Daily writing workshops are at the heart of the Juniper Institute. Here, writers generate new work and present that work, or other work-in-progress, to their assigned faculty workshop leaders and peers. Workshop sizes are kept small so that every writer’s work gets dedicated attention. In addition to focusing on specific pieces of writing, writers actively interrogate larger issues of form, style, content, language, and process.
Every workshop has its own climate and conventions: some lean toward the generation of new work, some toward the honing of existing pieces, and others emphasize a combination of both. While details are subject to revision, click here to learn more about how the 2018 faculty describe their approach to their Juniper workshops. Workshop assignments are made in early May. We will be in touch with you in mid-May with instructions concerning anything you need to send in advance or bring with you to your assigned workshop.
Craft Sessions, Conversations, and Q&As
Daily interactive craft sessions and Q&As allow faculty and guest writers to interact with participants and explore issues pertinent to writing and the writing life, or to lead writing exercises. Three sessions will be devoted to moderated conversations or Q&As with several faculty members and guest writers, offering rare opportunities to discuss process, inspiration, and craft with master writers. On other days, multiple craft sessions or small-group Q&As will run simultaneously with faculty and guest writers. These sessions will tackle issues of craft and imagination, with an emphasis on guided writing exercises to generate new material. In the spring, Institute participants will have the opportunity to sign up for the craft sessions that interest them the most.
The 2019 Juniper Institute Reading Series will be finalized and posted on the Juniper website in early spring. Readings are free for participants enrolled in the Institute. Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. and this year will be held in the Bezanson Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a convenient, air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible venue.
Individual Manuscript Consultation
All participants receive detailed attention to their writing in workshops. However, for those interested in private feedback on a longer selection of writing, a limited number of one-on-one manuscript consultations are available for a fee of $300.00. If you choose to have a consultation, a faculty member or guest writer in your genre will read a selection of your work before the Institute begins, then meet with you for approximately one hour during the Institute to discuss it.
Manuscript consultations are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. You may indicate your preference for the writer you would like to meet with, but final assignments will be made depending upon scheduling and availability. You may sign up for a manuscript consultation when you enroll.
Amherst and the surrounding area are rich in natural beauty and cultural attractions. Charming downtown Amherst offers many wonderful cafes and restaurants, excellent independent bookstores, and a great independent cinema. Nearby Northampton is also a popular spot for dining, shopping, browsing local art galleries, or catching a show at one of its many music venues. A number of local museums associated with the Five Colleges are open daily, including the Emily Dickinson Homestead, National Yiddish Book Center, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Beneski Museum of Natural History, and Smith College Museum of Art. (Click for more information on area attractions, area restaurants, and area places of worship)
New England weather is beautiful and unpredictable. June can range from quite warm (80s to 90s) to chilly (50s), and can be rainy, so we suggest keeping an eye on the area’s forecast as June approaches. There are many local retailers accessible by car or bus if you need anything during your stay here.
Tuition includes dinner on the first and last evenings of the Institute, and lunch Monday through Friday. Shared meals are taken in the UMass Amherst Campus Center and in the award-winning dining commons. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies please indicate so when you enroll. Breakfast and four dinners will be at your discretion and some pay-as-you-go options are detailed below.
A range of dining options are available right on campus. UMass boasts award-winning dining commons, each providing a range of regional and world cuisine options made from local ingredients, all prepared in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious manner. Interested guests may pay by cash or card right at the door ($8.50 for breakfast, $11.50 for lunch, $14.50 for dinner, plus tax). Additional details about which dining commons will be open during your stay will be provided as June approaches. The newly renovated Blue Wall, located in the Campus Center, features 10 different food concepts, including pizza, salads, deli sandwiches, sushi, burgers and gelato, and is open conveniently throughout the week and weekend. Harvest Marketplace, located across from the Blue Wall, has hot and cold bars, smoothies, coffee, snacks and some groceries.
Amherst is full of wonderful dining possibilities, as is the surrounding area. Information about a range of nearby restaurants and cafes is provided for you upon arrival.
Computers, Internet & Copying
Access to on-campus computers and printers is limited during the summer months. We recommend bringing with you any printed materials you anticipate needing while here. Here’s what we expect will be available for week-of computer access and printing options:
- Guest credentials will be provided for you upon arrival so that you may access the University’s wireless network, which is available in many locations around campus, from your laptop.
