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Skidmore College
Summer Writers Institute
Robert Boyers & Robert Pinsky with student
Robert Boyers & Robert Pinsky with student – photo by Jim McLaughlin

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I have to arrive and what will happen when I get there?
Check-in for the Writers Institute takes place on the following Sundays: Sunday, June 28th; Sunday, July 5th; or Sunday, July 12th.  If you will be attending the session that begins on Sunday, June 28th, or Sunday, July 12th, you will check-in and receive your arrival folder at the Writers Institute table in Case College Center. You should plan to arrive at the table between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., so you have time to get settled and prepare for class the next day.  The Institute table closes promptly at 6 p.m.  If you will be attending the session that begins on Sunday, July 5th (for the one-week Poetry workshop), you will check-in and receive your arrival folder at another location to be disclosed to you at a later date, well in advance of your arrival. You should still plan to arrive between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Arrival folders will contain program information including your workshop class schedule, visiting writers’ readings schedule, special event info, manuscripts to be reviewed for your first class, information about campus facilities, etc. No matter which date you arrive, and whether you are living on or off-campus, you must also register at the Case Information Desk, 2nd floor of Case College Center, to receive your photo ID. If you are living on-campus, your ID also serves as your room key card and meal card. The Case Information Desk closes promptly at 7 p.m.More specific details about check-in will be provided in a letter that will be sent to all enrolled students in early May.

Following check-in, beginning at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 28th (start of Session 1) and again on Sunday, July 12th (start of Session 2), we will be hosting an opening night reception for all students and faculty at The Surrey Inn located on North Broadway across from the main campus entrance.

A reception will not be held on Sunday, July 5th, rather students’ readings will be held on this evening at the Tang Museum on the Skidmore College campus. For the students checking-in on July 5th, we will plan to greet you at the readings event at the Tang. There will be more information about this in the letter that goes out to all enrolled students in early May.

When are classes and other events scheduled?

Your workshop classes are held Mon, Wed, & Fri, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Classes are mandatory. Be sure to take advantage of the following sessions listed below, which are optional, but highly recommended.

  • Q & A sessions – Tue & Thurs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., featuring visiting writers.
  • Public readings and discussions – Mon through Fri evenings at 8 p.m.
  • Weekend special events – student readings, social gatherings, panel discussions and film viewings.

More detailed information regarding all of the above will be available in your program packet at check-in.

When do I have to depart?
Students living on-campus must depart from their apartments by 11 a.m. on the Saturday at the end of their workshop session (July 4th, 11th, 18th or 25th). Please check out at the Case Information Desk, 2nd floor, Case Center.

What are the living and dining accommodations?
On-campus housing will be in air-conditioned and moderately furnished Sussman Village (Sussman Hillside Apartments). If you are staying on-campus, please note that your apartment will not be available before 3 p.m.  Your photo ID card will be issued at the Case Information Desk, 2nd floor of Case Center, when you check in. Your ID card will serve as a key card that will give you access into the apartment, and also into one of the private bedrooms assigned to you. Because we are on a college campus, it is also important that you be prepared for some minor inconveniences.  Bathrooms are shared. Private bathrooms are not available. Please note that the height of the beds is a bit higher than what you may be used to, so items can be stored underneath. If you feel this may be an issue for you, please let us know prior to your arrival. Review the Skidmore Guest Information pages. Thoroughly read the Summer Information Guide there. Once you’ve reviewed the Guide, please consider packing items that will make your stay more comfortable, such as a small desk lamp, hangers, etc.

Linens:  We supply a light weight thermal blanket and pillow, only.Students are responsible for supplying their own twin extra-long fitted sheets and extra-long top sheets, pillow case, towels and wash cloth. If feasible, it is recommended you bring a heavy blanket, comforter, or sleeping bag. If you are an international student and will be traveling to Skidmore from abroad, accommodations can be made for linens to be provided by the College.

The apartments provide a refrigerator, stove, and microwave, but cooking utensils, pots, pans, and dishes are NOT provided. If you live on-campus, you are required to purchase the dining hall meal plan. Your ID card will also serve as your meal card.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining hall where you will have the opportunity to meet people who are enrolled in your program and other programs on campus. You will find a large assortment of foods, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free selections, at every meal.

Will there be access to computers on-campus?
There are public computers in a number of locations on campus where you can access your email and browse the Internet. A computer lab with printers will be provided. Printers are also available in the library. It is recommended that you bring a laptop if you own one. Every apartment has Wi- Fi.

What about telephones?
There is a wall mount phone provided in kitchens of the apartments. If you call the Case Information Desk (extension 5686) from the kitchen phone, the staff will be able to provide you with the phone's number.

Can I use the gym?
Yes. Skidmore’s Sports and Recreation Center facilities include an indoor pool, racquetball courts, and workout, fitness and weight rooms. Tennis courts are available on a court-available basis.  An outdoor running track is also available.

Where can I get information about Saratoga Springs and off-campus housing/hotels?
Contact the Chamber of Commerce at (518) 584-3255 or

Where is the college in relation to the town?
Downtown Saratoga Springs is within a 15-minute scenic walk along North Broadway, which is known for its beautiful Victorian homes. Local transportation including a free trolley service is also available to students. See Case Desk Staff for a trolley schedule.

Can I receive mail while I’m on campus?
Yes. Mail for all programs is distributed at the Skidmore Post Office located on campus. The correct address for incoming mail is as follows:

Your Name
c/o NY State Summer Writers Institute 
Skidmore College
815 N. Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-1632

Will I be receiving more information about the Institute and the College before I get there?
Yes. In May, we’ll be sending all enrolled students a letter with more detailed information about check-in, and instructions on how to submit the manuscript(s) that you want to be reviewed in your workshop(s). This letter will arrive by Email, so be sure we have a current address for you and be ready to follow the important instructions enclosed.

In the meantime, who do I contact if I have further questions about the Institute?

Christine Merrill, NY State Summer Writers Institute, 518-580-5593; or You can also find more details on our website. Follow the link to Guest Information to review Getting to Skidmore-Travel Information, (directions by car, bus, train or air), a Campus Map, and the Summer Information Guide for even more information about the College and its services.