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When is the Kettle Pond Writers’ Conference?


The 2021 conference will take place June 19-26.

Where is the Kettle Pond Writers’ Conference?

The Kettle Pond Writers’ Conference is happy to call Paul Smith’s College in Paul Smith’s, New York, home. Paul Smith’s is located in the Adirondack Park, 13 miles from Saranac Lake, New York and 20 miles from Lake Placid, New York. 

I’m applying to The Workshops but would like to attend Kettle Pond as a Resident if I am not offered a place in my workshop of choice. Do I need to apply for both?

The option to select The Writers’ Residency as a second choice is embedded in The Workshops application form. If you have already applied and did not select this option but still wish to attend as a Resident, please contact the conference directly. You do not need to separately fill out the application for The Writers’ Residency.

How much does the conference cost? 


Conference tuition varies dependent upon the specific workshop or residency the writer is accepted into. Please see information on conference tuition here.


What is included in the price of the conference? 

Conference tuition includes room and board for the entire week, all conference events, and access to campus academic and recreational facilities. Tuition is designed to be all-inclusive to allow writers to fully immerse themselves in the experience of the conference. Prospective applicants can find information on campus housing and facilities here.

Are there scholarships or fellowships available?

Yes, Kettle Pond offers a limited amount of need-based fellowship support. Writers interested in applying for financial aid should read our fellowship page here


Where is Paul Smith’s College?

Paul Smith’s College is located in Paul Smith’s, New York, inside the Adirondack Park. Campus is 13 miles from Saranac Lake, NY and 20 miles from Lake Placid, NY. 

How do I get to Paul Smith’s College?

Information on travel to Paul Smith’s College can be found here.

Can Kettle Pond help with travel expenses?

Unfortunately, Kettle Pond is currently unable to assist writers with travel expenses; however, we will make an effort to connect writers wishing to ride-share to the conference once admissions are finalized. Drivers and writers interested in this option are encouraged to contact the conference in advance; more formal information regarding ride-sharing will be distributed later in the spring.


I’d like to attend but I am not sure if my manuscript fits any of the workshops you offer. What should I do?

We expect most writers’ work will be at home in one of our workshops. Writers who are unsure where their work might fit best are encouraged to email the conference directly or to make a note in their application detailing their concerns. Poets who are unsure if their manuscripts will fit in a more traditional workshop might consider the generative poetry workshop. Attending the writers’ residency may also be a good option for writers of all genres who wish to attend and devote more time to writing and/or attending other conference events.


Is there an application fee?

No. Kettle Pond is committed to removing as many barriers to access of our writing community as possible. In keeping with this philosophy, we pledge to never charge an application fee. 

When will offers of admission go out? When will I be notified if I’ve gotten into the workshop of my choice?

Please see our application timeline here.

Do I need to send my entire manuscript when I apply?

No, applicants to Kettle Pond should submit work samples in the genre of the workshop they are applying for. These work samples are for admissions purposes, final manuscripts will be due following acceptance to the conference. Information on the application process can be found here.

May I send a paper application or do I have to apply online?

We strongly encourage all interested writers to apply online through our conference application. Writers who have questions about the application form should contact the conference directly to explain their specific situation or concerns. 

How do I apply for fellowship support? 

Instructions on fellowship applications can be found here.

On what qualifications are offers of fellowship support based?

Fellowship awards are entirely need-based.

When will I be notified if I have received a fellowship?

Please see our fellowship timeline here.


Can I apply for a fellowship retroactively after I have been accepted?

Writers may apply for fellowships at any time prior to the fellowship application deadline; conference applications need not be submitted concurrently with fellowship applications, though we encourage writers in need of fellowship support to apply for it as early as possible because fellowship funding is limited. Please note that the extended deadline for The Writers’ Residency is later than the fellowship application deadline and writers interested in fellowships should apply to both by the fellowship deadline.


I missed the deadline for the application and/or fellowship. Can I still apply? 

Because Kettle Pond has a rolling admissions process we encourage all interested writers to apply as early as possible. Based on waitlist movement or other unforeseen factors we may accept late applications, though writers should not assume this will be the case, and it is likely that no fellowship funding will be available after the stated deadline. Please see our application page for up to date information or email the conference directly with questions if you have missed the deadline, and note that the application deadline for The Writers’ Residency option is later than that for workshops.


What are the page limits for your workshops?

Page limits vary by workshop, but basic guidelines for prose are 225 pages max for long-form prose workshops, 25 pages for short-form prose workshops, and 10 poems or 20 pages of poetry max for the poetry workshop. 

Are there page minimums for manuscripts?

That depends on the workshop and the faculty member leading it. Applicants who are unsure if their manuscripts fit the workshop they are applying to should contact the conference directly with specific questions about their proposed manuscripts.

