Summer 2017 Creative Writing in Rome

Trevi Fountain, Rome.
Trevi Fountain, Rome
Program Dates: 
June 19, 2017 to July 19, 2017
Application Deadline: 
January 30, 2017

Program Information


JOIN a band of ink-stained wayfarers for a summer full of walk, talk, and literary comradeship in and about the Eternal City.  As readers, we’ll consider the words and thoughts of sundry quill-drivers who followed that road before us.  As writers, we'll put ourselves in their shoes, pounding the cobbles daily, notebooks in hand.

If one figures the imagination of the West as a spectrum whose color-bands are the academic disciplines, Rome is the prism before the scatter. Here art and architecture, language and literature, history and geography, the color and vagary and sensate onslaught of daily life all constellate in the literary imagination. All this is fair game for us. Writers are dedicated generalists, interested in everything. Like barbarians, they ask what can we carry away? We'll test that question at the point of the pencil, transmute what we see, and so sack Rome.

The ideal participant for this program will be a writer, prepared to take intellectual and creative risks, open to the challenges and excitement of living in a foreign city, and ready for adventure.  No experience in literary analysis or creative writing is presumed. The Summer Creative Writing in Rome Program is open to anyone seeking to join an intensive program in the written arts.  We welcome all students. 

Led by English Department faculty Richard Kenney and Carol Light, the program offers 15 credits in English and Creative Writing.

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—you earn all of your credits, and classes meet almost every day. 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 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.

Application Process

To apply, please use the online application on the Study Abroad website. (Link coming soon)

Application Deadline: January 30, 2017

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.


Contact Information: 

Professor Richard Kenney
Program Director

Carol Light
Program Faculty

Nancy Sisko
Academic Adviser
(206) 543-2634


Program Status: