Our mission is to provide support & guidance to everyone who wishes to write.
In 2010, The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing opened its doors as a home for writers. The Institute was founded with the belief that writers need a supportive community to flourish—one based in compassion rather than competition.
The center of our offerings is our annual Summer Writers’ Conference, which began as a single week-long program. Over the past decade, our Summer Writers’ Conference has grown to become an internationally respected program that each year brings together writers from around the world.
As we enter our second decade, we continue to expand our impact as a Vineyard nonprofit and adapt to the needs of our ever-growing community.
In 2016, we launched our Summer Reading Series and Visiting Writers Program which provide free public readings and writing workshops to island residents and visitors.
As the coronavirus pandemic changed the landscape for writers, many in our community found themselves struggling financially, emotionally, physically, and artistically. In response, we partnered with The Oak Bluffs Public Library in 2020 to host a free week-long Creative Writing and Literature Festival. In 2021, we transformed our annual conference into a fully immersive virtual program which safely brought together the voices and work of more than 400 writers from a wide array of educational and cultural backgrounds.
As for the future, we are currently looking at the planning, staffing, and format for our offerings for the 2023 season, and will be announcing plans as soon as we have them.
Since our founding, MVICW has provided over $150,000 in fellowships to support over 600 writers from around the world. Our fellowship recipients are talented individuals who need the time and financial support to create the work they are capable of. As fellows, they receive full and partial fellowships to our Summer Writers’ Conference, where they take craft classes, meet other writers, and learn how to prepare their work for publication.
Our support begins during our conference, but continues well after our time together, when writers return to their own communities to build additional opportunities and support networks. As we’ve expanded our program, we continue to make financial support and diversity a central focus of our philanthropy.
With a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, MVICW began our Parent-Writer Fellowships to support writers who are also parents.
With a generous anonymous donation we launched the Voices of Color Fellowships to support writers of color.
With generous support from Leonard A. Slade Jr. we expanded our Voices of Color Fellowship program with the addition of our Leonard A. Slade Jr Fellowships for Poets of Color.
A generous donation from Henry and Carol Brown Goldberg established our Teach! Write! Play! Fellowships for educators.
MVICW established our Queer-Writer Fellowships to support LGBTQ+ writers.
We received an $18,000 grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation to expand our Parent-Writers program through 2022.
Together with the Vineyard Arts Project, MVICW launched The Island Fellowships to support Martha’s Vineyard writers and students.
In support of those affected by the pandemic, we launched our Pandemic-Writers Conference Grants and were able to offer fully-funded registrations to our Virtual Summer Writers' Conference.
We continue to raise funds to increase our fellowships for all writers through grants and personal donations for our Summer Writers’ Conference. For those interested in contributing to increasing opportunities for writers please visit our donation page.