- The University’s DuBois Library offers computers and printers for public use, located on the lower level. Additionally, the town of Amherst has a public library with wireless internet, public computers, and printing.
- Pay-by-the-page printers and photocopies are available in the DuBois Library. Full service copy services are available on campus at Print Services and in town. (Details provided at registration.)
- Guests staying at Hotel UMass will have access to the Hotel Business Center, located on the 3rd floor of the Campus Center. The Business Center offers both computer access and printing capabilities during your stay.
Travel & Parking
On-site registration will take place at 3:00 p.m. at the Campus Center on Sunday, June 16, followed by a welcome dinner at 6:00 p.m. and kick-off reading at 7:30 p.m. Attendees will receive detailed arrival information by email in June.
Driving to Campus
From the North: From I-91 South, take exit 25 in Deerfield. At the end of the ramp, turn left and follow the road to the intersection. Turn right onto Routes 5 & 10 South. Go 1 mile, then turn left onto Route 116 South. Follow Route 116 South for 8 miles to the UMass exit.
From the East: Take Route 2 West to Exit 16 (Belchertown/Amherst). From Route 2 take Route 202 South for about 15 miles to a blinking yellow light at Amherst Road. You will see signs “to Route 9/Route 116”. Turn right and follow Amherst Road (which becomes Pelham Road) for 7 miles to Amherst center. Follow signs to UMass.
From the South: From I-91 North, take Exit 19 in Northampton. From the exit ramp, turn right onto Route 9. Travel approximately 4.5 miles to Route 116 North. Turn left at the traffic lights to merge onto Route 116 North. Take the UMass exit in 1 mile.
From the West: Take Route 2 East to the Greenfield/I-91 exit. Take I-91 South to Exit 25, Deerfield. At the end of the ramp turn left and follow the road to the intersection. Turn right onto Routes 5 & 10 South. Go 1 mile, then turn left onto Route 116 South. Follow Route 116 South for 8 miles to the UMass exit.
From I-90 (Mass Pike): Take Exit 4 (West Springfield). Follow I-91 North to Exit 19. From the exit ramp, turn right onto Route 9. Travel approximately 4.5 miles to Route 116 North (turn left at traffic light). The UMass exit is 1 mile up.
Traveling by Plane
If you are traveling to Amherst by plane, the closest airport is Bradley International Airport, located in Windsor Locks, Connecticut (right outside of Hartford). This airport is approximately 45 miles south of the UMass campus. Oftentimes visitors find more flight options to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. Logan is approximately 90 miles east of the UMass campus, so if you book a flight to Logan please allow for extra travel time to UMass. Both airports feature car rental agencies and a variety of shuttle services, including Valley Transporter (413-253-1350), Seemo Shuttle (413-586-1120), Exclusive Car Service (877-695-4665), Bluebird Transportation (413-221-4512), and Michael’s Limousine & Transportation Service (413-583-6392).
Traveling by Bus
For Greyhound, Peter Pan, and Megabus, we recommend using “Amherst UMass, MA” as your destination (not “Amherst Center, MA”). The Amherst UMass stop will bring you right to Haigis Mall, located on the UMass Campus. From there, the North Apartments are about 1.2 miles.
For PVTA buses, we recommend taking a look at the various routes and schedules available on the PVTA website. You may also want to use the PVTA Google Trip Planner, Where’s My Bus?, or PVTA Bus Tracker App to help you plan the best route for you.
Please be sure to carefully review bus schedules, bus stop locations, and campus maps prior to your arrival – not only do many bus services run on a reduced schedule in the summer, but both the area and the campus can be confusing to navigate if it is your first time here. If you need any assistance planning your trip, please let us know!
Traveling by Train
Amtrak provides passenger rail service to nearby Northampton, MA, located a 20 minute drive from the UMass campus, and Springfield, MA, located a 30 minute drive from the UMass campus. For schedule information and to purchase tickets, visit Amtrak’s website and select “Northampton, MA (NHT)” or “Springfield, MA (SPG)” as your arrival destination.
