How To Apply

** applications are currently closed **


Before applying, please carefully read the information on this page and the Frequently Asked Questions for U.S. applicants here or for Pakistani and Indian applicants here.


Why should you apply? our alums explain!


Ellora Bultema (2020-21 participant)

Irram Andrabi (2020-21 participant)

Ali Raza (2020-21 participant)


What do 2020-21 participants love about the Summer Institute? Here's more of what they said:
  • "The energy and collaboration that this cohort has brought into my life and helped me grow."
  • "The community I was able to form here and the friends I made through writing and conversation."
  • "The Zoom meetings that were decorated with wise lights by professional writers from different parts of the world and the conducive environment that our mentors created for us."
  • "The weekly sessions and the open mic sessions."
  • "The bonds across countries and languages and cultures cemented by the safe space among equals."
  • "The immensely supportive, non judgemental community of writers."


are you ready to apply? follow these three steps:



Please complete all the required fields in the application form. At the bottom of the form, you will see (3) required fields for attachments and (1) optional field for an attachment. The (3) required need to be uploaded to finalize your application. The attachments, outlined in greater detail just below, are as follows:

REQUIRED: Creative Work, Prompt #1, Prompt #2

OPTIONAL: Video Statement of Purpose

Please see details for all attachments below.


next, prepare  your Attachments for your Application:


1.  Creative work in English (6-8 pages). Essays and other forms of nonfiction such as school reports, for example, will not be accepted. By creative work, we mean your original writing that is poetry, fiction, nonfiction (again, if it is original and creative), screenplay, stage play, memoir, etc. There are many possibilities. You may submit one piece or several pieces of creative work to make the 6-8-page requirement. Please do not submit more than 8 pages.

2.  Prompt #1: The virtual 2021 Summer Institute session will include discussion of identity as it relates to creative writing and the life of a writer. Please include 2-3 pages in response to the following:

  • In our daily lives, we navigate many different roles—student, sibling, daughter, son, peer. We negotiate family, friends, religious groups, as well as class, gender, race, country, and so many other groups, adjusting the way we speak or behave to fit the demands of each encounter. As we move through the day, we work through how and why we occupy each particular role. What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? Or asked another way, what does it mean to you to be a creative writer and how does your writing influence who you are as person?

3.  Prompt #2: The virtual 2021 Summer Institute session will include direct and/or indirect references to the personal, national, and cultural/social impacts of the India-Pakistan partition and relations between these two nations. Please include 2-3 pages on the following:

  • Conflict is a part of the human condition, and oftentimes is unavoidable. Conflict (interpersonal, generational, national, international, and others) shapes us directly and vicariously. Describe how conflict/s has/have forced or led someone you admire to take a position on a particular issue or topic. First, what was the issue or topic? Second, how were their worldviews impacted, values tested, relations with others challenged, and/or growth as a person shaped by the conflict they experienced? Third, what was the position they took? Finally, what did you find admirable about how they handled/responded to conflict?

  • On the same document and in a few sentences, please share how, if at all, the historical and contemporary India-Pakistan conflict affects you and/or your family.

NOTE: For #1, #2, and #3, the following formatting standards are required. If not followed, applications may not be considered.

Format:          Typed (Microsoft Word document preferred but not required)
Font type:      Times New Roman
Font size:       12 point
Spacing:        Double (NOTE: if submitting poetry, allowances will be made for single spacing.)
Margins:         1 inch on all sides
Header:          Includes your name, name of piece (creative work, prompt #1, prompt #2)
Footer:            Includes page numbers
Citations:       If using other people’s words/content, always give them credit


Optional (not required but STRONGLY ENCOURAGED):

Video Statement of Purpose : This video statement should not be emailed; rather, it should be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, or comparable sites and be shared as a viewable link ​​​on the online application (Note: you may select the "private" option so that viewers on these sites cannot see your video). Please contact if you encounter problems or have questions. In 2 minutes maximum (do not exceed this length) in English, please do the following:

  • Introduce yourself

  • Describe the moment/event you knew creative writing was important in your life

  • Share what you hope to learn during our virtual program


Finally, remember these important notes:

The (3) required attachments need to be uploaded to finalize your application. If you are unable to "submit," please first check your attachments. If you continue to have this or other submission problems, contact

Once you submit your application, you will be directed to a confirmation page. This means we have received your application. We ask that you remain patient until you receive a separate email from us informing you that you have been selected or not selected.

Remind your friends: ALL APPLICATIONS FOR 2021 ARE DUE WEDNESDAY, 31 MARCH, BY 11:59PM (23:59) CST (GMT-6)!


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