thing,” selected by D.A. Powell for the National Poetry Series. Mr. Wicker’s awards include a 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem and the Fine Arts Work Center. He is an assistant professor of English at University of Southern Indiana, where he serves as the poetry editor of Southern Indiana Review.

Alexander Weinstein is the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. He is a recipient of the Lamar York Prize and the Gail Crump Prize in Fiction, and a Sustainable Arts Award for fiction. He is a professor of creative writing at Siena Heights University, a lecturer at the University of Michigan, and leads fiction workshops in the United States and Europe.

Mr. Weinstein is looking forward to another memorable retreat: “There is a magic that happens every year at MVICW — it comes from the excitement which arises when you get passionate writers together, and they can dig into the craft and talk about their writing. I am really excited to work alongside the amazing faculty and students who are attending this year. The visiting authors and poets are some of my favorite writers working in the field today, and they are warm, generous-hearted individuals who love sharing their craft.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Summer Writer’s Retreat, $975 for the week, scholarships available. Full registration details can be found at mvicw.com or by contacting the director at 954-242-2903.