If you take a train to Northampton, MA, you will need to take a bus or taxi to the UMass campus. Both PVTA and Peter Pan buses service the area, with bus stops about a 7 minute walk from the platform. You may use one of the many local taxi services. We encourage you to carefully plan your trip, including bus or taxi services, prior to your arrival: the Northampton train platform is not a train station and phone access, area maps, bus schedules, and bus tickets will not be available once you arrive. The train platform is located at 170 Pleasant Street in Northampton, MA.
If you take a train to Springfield, MA, we recommend booking a shuttle service, such as Valley Transporter, to get you from the Springfield station building to UMass. Bus services, including Peter Pan, are also available. The train will arrive at the Springfield Union Station, located at 55 Frank B. Murray Street in Springfield, MA. This station building does have a waiting room, ticket office, quik-trak kiosk, and payphone, but we do still encourage you to plan your trip, including services from the train station to campus, prior to your arrival.
Parking at UMass
If you opt to stay in a University dorm, you will be provided with a free parking permit for a lot adjacent to your assigned residence hall. If you opt to stay at Hotel UMass, you will be provided with complimentary parking pass to the Campus Center Parking Garage. If you plan to bring a car with you but are not staying on campus, you may purchase discounted parking passes for the Garage for $5/day at Registration on Sunday. Attendees with a valid state-issued reserved accessible license plate or placard may park in any space marked accessible or any nonrestricted, nonreserved space or lot, at no charge, as long as your plate or placard is clearly displayed at all times during your stay. To locate reserved accessible parking, visit the UMass Accessible Parking page.
You should not park at UMass without first obtaining a valid permit as detailed above: parking on campus without a valid permit, pass, placard, or license plate will result in ticketing and/or towing.
Getting Around Campus & the Area
The Institute has workshops, readings, and events in a variety of buildings around campus, all within a roughly 5-10 minute walk. If you are concerned about walking around campus throughout the week to get to the various Institute buildings, or if you have any accessibility requirements, please indicate such on the enrollment page. We will follow up with you after processing and reviewing your enrollment. In the meantime, you may want to take a look at information provided by UMass Special Transportation Services to see if any of these services would be beneficial to you.
There are multiple transportation options to get you from campus to amenities and attractions in the surrounding area. Amherst center, with local shops, restaurants, and small convenience stores, is about 1.5 miles from the hub of Institute activities. Local buses, operated by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, run regularly between Amherst center and the University, with additional services traveling throughout the Pioneer Valley, including Northampton, Springfield, and Greenfield. If you’d rather take a car, UMass has partnered with Zipcar to bring on-demand car sharing services right to campus. If you find you need to visit a grocery store, large retail store, or pharmacy during your stay, numerous options are located on University Drive and Russell Street (also known as Route 9) in neighboring Hadley, about 1.5 to 3 miles from campus by car or bus.
Please note: to simplify your visit, we recommend that you choose a housing option on or close to campus if you are not bringing a car to the Institute.
Tuition does not include housing. The list below details options that offer special rates for participants, as well as details about securing your reservation. Please note that the University of Massachusetts campus is 1.5 miles from the center of Amherst, and eight miles from the center of Northampton. Both are accessible by bus, road, and bike trail. Please consult this campus map to determine distance from the housing options available on campus. The area is popular with vacationers in the summer, so we encourage you to make housing arrangements as soon as possible.
UMass Residence Halls: Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community (CHCRC)
These dorm rooms house four people per suite, with 2 double-occupancy rooms per suite with a shared common area and one shared bathroom in an air-conditioned residence hall at a rate of $25.00 per night. Two-double occupancy bedrooms in each suite are each furnished with two twin beds, 2 desks, and 2 bureaus. Each guest will be provided with a linen pack consisting of two flat sheets, a pillow case, two towels and a thin blanket. Coin-operated laundry facilities are available nearby. Those who select to stay in the CHCRC dorm will be placed in a suite with other Institute participants. If you have any specific suitemate requests, please be sure to indicate such on the enrollment page. This housing option is the closet to the hub of Institute activities (0.3 miles). It’s worth nothing that they are very modest dwellings with simple furnishings (ie: the mattresses are not pillow-top).
Take a virtual tour of the CHCRC courtesy of UMass Residential Life, please click here. If you wish to learn more about the CHCRC, please contact the Registration Office at 413-577-8102 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To make your reservations, simply add the North Apartment housing option to your cart during the online enrollment process.
