Prospective Students

At the Writers House, we care deeply about encouraging promising, passionate writers to apply to Penn and in supporting them through the process. Jamie-Lee Josselyn, our Associate Director for Recruitment, coordinates these efforts with the support of other key staff members. We welcome high school students and their families to the Writers House to meet members of our community, attend a reading, hang out on our comfy green couch, or sit in on a course (with instructor permission).

Hang Out with Famous Writers

Kelly Writers House Fellows Seminar

Imagine yourself chatting about contemporary poetry with John Ashbery. Eating dinner and exchanging anecdotes with David Sedaris. Hanging out on the green couch with Jamaica Kincaid. Our Writers House Fellows Seminar, led by Kelly Professor and Writers House Faculty Director Al Filreis, makes it possible for Penn students to have sustained and substantive contact with authors of great accomplishment in an informal atmosphere. In the Fellows Seminar, students study the work of three visiting Fellows and then participate in intense two-day visits. For more detail about the class, check out past syllabi or email Fellows Coordinator Lily Applebaum with your questions.

Visiting Writer Series

KWH is a magnet for great writers. Our national reputation for intimate programming with a talented and engaged student audience virtually guarantees that the best writers in the country are eager to visit us and meet with students. Our featured visitors roster includes emerging poets and renowned singer-songwriters, kids book authors and political journalists.

Creative Writing Classes

Check out the creative writing classes you can take through Penn's Creative Writing program. Many of these courses meet in the Writers House. Max Apple is famous for his fiction workshops and his coffee and cookie breaks. Paul Hendrickson's long-form journalism courses get rave reviews year after year. Many classes, such as Simone White's poetry workshop, celebrate their achievements each semester with end of year readings in our Arts Café.

Critical Writing Classes

Penn's Critical Writing Program is dedicated to teaching writing and to creating a community of writers across schools and disciplines. We are thrilled that many Critical Writing courses take place right here in our upstairs classrooms. Read about Penn's Critical Writing requirement and see what courses have been offered in past semesters to get a sense of the breadth of Penn's program.

Opportunities for Penn Students

We provide outreach opportunities where students can volunteer to mentor and tutor different community populations in creative writing at KWH and across Philadelphia.

The Writers House and Penn's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW) are also committed to providing students with practical opportunities for developing their writing talents and to supporting all kinds of creative expression. We offer informal mentorships with alumni writers and editors, and competitive summer internships with arts-based businesses, such as Rolling Stone and MTV Networks. Three writing apprenticeships each year give course credit to students working closely with faculty mentors. We award several prizes and fellowships that are designed to encourage and support student creativity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still curious about what goes on at Writers House? Click here to visit our FAQ page.