"Bringing new meaning to the idea of
escaping into literature, Aspen Summer Words [takes] over the Colorado
town, giving booklovers the chance to mingle with some of the biggest
names in storytelling."
- O, The Oprah Magazine
JUNE 16 - 21, 2013
Established in 1976, Aspen Summer Words (ASW) is the place to be for anyone with a passion for the written word. Hailed as one of the nation's "Top Ten Literary Gatherings" by USA Today, this six-day celebration of words, stories, and ideas consists of a morning writing retreat, afternoon literary festival events, and one-on-one professional consultations with agents and editors. Simply, Aspen Summer Words offers an invigorating opportunity for booklovers from around the world to engage in an array of experiences and events in a stunning mountain setting. From author readings and behind-the-book panel discussions to live music and social gatherings, this literary sojourn examines the craft of writing and celebrates the literary arts.
ASW is one part laboratory and one part theater. It is comprised of two tracks— the Writing Retreat and the Literary Festival — which approach the written word from different, yet complementary angles. The Retreat features introductory and intensive workshops with some of the nation's most notable writing instructors and includes literature appreciation symposia and professional consultations with literary agents and editors. The Writing Retreat supports writers in developing their craft by providing a winning combination of inspiration, skills, community, and opportunity.
The Literary Festival is a booklover's bliss, where the written word takes center stage. Since 2005, each edition of the Festival has celebrated a particular literary heritage and culture by honoring the stories and storytellers of a specific region. To date, itineraries have included the West, the American South, Ireland, India, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This year, the literature of China will be the Festival's focus and will include authors Xiaolu Guo, Yiyun Li, Lisa See, and many more.
For over three decades Aspen Summer Words has hosted more than 300 writers who have read, taught and performed for 20,000+ audience members and students. ASW literati have included an international cast of authors — Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Awardees, and many other notable and bestselling writers — who each year transform Aspen into the Rocky Mountain gateway to the literary world.