At SVWC we are proud to call the Sun Valley area home.
We work closely with other members of the community, collaborating with the area’s schools, libraries, and other non-profit organizations.
Please read more about our community initiatives and outreach efforts below.
SVWC is proud to offer scholarships to budding authors and readers in our valley and across the U.S.
Local Student Scholarships
Each year, as part of its Eye on the Future Project, SVWC asks the Language Arts teachers at each of the five local high schools to nominate one junior/senior for scholarship selection. Students are invited to submit an essay describing why they would benefit from attending the Conference, and a panel made up of SVWC staff & board members then chooses three of those students to receive full Conference passes, which include all talks, breakouts, and meals.
Students chosen demonstrate academic excellence and a true love of learning, along with a desire to share their knowledge with others, giving us all hope for a better future. The recipients are also chosen based on the belief that hearing SVWC talks by important literary thinkers will help develop and shape the students as they embark on a future path and evolve into important voices for humanity.
Fulfillment Fund Scholarships
In conjunction with the Fulfillment Fund, a Los Angeles nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the performance and potential of young people, SVWC offers scholarships to six remarkable young adults, who have been chosen through a competitive selection process.
The Fulfillment Fund works to make college a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities. Its services build pathways to college, help students navigate educational barriers, create life-changing support networks, and empower future leaders.
Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, SVWC is also proud to offer two local scholarships each year. A full pass, under the Barbara and Jim Cimino Scholarship, is awarded annually to the Executive Director of The Community Library. In addition, a full pass is awarded each year to a local teacher through the Gary Hunt Scholarship in his memory.
Local School Initiatives
SVWC, in conjunction with local high school teachers, chooses an author and book with a topic pertinent to high school students. SVWC donates 50 copies of the book for students in the spring/summer Language Arts classes. All five high schools in Blaine County are included – Sage School, Wood River High School, Sun Valley Community School, Carey High School, and Silver Creek Alternative School. The students read the book and are invited to attend any of the talks given by that writer during the Conference, including Pavilion talks or smaller breakouts.
The students are also invited to join the writer at a luncheon hosted by SVWC in July during the Conference. In 2019, the featured author was Dave Eggers, who discussed his book, The Circle. Past authors have included Colson Whitehead discussing The Underground Railroad, and Karan Mahajan and his novel, The Association of Small Bombs.
Fall School Speaker
In the fall of 2019, SVWC brought celebrated middle grade author, Pablo Cartaya, to the Wood River Valley to visit the area’s schools and speak to students and teachers, free of charge. He spoke to nearly 800 students at the Wood River Middle School and, in collaboration with The Community Library and Iconoclast Books, also gave a free presentation and book signing in the library’s Lecture Hall.
“Thank you for sharing your story with us. I appreciate that you’re encouraging students to learn their story and to get engaged with their family roots. Now it’s my time to find my story.” – WRMS 6th Grader, Thank You Note to Pablo Cartaya
“Thank you for coming to our school and giving the most awesome book talk ever! I really liked the way you told the stories – it made me laugh so hard I almost cried. Not lying.” – WRMS 7th Grader, Thank You Note to Pablo Cartaya
“Thank you for giving us your story. I have always thought authors of books are celebrities, but you reminded me that they are just ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.” – WRMS 6th Grader, Thank You Note to Pablo Cartaya
Free Student/Teacher Talks
As a part of our Eye on the Future Project and in an effort to share the Writers’ Conference with our community, local students and teachers are invited to attend Pavilion talks for free, as space is available. Click for MORE INFO.
Free Lawn Talks
Since 2014, SVWC has offered a selection of evening talks to the public on the Pavilion lawn at no charge during the weekend of the Conference at the Sun Valley Resort. The local community is invited to attend these four free events, with talks broadcast live to the Pavilion lawn big screen.
Past Lawn Talk presenters have included Ayad Akhtar, David Brooks, Shaun Donovan, Jeanne Gang, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, Jeffrey Toobin, Simon Winchester, and Fareed Zakaria. The 2019 Lawn Talks featured Alice McDermott, Andrew Roberts, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and Mitch Landrieu.
Single Event Tickets
Every year, SVWC offers individual tickets to a selection of Pavilion talks for purchase. Members of the local community are given priority during the sale of these tickets.
In a new program started in 2019, SVWC brings a speaker to the Wood River Valley each fall to speak with local schools and offer a free talk to the public. This year’s speaker was Pablo Cartaya, acclaimed middle grade author, who offered a free talk for the public at the Community Library.
SVWC’s Fellows Program includes two fellows from Boise State University’s Creative Writing MFA Department. These fellows join two fellows from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop – aspiring writers, early in their careers, who have been recommended by the faculty of their institutions. They are treated at Conference as writers, which gives them an opportunity to interact and learn from more established writers.
Local Libraries Collaboration
Community Library Talk
Each year, SVWC partners with The Community Library in Ketchum to host a free lecture for the local community before the start of the conference. In 2019, National Book Award-winning novelist and essayist Barry Lopez spoke in the library’s Lecture Hall. Other past speakers have included Imbolo Mbue, Adam Johnson, Firoozeh Dumas, and Jamaica Kincaid.
For many years, SVWC has invited local librarians to attend Pavilion talks for free. The Community Library, Hailey Public Library, and Bellevue Public Library each receive tickets to share amongst their staff.
Partnership with Boise State Bookstore
For the last several years, the Boise State University Books
tore has managed the bookstore at the Conference, with 100% of the profits going toward the BSU Readers and Writers Scholarship. The scholarship encourages intellectual growth for readers and writers in higher education.
Since 2016, over $50,000 has been donated to the program through the SVWC Bookstore.
Support Our Mission
Your support allows us to bring these programs to life.