A More Personal Look at the Attic's Atheneum

Listen to current Atheneum Fellows answer questions about their time in the Atheneum program:

What has been the most productive part of the program so far?

"I've appreciated how much more structured my writing process has become and the monthly deadlines to turn in work. It has kept me on track to finish a solid draft of my memoir by the time the program concludes in June." - Kristin Moran

"It’s the community we’ve all formed that helps motivate me to sit in the chair and write. I carry their words with me every day." - Mae Cohen

"First, the meetings with my accomplished, experienced, thoughtful mentors have helped me enormously. They’ve encouraged me and given me resources and advice that has helped me to organize my project and look at my writing more critically.

The other part is the community the fellows have created together via sprinting. This is a weekday write-a-long that we do by text. It generally lasts about an hour. How it works is someone will text the group that they’re writing now, and people join in if they can. Sometimes we chat a bit before and after but it’s not the lengthy social event of a Zoom call. It’s a nice way to stay connected, share issues, and not feel so alone in the process." - Signe Kopps

"My monthly mentorship meetings with Whitney have always built me up and helped to get my compass pointing the right way again. I've also enjoyed our big group meetings, the salons, and the craft exercises that the mentors have had us work on. But what might be the most productive part of the program for my extroverted self has been the connections I've made with the other writers. We are all on a group text together and every morning, someone texts just to say they are writing, that way we can join in to write "together" if we are able to. My group, the nonfiction writers, has also started to meet every month electively, just to get more eyes on our projects. It's been so great to know the other writers and be vulnerable with them." - Gemma Hobbs

Would you recommend others apply? Why? 

"Yes, indeed. I’ve taken a lot of writing classes and have never been challenged as much as I have here. The one-to-one relationship with my mentors definitely has taken my writing to a higher level. I’m happy that I’ve expanded my community and created lasting relationships with my mentors and the other fellows. I should add that I like it so much that I might apply again for the fiction or poetry programs." -Signe Kopps

"If you have a project but need structure, accountability, and community to complete it, The Atheneum is for you. I'd had the program on my horizon for a few years, but I didn't have a solid idea for a book -- just a lot of fits and starts that seemed to go nowhere. But after completing several Attic workshops and the CNF studio with Brian Benson, my memoir finally started bubbling up inside my brain and I knew I had to dedicate this kind of time to completing it. The Atheneum is exactly where I'm supposed to be." - Gemma Hobbs

"Absolutely. The teachers are committed to helping us develop as writers. They genuinely want us to ask questions and voice concerns. I have made new connections with local writers. I’m grateful to be part of the Atheneum community." - Mae Cohen

Apply by May 16th. Learn more here.

A Statement of Our Values

The Attic Institute of Arts and Letters opposes the legitimation of bigotry, hate, and misinformation. As a studio for writers, we do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. We embrace and celebrate our shared pursuit of literature and languages as essential to crossing the boundaries of difference. To that end, we seek to maintain a creative environment in which every employee, faculty member, and student feels safe, respected, and comfortable — even while acknowledging that poems, stories, and essays delve into uncomfortable subjects. We accept the workshop as a place to question ourselves and to empathize with complex identities. We understand that to know the world is to write the world. Therefore, we reaffirm our commitment to literary pursuits and shared understanding by affirming diversity and open inquiry.