I am interested in the short fiction/essay workshop but I write very short pieces. May I submit multiple pieces in my manuscript?

Yes! Flash and other short prose is welcome. Please begin each new piece on a separate page and adhere to the maximum page count guidelines when you submit your final manuscript.


My manuscript is longer than the page limit. Is there any way I can submit all of it?

We encourage writers to adhere to all page limit guidelines and edit when necessary. In rare circumstances and with faculty permission, accommodations can be made for manuscripts that are very close to stated page limits, though this will not typically be possible. Writers workshopping in long form workshops whose projects exceed page limit guidelines will be asked to replace a section of work with a synopsis to be distributed along with their manuscripts.

Will I be able to buy books during the conference? Will I be able to get them signed?

Absolutely! Books will be available for sale every evening during social time following faculty readings. Because Kettle Pond is a community-focused event we won’t facilitate formal book signings, to allow all of our writers to enjoy the conference. Writers are more than welcome to ask our faculty and visiting readers to sign books in the evenings.


I may need to arrive late/leave the conference early, is that possible?

We encourage all of our writers to be on campus for the duration of the conference, though we understand that sometimes travel options are limited and personal and professional obligations can come up without warning. Writers who will need to arrive late or leave early should contact conference staff as soon as they are aware of their plans to ensure someone is available to meet them for check-in or check-out.


I’m planning to continue working on my manuscript through the next few months. May I send a longer/more polished version to distribute to my workshop later on?

Application samples need only be in the genre a writer intends to work in. Final manuscripts are due following a formal offer of admission. Our application and admission timeline can be found here. 


How will housing arrangements be made? May I request to live with another writer attending the conference?

Housing assignments will be made based on responses to the registration form, which will be distributed once admissions are finalized. The registration form will allow accepted writers to make requests regarding shared housing and dietary restrictions. We expect we will be able to accommodate all requests made in advance. 

I live in the area or don’t wish to stay on campus. Is this an option?

Yes, local writers and writers interested in arranging their own housing nearby should contact the conference directly for tuition information that does not include campus housing.


I won’t be staying on campus, will I still have access to campus facilities?

Yes, all writers attending the conference will have access to conference events and campus facilities.

Is there cell phone service on campus?

It depends; writers with Verizon service plans will have reliable service on campus, while AT&T customers will have more limited service. Those with other carriers may not have service on campus or in the area. WiFi is free and available throughout the main campus. Writers without service may be able to connect to WiFi to make calls. We encourage writers who will be without cell service or with limited cell service to think of this as a blessing rather than a curse; we know firsthand that it can enhance the creative impact of the conference experience. Kettle Pond can provide emergency phone numbers for writers who may not have service at the conference and wish to leave them with family, friends, or colleagues. 


Is there WiFi on campus?

Yes. WiFi is open and free throughout campus.


I have dietary restrictions. Can you accommodate them?

Most likely, yes. Kettle Pond can accommodate all dietary restrictions except Kosher. Kosher applicants are welcome to make use of kitchens in campus housing and should contact the conference directly for information on reduced tuition that does not include a dining plan.


Are conference venues/classrooms/housing options barrier free?

All venues that will be used for whole-conference events have barrier free-access. Some classrooms and campus housing spaces are not, but we can accommodate writers who require barrier free workshops and housing. Please contact the conference in advance or note your needs in your registration form to ensure we are able to schedule your workshop in an accessible space and/or assign housing that accommodates your needs. Some more basic information on accessibility on campus can be found here


May I bring my pet?

Pets are not allowed in campus housing. Writers who plan to bring pets should make alternate housing arrangements and contact the conference directly for pricing that does not include housing as well as information on campus facilities and events where pets will be welcome.


Can you accommodate my service animal in campus housing?

All service animals are welcome at campus events and in campus housing. See our accessibility page for more information.

May I bring my partner/caregiver/dependents/random buddy?

Absolutely! Writers applying to who intend to bring dependents should note this in their application and contact the conference directly for information on non-attendee pricing for room & board. Writers who wish to attend with a friend, partner, other relative, or collaborative writing partner who intend to take part in the conference should apply separately and note that they wish to live or room together in campus housing.

How does parking work on campus?

Parking is included in the cost of the conference and is available throughout the Paul Smith’s Campus.


What is provided by the conference? What should I plan to bring?

Outside of clothing, toiletries, and whatever supplies our writers require for their work and/or workshops, we aim to provide everything our participants will need during conference week. You can find our suggested packing list here.


Will I be able to print/make copies on campus?

Yes, computer and printer access will be available 24 hours a day during the conference. Access to copying will be available in Paul Smith’s campus library during normal hours.


Are there laundry facilities on campus?

Yes, laundry is available in conference housing and included in conference tuition. Writers will need to purchase detergent on campus or bring it with them.

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