It’s June in Bloomington, and though most IU students are gone for the summer, one of the best educational opportunities on campus is wrapping up – the IU Writers’ Conference. Held this year from June 5–10, the annual Conference began in 1940 and since that time, it has provided workshops and classes that offer writers of all levels the opportunity to learn from a faculty of well-known and award-winning authors. Leading workshops on writing fiction and poetry, faculty members have included notable figures such as Kurt Vonnegut, Madeleine L’Engle, Gwendolyn Brooks, Dan Chaon, and many others.
The Archives has recently started processing a collection of materials from the Writers’ Conference and will make these records available to researchers in the near future. Prominent in this collection are files of correspondence between Conference staff and the authors they invited to lead workshops. Though not all of these writers were able to participate in the Conference, it is still quite thrilling to see the letters and telegrams of some of the most influential American writers. After all, a letter from the likes of Ray Bradbury, Wallace Stegner, or Arthur Miller – even containing disappointing news – is an exciting thing indeed.
These materials, in addition to various administrative files from the Conference, will be available for research when the collection is fully processed. Stay tuned!