Tin House

Winter Workshop

The 2016 Tin House Winter Writers’ Workshops:


Session 1 (Fiction) will take place January 29th-February 1st.


Session 2 (Creative Nonfiction) will take place February 5th-February 8th.


These workshops combine the rugged beauty of the Oregon Coast with a weekend immersed in all things literary. It is led by editors from Tin House magazine and Tin House Books and their guests, prominent writers of fiction and nonfiction. The program consists of morning workshops, one-on-one meetings with faculty, afternoon craft discussions, and generative exercises. Evenings are reserved for coastal revelry.


Workshops meet for three sessions- Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Each workshop will have no more than six students and will treat two manuscripts per session. You may only enroll in one workshop.


If you have questions about which faculty member would best suit your work, please call our office at 503-219-0622 (or email our workshop director, lance@tinhouse.com) and we will do our best to steer you to the most appropriate workshop.


$40 application fee

$1300 for program + room and board (breakfasts and one dinner) at the Sylvia Beach Hotel + transportation to/from Portland/Newport.

$750-$1000 Mentorships (See Location & Logistics)

Jump to Applications

Session One: Fiction


January 29th-February 1st




Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, the Georgia Review, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design.



Mitchell S. Jackson is the author of the e-book Oversoul: Stories and Essays, and the novel The Residue Years, which received The Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. It was also a finalist for the Center For Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First novel prize, the PEN/ Hemingway award for first fiction, The Hurston / Wright Legacy Award for best fiction by a writer of African descent. Jackson has become a well-regarded speaker who was read and/or and lectured at institutions including Brown University, Columbia University, Yale University, Middlebury College, and UMASS; at events including The Brooklyn Book Festival, The Miami Book Festival, and the Sydney Writers’ Festival; at various adult prisons and youth facilities; and for organizations including The Pathfinders of Oregon, The PEN / Faulkner Foundation, and The Volunteers of America. He serves on the faculty of New York University and Columbia University.



Wells Tower’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Outside, GQ, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, The Washington Post Magazine and elsewhere. The recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, and the Plimpton Discovery Prize from The Paris Review, Tower is the author of “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned”.



Session Two: Creative Nonfiction


February 5th-February 8th





Dorothy Allison is the best-selling author of Bastard out of Carolina, Cavedweller, and a memoir, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure.  She is the author of Trash, a collection of short stories; The Women Who Hate Me, a collection of poetry; and Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature, a collection of essays.



Nick Flynn is the award-winning author of Some Ether, Blind Huber, The Ticking is the Bomb and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award. He is also the author of four acclaimed books of poetry, the latest being My Feelings (Graywolf Press, 2015).



Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based artist, curator, teacher, activist, and is author of The Other Side (Tin House, 2014) and Trespass: A Memoir (University of Iowa Press, 2012), and she is co-creator of the location-based storytelling project [the invisible city]. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, The Racial Imaginary, Fourth Genre, Literature: The Human Experience, Creative Nonfiction, Sentence, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast and elsewhere. The Other Side was recently named a finalist in nonfiction for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. 

The Hotel

The Winter Workshops will be held at the beautiful, literary-themed Sylvia Beach Hotel. Located in the Nye Beach district of Newport, OR, the property sits on a 45-foot bluff overlooking the Pacific, with coastal panoramas that include the famed Yaquina Head Lighthouse. A true hotel for book lovers, the Sylvia Beach Hotel offers 21 individually decorated rooms based on some of the world’s most famous authors. Once registered for the workshop, you will be able to select which room you will be staying in. Please note that rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

A bevy of book stores, specialty boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants are all within walking distance of the hotel.



Breakfast and one dinner are included in the program and will take place in the hotel’s dining room, Tables of Content. Breakfast will be served Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, from 8:30-9:30. Dinner, a five-course meal with a menu being prepared specifically for our workshop, will take place on Friday. Participants will be responsible for lunch (daily) and dinner (Saturday/Sunday).



Held daily from 10:00-1:00pm, workshops will be take place at the Sylvia Beach Hotel and the nearby Hemingway House, a beach retreat dedicated to Papa himself.



Located two and a half hours southwest of Portland, the city of Newport is best reached by car.

Tin House will be providing limited transportation to and from the workshop. Those who sign up will need to arrange to be at our offices by 12pm on Friday, January 28th/February 5th, with a scheduled return time of 5:30pm on Monday, February 1st/8th.

For those that do drive, parking will be available at both the hotel and the adjacent Hemingway House.




Once accepted and registered into the program, Workshop participants who have completed a book of stories or poems, a novel, or a memoir and want to receive a consultation on ways to improve their manuscripts are invited to apply for a mentorship with select faculty and editors. To be considered for this program, please fill out the mentorship application included in your acceptance packet. Tin House will then submit a query to your choice of faculty/editor. If the mentor is available, the student is required to submit his or her book-length manuscript before the Workshop begins.

A mentorship is not an edit, but a manuscript evaluation. Students can expect to meet with their mentors one afternoon during the weekend of the Workshop and receive a comprehensive three-to-five-page manuscript evaluation.

Mentorships are highly competitive. Acceptance into the Workshop does not automatically qualify students for the mentor program.

Under 250 pages: $750.00
251 – 350 Pages: $1000.00
351 and over: TBD




A board composed of Tin House editorial staff members decides upon applications. Acceptance is based on the strength and promise of the submitted writing sample, as well as how much the board feels an applicant might benefit from the Winter Workshop.We will notify applicants of acceptance or rejection within four weeks of the application’s receipt. Once accepted, enrollment into the program is granted on a first-come, first-serve basis (meaning you need to register in-order to guarantee your spot). We encourage you to apply early, as workshops can fill quickly.




Please submit no more than twenty pages (of no more than two samples). And no funny stuff: double-spaced, one-inch margins, and 12pt font. If you’re submitting from a longer work, please do your best to ensure the excerpt is self-contained & include a brief (1 page) project synopsis. This will not count towards the twenty page limit.

Please do not send Flash or strict genre fiction, children’s, or young adult literature. While we love these, we do not teach them at the Workshop.

You will have the opportunity to switch your manuscript out once accepted.

Application deadline is December 2nd.


Applications are now closed.