Our lecture series, training sessions, and fully-operational letterpress studio allow students, faculty, and the local community to enter the larger world of publishing, writing, and editing. Competitively-awarded internships allow students to work on multimedia projects, on letterpress books and trade paperbacks, in the field of arts administration, and on the national literary journal, Cherry Tree.
2021 Sophie Kerr Winner Justin Nash: Path to the Prize
"I find it nearly impossible to talk about my own successes without talking about the Rose O’Neill Literary House.
When I registered for the Lit House's first-ever Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference, it was on a whim. As a rising high-school senior, I had always loved books but never would have called myself a writer. College was on the horizon, but I believed I would major in political or computer science, and maybe minor in English, if there was time.
On the first day of the conference, barely ten minutes into my first workshop with Julie Marie Wade, everything shifted. By the time I left the room I had resolved to become a writer, and that surrounding myself with art and literature and people who believed in the same was a priority.
When I moved to campus as a freshman, the Lit House was a beacon. Whether it was a visiting writer, Print Shop workshop, faculty lecture, or the folks who called it home on a daily basis, I was surrounded by inspiration. It was a resource center and proving ground. I scored my first internships at the Lit House, and over my college career rose through the ranks of the Washington College Review and Collegian, while screening for Cherry Tree and working with the Literary House Press. Through that work, I qualified myself beyond my own realizing, earning internships with Copper Canyon Press and the Fine Arts Work Center, two of the most prestigious arts organizations in the country.
At every step of the way, the Lit House was my home base. Every job or internship I applied for was pored over in the second-floor conference room. I took the phone call for my Copper Canyon interview in the third-floor study. The Lit House provided the support network—mentors, teachers, references, materials, funding, friendships, everything—that helped me to grow."