These words stay with me: “This is not the end, Prague stays in your heart, along with the people and connections you made here.” My time in Prague meant more than just writing. It made a lasting impression. The city, the food, the bridges. Each evening I stopped to watch the sun dip into the Vltava river, and it made me tear up. I explored outside the program and built friendships with locals. I returned in the winter and watched the fireworks ring in the new year. You will find a way to return. 

Gyvang, 2017

I grew enormously as a writer at the PSP, honing my craft, working with, listening to, and sharing not just with fellow writers but with some of the very best and generous mentors – Richard Katrovas and Stuart Dybek come to mind immediately. I love the energy and dynamics of this programme. I love Prague. PSP? I’d highly recommend it.

Saras Manickam, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014

The PSP offered me the opportunity to meet lifelong friends, and listen to some of the most amazing and famous writers of the time. I learned a lot from both the workshops and the readings / discussions with well-known writers. The program expanded my thinking on the role of the author and what I could potentially achieve. 

Jillian Schedneck, 2005 participant 

Looking back at the PSP, I think of the thrill and anticipation I felt at the prospect of spending time in Prague and being inspired by the history and energy of the place. I ended up meeting incredible people and got feedback from some of the most generous and wonderful writing mentors, including Gail Wronsky. I feel so grateful for the experience.

Maham, 2015 participant

My experience at the PSP was spectacular. It was an amazing combination of priceless learning, inspiration, and cultural bliss… I had the privilege of being in the presence of Richard Katrovas, Justin Quinn, Jaimy Gordon, Stuart Dybek, and Patricia Hampl for immeasurable education in the art of writing. I was particularly influenced by Stuart Dybek’s smart guidance and inspiring support… Not only did the exquisite beauty of Prague and PSP lift my spirit but strengthened my confidence to move forward as a writer.

Valerie Burns, 2016 participant

The PSP inspired my creative writing in more ways than I could have known that summer of 2011. Tomas Kraus’s Jewish Studies class brought me to Terezín and other places of Jewish interest. It inspired poetry that appeared in several literary journals as well as my own chapbooks, Chicken Fat(Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Pounding Cobblestone(Kelsay Books, 2017–the front cover is a photo I took of cobblestone on our first tour with Milos). It also inspired me as an oral historian to interview Holocaust survivors and to pursue a PhD in Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Gratz College. Stuart Dybek’s fiction workshop inspired me to explore multiple genres and to experiment. I have since become an adjunct professor of creative writing. I participated in Jan’s photography weekend and have written a poem about Jan and Jiri Streich in Moravia that appears in Pounding Cobblestone. I also participated in the weekend to Trebon, Czesky Krumlov, and Budovice; this trip, too, inspired poetry published in journals and my chapbook. I came to Prague to study fiction and became a poet. All the inspiration is there for us to find.

Barbara Krasner, 2011 participant

It’s a rare gift to visit a foreign place and be offered a thick conceptualization of it’s political history and culture through its literature. The Prague Summer Program offers that, along with a supportive creative writing community and a fun group of colleagues to hang out with in an amazing city that’s easy to navigate. I’m glad I went! 

Jennifer Graves, 2013 participant

The Prague Summer Program gave me a new approach to analyzing and evaluating my work from a wider range of readers’ perspectives who hailed from different parts of the world. The PSP was very special to me. The students came from a diverse set of backgrounds but the love of literature and writing united us and helped me gain a wider perspective. Also, kudos to the organizers who left no stones unturned to constantly guide us whenever needed. Lastly, I would just like to mention that each writer from the 2019 batch was amazing. It was a fun-filled learning experience. I’m already missing Prague so much while writing this that I’m considering applying for the program again next year! 

Smriti Chhetri Karki, 2019 participant

I love how the PSP is structured; the tours, writing time, workshops and readings are well placed throughout the day to insure writers can explore and absorb Prague’s beautiful culture. Instructors are available to talk with students about their work outside of class and it is clear they care about the work being produced. As a young writer, this is immensely instructive. The PSP has a deep history, which gives me great confidence in its legacy as a program in the minds of its writers and the greater writing community. More simply stated, I feel proud to have participated in such a long-standing program with the kinds of success the PSP has achieved. To writers considering this program: it was a blast! I learned a ton, had an amazing time in Prague and loved everyone I met. I came home with a much deeper understanding of where I needed to go as a writer and how I could get there. And, most importantly, I feel like I have the resources and connections to achieve my goals in the literary world. 

