Spend a Week at Saint Martin’s University’s Creative Writing Institute with Novelist Jim Lynch


For more than 100 years, Saint Martin’s University has been a touchstone of our regional excellence. With a mission that “honors both the sacredness of the individual and the significance of community in the ongoing journey of becoming,” the University is proud to announce its first, annual Summer Creative Writing Institute.

In the spirit of Saint Martin’s popular Les Bailey Writers Series, this new program is “the perfect setting to celebrate and encourage creative arts and creative writing,” according to Olivia Archibald, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the writing institute. Running June 12-18, the institute will focus on helping fiction-based writers of all levels who are “seeking not just knowledge of honing their craft but looking for a community,” explains Archibald.

“Writing helps us to become more human,” Archibald says. “Writers do it to understand themselves and the world. This is the perfect setting to celebrate and encourage creative arts and creative writing.”

On campus all week for workshops, presentations and one-on-one consultations about writing fiction will be local favorite—and 2017 Les Bailey Writers Series keynote—Jim Lynch. His books include “Truth Like the Sun,” “Border Songs,” “The Highest Tide” and “Before the Wind,” which will be released in April.

jim lynch
Author Jim Lynch will be on campus all week during the Saint Martin’s University Summer Creative Writing Institute. Photo courtesy: Saint Martin’s University.

Interested writers do not need to be experienced, previously published or have a body of completed work. The goal is for fiction-geared enthusiasts to spend the week learning from Lynch and building relationships with fellow writers, away from the distractions of everyday life.

“I’m not concerned about the experience level of the students,” says Lynch. “As long as they’re excited, as long as they’re passionate about writing and figuring out how to get better, I’m happy to work with them. I plan on focusing my talks on topics that fascinate me, such as setting, dialogue and character, and how to generate genuine realism, humor, suspense and emotion.”

“I’ll also try to help them understand the honor, burden and discipline that come with being a writer, and how to go about trying to write and sell good fiction without going nuts,” continues Lynch.

Lynch will provide presentations and workshops each morning, with afternoons devoted to individual attention and hands-on, small group experience. Evenings will include guest authors, group writing sessions, and informal readings.

Some of the evening guests for this inaugural Institute include Director of Saint Martin’s Writing Center and poet Nathalie Kuroiwa-Lewis, local author and writing coach Lindsay Schopfer, and Saint Martin’s instructor and writer Julie Yamamoto.

writers workshop
Olivia Archibald is the creator and director of the Summer Creative Writing Institute at Saint Martin’s University.  Photo courtesy: Saint Martin’s University.

Attendees are encouraged to spend the week on-site with housing and meals included in package options. This allows authors the most time to focus, bond, work and explore through shared community and through such activities as a field trip to Lambert Lodge on the Puget Sound.

The application deadline is April 15, 2016 and the program will be capped at 20 writers. Interested writers can find downloadable application forms, updated information and details on tuition at the Institute’s website: http://www.stmartin.edu/writinginstitute. Questions about events and options may be directed to Tiffany McDuffy by calling 360-438-4564 or emailing CAS@stmartin.edu.

If the written word has always been your passion, reward yourself with a retreat into the life and work of a professional writer.


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