UMass Residence Halls: North Apartments
These suite-style dorm rooms are available in an air-conditioned residence hall at a rate of $49.00 per night. Each suite consists of four single bedrooms, two baths, a common area and a kitchen. The individual, lockable bedrooms are each furnished with a twin bed, desk, and bureau, and every guest will be provided with a linen pack consisting of two flat sheets, a pillow with case, two towels and a thin blanket. Coin-operated laundry facilities are available nearby. The kitchen has a full-sized refrigerator, microwave, and stove-top oven. If you are interested in preparing some of your meals in the suite, you should bring supplies and equipment (silverware, cookware, plates, cups, etc.) as nothing of this sort are provided. Complimentary parking is available in a surface lot located adjacent to the North Residential Area. Those who select to stay in the North Apartments will be placed in a suite with other Institute participants. If you have any specific suitemate requests, please be sure to indicate such on the enrollment page. To take a virtual tour of the North Apartments courtesy of UMass Residential Life, please click here. If you wish to learn more about the North Apartments, please contact the Registration Office at 413-577-8102 or email@example.com. To make your reservations, simply add the North Apartment housing option to your cart during the online enrollment process. These apartments are 0.7 miles from the hub of Institute activities. It’s worth nothing that they are very modest dwellings with simple furnishings (ie: the mattresses are not pillow-top).
To take a virtual tour of the North Apartments courtesy of UMass Residential Life, please click here. If you wish to learn more about the North Apartments, please contact the Registration Office at 413-577-8102 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To make your reservations, simply add the North Apartment housing option to your cart during the online enrollment process.
Located right in the heart of campus at the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center, a 3-10 minute walk from most Institute activities, Hotel UMass offers single and double occupancy rooms with private baths for $149.00 per night (plus applicable fees). The hotel is located just a few floors above Campus Center amenities, including the University Store and several newly renovated dining options. Free continental breakfast, parking, and high-speed internet are also included. Availability is limited and reservations at this discounted group rate are only available until May 17, 2019, or until the hotel fills. Interested guests must make their reservation directly with the hotel (www.hotelumass.com or 877-822-2110) and reference group code JSW19 to receive this discounted rate.
The list below details five types of accommodations in the local area that offer special rates for participants. Guests make their own reservations by telephoning the prospective hotel. In order to receive your contracted group rate, telephone requests must identify affiliation with UMass Amherst Juniper Summer Writing Institute. Individuals will be responsible for their own room, tax, and incidental charges upon departure. Rooms subject to availability, the special rate for participants expires May 16, 2019.
The University Lodge is a mile from the hub of Institute activities. All rooms can accommodate single or double occupancy and are equipped with private baths for $75/weeknight; $142/weekend night. For additional information or to make a reservation, call 413-256-8111.
Courtyard by Marriott is 2.5 miles from the hub of Institute activities. All rooms can accommodate single or double occupancy and are equipped with private baths for $152/weeknight; $205/weekend night. For additional information or to make a reservation, call 413-256-5454.
Howard Johnson is 2.6 miles from the hub of Institute activities. All rooms can accommodate single or double occupancy and are equipped with private baths for $75/weeknight; $142/weekend night. For additional information or to make a reservation, call 413-586-0114.
Econo Lodge is 3.2 miles from the hub of Institute activities. All rooms can accommodate single or double occupancy and are equipped with private baths for $84/weeknight; $152/weekend night. For additional information or to make a reservation, call 413-582-7077.
The Holiday Inn Express is 3.5 miles from the hub of Institute activities. All rooms can accommodate single or double occupancy and are equipped with private baths for $134/weeknight; $184 weekend night. For additional information or to make a reservation, call 413-582-0002.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will we have access to fitness facilities?
A: Yes! As a UMass Conference attendee, you are eligible for a discounted rate of $3/day at the UMass Recreation Center. Passes will be available at registration on Sunday, and in the Juniper office in South College (E354); payment is collected at the front desk of the rec center (card only, no cash).
The Amherst area has lots of great hiking options (The Notch, Seven Sisters, and Mount Tom are noteworthy) and trails (Robert Frost Trail, Amethyst Brook, and Quabbin are nearby). The Norwottuck Rail Trail is an 11-mile paved trail running from Amherst to Northampton. There are also several yoga studios in the area. Two of the closest to UMass are in downtown amherst: www.yogacenteramherst.com and www.amhersthouseofpower.net
Q: What should we pack?
