About

SLS Georgia 2019 will be the last program—after 21 years and 32 successful events on 3 continents. Come join us for what will be a fantastic farewell experience!

About SLS

Summer Literary Seminars (SLS)
is one of the world’s foremost and largest, one-of-a-kind, independent (not affiliated with any university) international literary and cultural organizations. 

Founded in 1998, SLS spent 10 years running its groundbreaking series of seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2008, it established its flagship programs in Nairobi-Lamu, Kenya; in Vilnius, Lithuania; in Montreal, Quebec (its home base) and, as of July 2017, a large-scale program in Tbilisi, Georgia — a complex and beautiful ancient city in a remarkably fascinating country.

Throughout its 20+-year history, SLS has brought more than 1200 emerging writers to Russia, Kenya, Lithuania, Georgia, and Montreal. 

SLS operates
on 3 continents: 

  • North America 
    (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
  • Europe (Tbilisi, Georgia)
  • Africa (Nairobi-Lamu, Kenya)
SLS’s mission is to increase the literary and cultural visibility of every locale it visits.

Over the decades, SLS has played, and continues to play, a pivotal role in bringing together the North American and international literary and cultural communities, fostering the artistic cooperation between the two and serving to increase mutual understanding across the cultural and geographic divides. It connects prominent and emerging writers from all walks of life for a richly variegated array of literary and cultural offerings. 

Past faculty members of the SLS programs include Poet Laureates of the US, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award — such luminaries as:

Jonathan Ames

Jami Attenberg

Jonathan Baumbach

Aimee Bender

Andre Bernard

Jill Bialosky

Christian Bok

Amy Bloom

Kevin Canty

Laura Maria Censabella

George Elliot Clarke

Billy Collins

Robert Coover

Robert Creeley

Toi Derricotte

Stephen Dobyns

John Dufresne
Cornelius Eady

Dave Eggers

Stephen Elliot
Tibor Fisher

Mary Gaitskill

Vivian Gornick

Saskia Hamilton
Robert Hass

Steve Heighton

Robin Hemley

Brenda Hillman

Edward Hirsch

Tony Hoagland

Fanny Howe

Denis Johnson

Wayne Johnston

Radhika Jones

Ilya Kaminsky

Elizabeth Kendall

Joe Kertes

Sam Lipsyte

Phillip Lopate

Glyn Maxwell

Fiona McCrae

William Meredith

Erin Moure

Eileen Myles

Josip Novakovich

Wayne Johnston

Radhika Jones

Ilya Kaminsky

Elizabeth Kendall

Joe Kertes

Sam Lipsyte
Phillip Lopate

Glyn Maxwell

Fiona McCrae

William Meredith

Erin Moure

Eileen Myles

Josip Novakovich

Padgett Powell

Francine Prose

Claudia Rankine

Dawn Raffel

Ariana Reines

Rachel Resnick

George Saunders

Lynne Shareon Schwartz

Rebecca Seiferle

Gary Shteyngart

Johanna Skibsrud

Christopher Sorrentino

Anthony Swofford

Catherine Tice

Lynne Tillman

Deborah Treisman

Paula Vogel

William T. Vollman

Binyavanga Wainaina

Mac Wellman

C.K. Williams

Lawrence Wright

SLS enjoys its place as one of the most dynamic and innovative program of its kind, one profoundly affecting everyone who participates in its programs. Many of its participants over the years have cited the SLS programs as a life-changing experience:

"SLS… offers an intense intellectual, artistic and human experience unlike any other… an outstanding and transformative enterprise."

Fanny Howe
poet and novelist

"I truly will remember SLS as one of the greatest moments in my life."

Francisco Fermin Cantolan
alumnus

"I have attended several writing conferences, and they were all very interesting and helpful. Yet, SLS was so much more than that.

Most conferences pride themselves on having approachable faculty, but yours act as mentors and friends. How pleasant it was to have lunch with an accomplished writer. Even more commendable was that SLS faculty were present and politely attentive for hours of student readings.

I have not experienced anything close to this level of involvement at other conferences."

Ann Giesken-Kelsey
alumna

"SLS is one of the most exciting and important intellectual venues in the world right now; absolutely the most important seminar of its kind… SLS is at the center of a discussion I am hearing more and more in the US, about the moral role of fiction… well, what I’ve heard students say is that they have never felt more artistically alive, more convinced of their own potential to find the beauty in life and write about it… The beauty of the program is that it makes for a kind of two-way diplomacy."

George Saunders
writer and past faculty member