♦ Applications for The Common Young Writers Program are now closed.
If you’d like to hear from us when applications open for next year, please click here. ♦
Applications are now open for The Common Young Writers Program, which offers two two-week summer classes for high school students (rising 9-12). Students will be introduced to the building blocks of fiction and learn to read with a writer’s gaze. Taught by the editors and editorial assistants of Amherst College’s literary magazine, the summer courses (Level I and Level II) run Monday-Friday and are open to all high school students (rising 9-12). The program runs July 19-31.
The cost of the two-week program is $725 for Level I, and $875 for Level II. Full and partial need-based tuition waivers are available for both levels; we hope that no student will let financial difficulty prevent them from applying.
On May 6th at 7pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual launch of Issue 21! Contributors Aleksandar Hemon, Celeste Mohammed, Abdelaziz Errachidi, and translator Nariman Youssef will join us from all around the world for brief readings, followed by conversation about place, culture, and translation, hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief Jennifer Acker. This event is co-sponsored by the Arts at Amherst Initiative.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email via Amherst College, containing information about joining the event. If you’d like to receive a copy of Issue 21 before the launch party, pre-order the issue here.
Give your writing a boost this spring. Join The Common for a series of craft classes with these literary luminaries.
Jim Shepard: Generating Fiction from History [register]
Vievee Francis and Curtis Bauer: Writing Toward a Poetry Chapbook or Collection [register]
W. Ralph Eubanks: How to Turn a Place into an Essay [register]
Each class includes a craft talk and Q&A with the guest author, generative exercises and discussion in breakout sessions, and a take-home list of readings and writing prompts. Students also receive exclusive access to a free “Behind the Scenes” session about what literary magazine editors look for in submissions. Recordings will be available after the fact for participants who cannot attend the live event.
Each class is $125, or $75 for current subscribers or past Weekly Writes participants.
Amherst’s annual literary festival celebrates the College’s extraordinary literary life by inviting distinguished authors and editors to share and discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression—from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and spoken-word performance. This year’s LitFest was held virtually, with authors, poets, and literature lovers joining from all around the world.
The Common’s Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker hosted two readings at LitFest: one with The Common’s student interns, and one with Amherst College alumni authors. Both events were recorded and can be watched below. Watch video recordings of all the events, readings, and discussions at LitFest ’21 here.
LitFest ’21 Readings by The Common’s Literary Publishing Interns
Student interns at The Common read short excerpts from their writing. Readers are:
Isabel Meyers ’20 (former intern, current Literary Editorial Fellow)
Elly Hong ’21 (Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellow)
Whitney Bruno ’21
Sofia Belimova ’22
Eliza Brewer ’22
Olive Amdur ’23
LitFest ’21 Amherst College Alumni Authors Reading
Amherst College alumni read short excerpts from their recent work, and answer questions. Readers are:
Calvin Baker ’94
Chris Bohjalian ’82
Dan Chiasson ’93
Edward A. Farmer ’05
Michael Gorra ’79
Kirun Kapur ’97
Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne ’01
Ismée Williams ’95
We are excited to announce that the Pushcart Prize’s contributing editors have nominated eight pieces from The Common‘s 2020 publications, in print and online! The Pushcart Prize celebrates outstanding works of literature produced by small-press writers; each of these nominations are exceptional works of art that take fresh and memorable perspectives on the modern sense of place. Congratulations to our amazing contributors!
On March 25th at 7:00pm, in honor of ten years of publishing and cultivating new voices, please join The Common‘s special events team for an evening devoted to emerging talents! Celebrate with poets and prose writers Ama Codjoe, Sara Elkamel, LaToya Faulk, Ben Shattuck, Angela Qian, and Ghassan Zeineddine. This event will take place virtually via Zoom.
This inaugural festival features readings and conversation, and aims to to raise scholarship funds for the magazine’s Young Writers Program. All contributions will be matched by the Whiting Foundation.
We hope you’ll join us for the sixth annual LitFest, hosted in conjunction with Amherst College. This year’s festival features 2020 National Book Award for Fiction winner Charles Yu and finalist Megha Majumdar, National Book Award for Poetry finalists Natalie Diaz and Tommye Blount, and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum, among others.
This year, to celebrate Amherst College’s Bicentennial, we’ll have a very special set of readings by The Common‘s very own Literary Publishing Interns at 4:30 pm on Saturday. Join us for this packed weekend!
The Common will receive its fifth grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2021. The Art Works grant of $15,000 will be awarded to The Common to help it publish diverse writers, expand its readership, and support The Common’s international portfolios.
The Common to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
As The Common office gears up to share exciting new works in 2021, we want to reflect on the pieces that made 2020—our 10th anniversary year—an incredibly special one! Below, you can browse our list of 2020’s most-read pieces to see which works of fiction, essays, interviews, and more left an impact on our readers.