A: Here are some suggestions:
- Comfortable walking shoes. UMass Amherst is a large campus, and workshops, craft sessions, evening readings, and meals are located in various buildings on campus.
- Layered clothing, including a rain jacket or umbrella — summer in New England can be unpredictable! June can range from quite warm (80s to 90s) to chilly (50s), and can be rainy, so we suggest you check the area’s forecast before packing.
- Water bottle.
- Whatever you need for writing: pencils, pens, notebook, laptop, books for reference and sharing, etc.
- Allergy meds, if you have seasonal allergies!!
- If you are staying in the North Apartments or Commonwealth Honors College, you may want to bring:
- Extra bath towels
- An extra blanket or sweatshirt (if you get cold in A/C).
- Flip-flops or shower footwear.
- Hangers (not provided in closets).
- Basic kitchen essentials (if you plan to cook in the kitchenettes in North Apartments, which are unfurnished, and we really mean unfurnished).
- Desk lamp, flashlight, or book light.
Q: Do we need to bring bedding & towels if we’re staying in the North Apartments or Commonwealth Honors College?
A: All dorm residents are provided with a linen pack containing two flat sheets, a pillowcase, a thin blanket, and two small bath towels. If you want extra towels, sheets, or cozier blanket, please bring them.
Q: Do I need to bring supplies for the bathroom?
A: Yes! Bring toilet paper, tissues, and whatever toiletries you will need during your stay.
Q: Do we need to pack our tuxedos and cocktail gowns?
A: No, the Institute atmosphere is casual.
Q: What’s the deal with parking?
A: If you opt to stay in a University dorm, you will be provided with a free parking permit for a lot adjacent to your dorm. If you opt to stay in the Campus Hotel, they offer complimentary parking in the campus parking garage. If you plan to bring a car with you but are not staying on campus and would like to park closer to South College, discounted passes for the parking garage will be available at Registration on Sunday.
Q: I’ve signed up for a Manuscript Consultation. When do those happen?
A: Hopefully by the time the Institute starts you and your author will have already been connected by a liaison in our office, and confirmed your meeting plans. Once the Institute begins, please seek your author out and introduce yourself to confirm your time and place. For help locating your author, ask any member of the Institute staff. (See “Manuscript Consultation” section in the guidebook for more information.)
Q: Where is the closest grocery store?
A: You’ve got several options via the bus (#33 is free, the B43 is $1.50 each way). All of the options (Big Y, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Target and CVS) are all located within 2-3 miles of campus. All are located either on Route 9 (aka Russell Street) or University Drive and are accessible by car or bus. Atkins Market in North Amherst is also nearby, but not accessible by bus.
Enrollment Policies & Forms
Enrollment Forms Policy
Attendees must sign The Liability and Photographic Likeness Release forms by May 1, 2019. These forms will be sent via electronic “AdobeSign” to the email address you provide in your enrollment profile when paying your deposit. If you’d prefer to receive paper documents, please contact Conference Services at 413-577-8102 to request they be mailed to your home address.
Juniper Summer Writing Institute c/o University Conference Services
810 Campus Center
1 Campus Center Way
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
For questions regarding curriculum, schedule or admission, please contact the Juniper staff:
Jennifer Jacobson, Director
Betsy Wheeler, Managing Director
Lori Shine, Project Manager
McKayla Lovering, Administrative Assistant
For questions regarding payment, housing, or using the online enrollment page, please contact the Conference Registrar or Registration staff:
Rebeccah Johnson, Conference Registrar
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing Payments & Forms
All payments by check and all completed enrollment forms must be mailed to the Registration office at the address below. Checks must be made payable to UMass Conference Services/Juniper to be deposited.
Juniper Summer Writing Institute c/o University Conference Services
810 Campus Center
1 Campus Center Way
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Submitting Credit Card Payment
During the online registration process, you may select to pay by check or to pay by card. If you select to pay by card, you will be brought to our secure online payment gateway and will be able to use a Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express credit or debit card right online. If wish to provide card information over the phone, you should complete your online enrollment and then contact the Registration Office at 413-577-8102 (open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Only submit your payment information using the online payment gateway or with the Registration staff at 413-577-8102 – for your security, we will only accept payment/card details from the attendee, cardholder, or authorized purchaser directly.