Rebecca Tabb, 2019 participant

I’ve attended several writing workshops, and the Prague Summer Program ranks at the top. The blended format, with its mix of fiction and nonfiction, allows participants to learn more by exposing them to authors who are working in other categories. By rotating the roster of instructors from week to week, participants engage with multiple perspectives and benefit from an array of experience. 

Learning and working in the vibrant city of Prague offered another big plus. Whenever I needed a break, I hopped on the tram and wandered through streets filled with history that continues to unfold today. Anyone looking to move forward in their craft will be well served by the Prague Summer Program.

Laine Cunningham, 2019 participant

A wonderfully diverse group of writers from the standpoint of age, gender, ethnicity, race, and origin together with an accomplished group of instructors!

Lenore Weiss, 2019 participant

PSP truly exceeded my expectations. My instructors and peers were very engaged with every manuscript. Classroom discussions were always lively, and considerate, quality feedback was provided. I befriended so many wonderful writers I hope to keep in touch with for years to come.

Ashley, 2019 participant

There’s kind of a hippie, make-it-up-as-you-go-along vibe that leaves the learning and creative process up to you. I liked that, as well as the small size of the program, leaving plenty of room to explore Prague and hang out with the teachers, tour guides, guest readers and publishers, and other students to discuss their work. The teachers…were very accessible for extra meetings outside of class and of course conversant in all literary forms. I found their deft touches of wisdom could be worth an hour or two of workshop with a younger teacher. It’s a somewhat foot-loose structure but your input into the program definitely yields output. I mean in what other program can you hear a full-fledged opera singer singing at the closing night! 

Ed Gutierrez, 2019 participant

The city of Prague inspires poetry. Having the opportunity to live in Prague for a month and utilize that time to craft my writing has shaped my writing for the better. The Prague Sumer Program allows you as a writer to be steeped in art and inspiration.

Shaun Anderson, 2019 participan

The PSP takes its mission seriously, and the focus is always on craft. When it comes to metropolitan scenery, Prague is a special habitat. To other writers I would say they can definitely expect to find people at the PSP who will give their work an honest reading and offer honest, insightful feedback.

Wes Trexler, 2019 participant

PSP strikes an excellent balance between giving its students a productive workshop environment and the time and opportunities to experience Prague. What’s unique about this writing program is that it’s a family-run operation. Richard and his three daughters–Ema, Anna, and Ella–set the foundation for a great program with their hospitality, resourcefulness, professionalism, and compassion. Sure, everyone there was serious about writing, but things never got rigid, and because of how small a group it was, it felt like everyone was paid attention to and genuinely cared about by the PSP staff and writing faculty. I felt so empowered to be myself as a writer and person while a part of this program. More than anything, I’ll never forget the writing community I had there. Prague is a magical place by itself, but I’d totally recommend this program to any serious writers as a means to experience Prague.

Paul Dickerson, 2019 participant

Prague is a lovely town and a perfect place to attend a summer class. I was delighted to find my classmates were friendly and very diverse. Our writings were workshopped and we received lots of feedback from our peers. One of the most valuable experiences for me was my meeting with my conference instructor. She gave me information which helped me move forward with my writing. This has been a wonderful experience for me!

2019 participant

Without the PSP, I might never have discovered the incredible Prague. Although I never thought of Prague when I dreamed of Europe, living in the city for the month of the program broke my mind open. As a writer and human being, Prague has made me braver, stronger, wiser. All you need is the desire to write and enough courage to get on the plane. Prague will take care of you from there. 

Britt Allen, 2019 participant

The PSP 2019 has been one of those unique. experiences that I will carry with me forever. The quality of mentorship and the close one-on-one critiques of our writing were of the highest standards. I’ve gained so much insight intro the process of editing our work, and into my own process especially. It has already made an impact on how I write, for the better. 

Although the writing is central to the program, it also offers so much more – the opportunity to go on tailored, highly informative tours both in the city, and on day trips outside the city, with the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. Giving you a real opportunity to learn about Czech history and culture. 

And best of all, the staff and other participants on the program become very close, thrown together as we are for such an intense few weeks discovering the city together, and baring our souls to each other through our writing. Friendships that will last long beyond the program. And all of this within the majesty and mystery of Prague, a city that will not let you go.

Orla Russell Conway, 2019 participant

I really enjoyed my three weeks with the Prague Summer Program. Excellent organization, inspiring workshop leaders, and just the right amount of class time with good feedback on the works in progress. The almost-sufficient writing time (there’s never enough) was inevitably somewhat eaten into by the truly interesting and worthwhile excursions in and outside Prague, with wonderful guides, which added enormously to my historical, cultural and political knowledge of Prague and the Czech Republic. An excellent workshop, particularly for writers of short prose.

2019 participant