Listen and grow at the new Summer Creative Writing Institute
March 16, 2016

Works of fiction can ignite a passion for storytelling and love for the art of writing. But alas – if only you, dear writer, could reserve a slate of time when you can devote yourself to your craft, uninterrupted.

Saint Martin’s University is dedicated to providing that golden yet elusive opportunity to writers of all levels of ability through the inaugural Summer Creative Writing Institute, which will launch June 12 – 18 during Summer Session on the Lacey campus.

“This university is creating a niche for writers in the area and, perhaps, nationally. We want to celebrate creativity and imagination in ways that affect the wider community,” says Olivia Archibald, Ph.D., professor of English, and creator and director of the writing institute.

Those selected to be part of this community of writers will be encouraged to spend the week residing on the Lacey campus as they explore “Writing Fiction” under the guidance of internationally acclaimed novelist and Washington native Jim Lynch. Lynch has penned several highly regarded novels set in Western Washington, including “The Highest Tide,” “Truth Like the Sun” and “Before the Wind,” which will be released in April.

“What I think I bring to the institute is lots of hands-on experience with the craft and business of being a writer,” says Lynch. “I’m excited to help participants grasp the challenge and honor and discipline that come with writing.”

“I also want to tell them the things I wish I’d known when I began writing seriously – the survival tips on how to create and sell good fiction without going nuts,” he adds.

The author plans to present daily in the mornings on such topics as developing character, dialogue and setting, and creating realism, humor and emotion. In the afternoons, Lynch will meet individually with institute participants to discuss their writing. Other activities include evening presentations from local writers and blocks of writing time for participants to work on their craft.

The creation of the writing institute follows the University English Department’s establishment of the Les Bailey Writers Series in 2014. Named for beloved English Professor Leslie G. Bailey, Ph.D., who died in 2010, the series aims to bring writers of note to campus to read and discuss their books, a practice that was an especially meaningful part of Bailey’s teaching philosophy. Brian Doyle, a resident of Portland, Oregon, whose books have earned him numerous awards, was the inaugural speaker for the series. Spokane native and bestselling author Jess Walter served as the second speaker for the writers series.  

“In focusing on Pacific Northwest writers, we are realizing the tremendous wealth of writers that we have in this part of the country who we want to tap into,” Archibald says.

While the institute is open to writers of all abilities, Archibald says, “The inaugural institute is for the serious and passionate writer who wants to work on fiction writing. They can be writers from other genres, such as poetry, but they should have the desire to explore writing fiction.”

The required application form, tuition fee and more information about the institute can be found at the Saint Martin’s University Summer Creative Writing Institute at The deadline to apply has been extended and now closes on April 29. The full registration fee is also due by April 29.

For more information:

Tiffany McDuffy
Summer Creative Writing Institute assistant
Saint Martin’s University

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media Relations Manager
Saint Martin’s University