Blogging KR Young Writers Workshops

One hat I wear around the Review is as an instructor in their Young Writers Workshops–blissful employment, one that hits my head and heart in the proper proportions. I’ll update the experience over the next five weeks. Here’s the opener:

So–2007 Young Writers at Kenyon, underway. The gang’s all here. The core group of teachers for the past few years has wandered back to Gambier (a truly beautiful place) for another go-round, freshly focused by a curriculum review before this first session began (we felt pretty good about what we do) and looking foward to the future as the program continues seek ways to do what it does best–take a group of high school students on a two week tear straight through the heart the written word. We do it without helmets, with or without the Muse. It is intense, it is draining, it is challenging–and this is just for the teachers.

Imagine the writers.

It also can be Rilke-esque (read: life-changing)

I’ve had my first two days with my charges–there are twelve of them, and I lead them with a teaching fellow who works with me. I’m impressed with them all–they are willing. We’ve written about things they’ve left or brought with, in the literal and figurative sense, about families, written fictional autobiographies, and countered that with true fictions. We wrote poems about (or to) dead people–one writer wrote to the person who invented cement (!). We’ve done a lot.

But we’ve hit a roadblock as a workshop group, one that comes each year. Namely: the point at which they stop writing like they did before they arrived in Gambier, and start risking something-anything. It’s a criticial crossroads, and one where no clandestine deals are necessary–though it may first appear so–rather, just some faith in themselves and that something will come of the risk. It’s imperative.

Every year, it is clear to me how terrifying this is for most of them.

And every year this is the early point where I often feel like this experience is helping them most.

About the Program

The Kenyon Review Associates Program provides Kenyon students with valuable experience in literary editing, publishing, and programming. KR Associates work closely with Kenyon Review staff, gaining valuable experience in a number of editing, publishing, and programming areas including manuscript evaluation, publicity and marketing, copy editing, developing web site and social media content, outreach programming, event planning and promotion, and other creative and editorial projects

KR Associates attend regular seminars conducted by Kenyon Review editorial staff, visiting readers, and publishing industry professionals. These seminars cover a wide range of topics including editorial philosophy, evaluation of submissions, print and electronic production, marketing, and design.

KR Associates enjoy also enjoy exclusive access to visiting writers and speakers, free issues of The Kenyon Review, and valuable work experience and employment references.

This program is made possible through an initiative of the Kenyon Review, part of the mission of which is to contribute to the enrichment of the academic, cultural, and artistic life of the Kenyon College community.

Requirements and Expectations

  • Submission Evaluation: All Associates are required to read and evaluate eight Kenyon Review submissions per week. Associates who are not able to complete their weekly submission assignments for more than two weeks in a row may not be allowed to continue in the program.
  • Trainings and Seminars: In-person attendance is mandatory at all trainings and seminars. We plan on scheduling six to eight seminars per semester, and most will take place on Thursdays during common hour.
  • Literary Engagement: Associates are expected to participate in literary events on campus and throughout the local community.

Application Details

The application deadline for the 2023-24 program has passed. Applications for the 2024-25 program will open in the fall of 2024. Please check back then for more details.

Questions? Please contact Tory Weber for more information.