Summer A-Term Creative Writing in Rome

  • Tiber River at sunset, Rome
    Tiber River at sunset, Rome
  • Student reading, Rome
    Student reading, Rome
Program Dates: 
June 20, 2016 to July 20, 2016
Application Deadline: 
January 29, 2016

Program Information


JOIN a band of ink-stained adventurers for a month of concentrated exercise and conversation in and about the Eternal City. We explore Rome from a variety of perspectives--as avid readers and intrepid writers, through history and geography, art and architecture, language and literature, not to mention the color and flavor of daily life in Italy, where they know carpe diem is more than a catch-phrase. Following in the footsteps of those poets, painters, saints and soldiers who for some two and a half millennia have traveled where all roads lead, we'll write our way into the heart of the city, poking into the foundations of civilization as we go, honing our writerly skills and enthusiasms in conversation, practice, and stride.

We welcome all students. No experience in literary analysis or creative writing is presumed. The Summer Creative Writing in Rome Program is open to anyone (undergraduates, graduates, graduate students, alumni, citizens-at-large) seeking to join an intensive program in the written arts. The ideal participant for this program will be interested in creative writing, ready to take intellectual and creative risks, open to the challenges and excitement of living in a foreign city, and open to having a grand adventure.

Classes will be held at the University of Washington Rome Center at the 17th-century Palazzo Pio, situated in the vibrant center of the city’s historical district, as well as out and about in the city itself. A number of field trips, museum visits, and excursions will also be included in the program fee. Housing will be in shared apartments arranged by the UW Rome Center.


  • Pluck and good humor: we value verve, adaptability, and a spirited willingness to suffer minor inconveniences in the interest of the greater adventure.
  • Good shoes and stamina: this program is physically vigorous, involving a lot of walking (up to 5 miles per day) over stones in a busy urban environment, dogged on occasion by Roman summer heat and humidity.
  • Intellectual and imaginative commitment: Frost said Poetry is play for mortal stakes, and that’s how we see our agenda in Rome. It’s not Roman Holiday—classes meet almost every day. But the city itself is our classroom. You can expect the experience of a lifetime: joyful, serious, intense in every way.
  • No knowledge of Italian is presumed or required, but learning a few conversational phrases will likely enhance your experience.

Students in the program will maintain their University of Washington residency and any financial aid eligibility they have already established. Credits earned will be recorded on students' UW transcripts and will apply directly to UW graduation requirements. Credits earned in English courses may be used to satisfy requirements in the English major.

Courses and Credits

Undergraduates will receive 15 credits [ENGL 363, Literature and the Arts; ENGL 395, English Study Abroad; and ENGL 493, Advanced Creative Writing Conference —with some flexibility, depending on individual student degree requirements]. Note to English majors: it is possible to receive 5 credits (max) of pre-1900 (ENGL 395) if arranged before departing for Rome. A maximum of 5 credits out of the 15 total may be in Creative Writing. If you would like to arrange for alternate credit (ENGL 283, 383, or 483) contact Bridget Norquist in advising.

MFA students will receive 10 credits [ENGL 586, Graduate Writing Conference, and ENGL 600, Independent Study or Research.] Credit questions should be directed to Professor Andrew Feld, Director of Creative Writing.

MA/PhD students are also welcome to apply. Credit questions should be directed to Kathy Mork in the English Graduate Office.

Application Process

To apply, please use the online application on the Study Abroad website.

Application Deadline: January 29, 2016

The application includes

  • personal statement;
  • three short-answer questions;
  • two faculty recommendations
  • electronic signature documents related to University policies and
    expectations for study abroad.

Following the online application process, students may be contacted by the Program Directors for an in-person interview.

Depending on the number of applications submitted, we may maintain a waiting list for the program. Students who are invited to participate in the program will be required to return a signed payment contract and risk form before the deadline indicated in their acceptance email.

Online application coming soon

Contact Information: 

Bridget Norquist
Academic Adviser

Johnny Horton
Program Co-director

Rebecca Hoogs
Program Co-director

Program Status: