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In addition to its regular reading series, the Rose O’Neill Literary House is home to the Literary House Press, visiting writers’ fellowships, and the annual Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference, for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Cherry Tree Young Writers' Conference

At the Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference, rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors can experience the literary community and the vibrant writing life at Washington College, as well as the opportunity to work with the Lit House's amazing staff and interns.

For more information, click here!


Mary Wood Fellowship

The Mary Wood Fellowship at Washington College is awarded in odd-numbered years to a female-identifying writer who has published at least one book in the selection genre. The Fellowship enables female-identifying and nonbinary creative writing students at Washington College to work with and learn from successful female-identifying writers who spend several days on campus.

The Mary Wood Fellow spends three days at Washington College, during which she/they hold individual conferences with select undergraduate creative writers. The Fellow also gives a public reading and a craft talk (or other public event). The Fellowship includes a $1500 stipend, overnight accommodations, and travel.

Eastern Shore author Mary Wood, whose support makes the fellowship possible, was a ’68 graduate of the College and a former member of its Board of Visitors and Governors.


By March 1, 2022, applicants should send a published book of poetry as well as a cover letter that addresses qualifications, discusses interest in the position, and includes a brief description of a proposed craft talk or other student-centered activity to


The Rose O’Neill Literary House
Washington College
300 Washington Avenue
Chestertown, Maryland 21620

Kathryn Nuernberger

Kathryn Nuernberger’s collection of lyric essays, Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past (Ohio State University Press, 2017), won the Non/Fiction Prize from The Journal. Her third poetry collection, Rue, was published in Spring 2020 (BOA). The End of Pink (BOA, 2016), won the 2015 James Laughlin prize from the Academy of American Poets, and Rag & Bone (Elixir, 2011), won the 2010 Antivenom Prize. She teaches in the MFA Program at University of Minnesota and has received grants from the NEA, American Antiquarian Society, and the Bakken Museum of Electricity in Life. 

Kathryn Nuernberger will be in-residence at Washington College in March of 2021.


2018 - Amber Dermont

2016 - Nicky Beer

2014 - Shara Lessley

2012 - Laura van den Berg

2010 - Irina Reyn

2008 - Hannah Tinti

Sophie Kerr / Rose O’Neill Literary House Writer-in-Residence at Washington College

This week-long residency is solicited by invitation only and funded by the Sophie Kerr Endowment and the Rose O’Neill Literary House. While at Washington College, the Writer-in-Residence gives both a public reading and a craft talk and meets with students about their writing and career interests. The Writer-in-Residence allows the Department of English and the Rose O’Neill Literary House to offer students more opportunities to engage with an established creative writer in sustained and meaningful ways, adding diversity to the creative writing offerings and bringing additional points of view to the literary conversation taking place on our campus. There is no application process; the Writer-in-Residence is selected by the Department of English and the Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House.