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Apply for the Summer Writers Institute and Become Part of a Literary Community

This June 16-18, the University of St. Thomas-Houston Master’s in Creative Writing Program hosts its Summer Writers Institute: a three-day immersive program in the Catholic literary tradition open to all persons, 18 years old and older.

Meet Distinguished Writers, Receive Mentoring

During their time on campus, participants will meet and hear from distinguished writers of poetry and fiction; they will engage in seminars on art and beauty, Catholicism and literature and the craft of writing. They will also receive counsel and help with their own work in lively creative writing workshops.

Become Part of a Literary Community

Creating itself through the evening public readings with masters of the art, the intense seminars and workshops, and the good company at meals, participants will experience that most elusive thing: a literary community intended to deepen and strengthen their own work while also welcoming them into the great literary and cultural tradition of the Church.

Summer Institute Open to the Public – 18 years and older

The Summer Institute is open, by application, to the general public. Its purpose is to invite participants into the practice and theory of the art of writing, to give them a chance to develop their own work as authors, to join a lively artistic community and to experience for themselves the work and live presence of some of our day’s greatest Catholic writers.

UST’s MFA program is committed to restoring the spiritual and intellectual depths of contemporary literature and cultivating a culture of craft, where artistic excellence and the humble practice of the artisan guide everything we do.

The Summer Institute is an annual opportunity to share the joy of literature and the epiphanies of beauty that are the fine arts with an audience beyond the conventional graduate classroom. All who know that literature and art are life-changing presences in our world are welcome to join us in Houston.


All events of the Summer Institute will be held on the University of St. Thomas campus, 3800 Montrose Blvd. Houston, TX, 77006

Submit Your Application by April 20, 2022

To apply, submit (as a single .pdf document) a letter explaining why you wish to attend the Institute and a portfolio of either 4-5 poems or one short story or novel excerpt (20 pages maximum). 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with an absolute deadline of April 20. Limited need-based scholarships will be made available, especially to current undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by start of the Institute. To reserve your spot, full payment for the Institute must be made by May 15.

Accepted participants should plan to prepare for the Institute and will receive materials necessary to do so well in advance of the start of the Institute.

Planning for the Summer Institute

Accepted students are eligible for on-campus housing beginning the morning of June 15 and departing the morning of June 19. Tuition and meals for the institute will be covered by a generous grant from the Scanlan Foundation. Participants are responsible for any costs of housing and transportation to the Institute.. 


For three full days, participants will study with noted authors James Matthew Wilson, Joshua Hren and an annually rotating guest faculty member. They will have opportunity to think more deeply about the philosophy and practice of artistic form and to advance their own current projects and aspirations as writers.

Learn more about James Matthew Wilson and Joshua Hren.