A Little About Us

A Note from the Directors

Granfalloon and Bloomington Handmade Market will take place at the same time as the conference with exciting events on campus and at venues around downtown Bloomington.


The Indiana University Writers’ Conference is the second oldest in the United States. 2024 marks the 84th anniversary of the conference which, since its inception, has stood for literary excellence. We are proud to boast a faculty that has included lauded writers of the post-WWII years, such as Katherine Anne Porter, Lillian Hellman and Stephen Spender, as well as 20th century icons Raymond Carver and Kurt Vonnegut.

Recent faculty have served as Poets Laureate and received some of the most prestigious literary prizes. We have 26 faculty members who have won Pulitzer Prizes, such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Héctor Tobar, Tyehimba Jess and Ursula K. Le Guin. We have also hosted 26 faculty members who were winners of the National Book Award, including Gerald Stern, Jean Valentine, Mark Doty and Terrance Hayes.

Beyond our tremendous faculty, we have been honored to reach and preserve relationships with writers at every stage of their development across the country. Our intention is to foster creativity and community through craft-based workshops and classes that facilitate learning and artistic friendships. We also emphasize a supportive environment for writers of color, LGBTQIA writers, and writers from outside the academy to feel seen and heard.


Each summer, the conference invites gifted writers of fiction, poetry and nonfiction to teach workshops and craft classes over the course of four days. The workshops consist of three-hour sessions held each morning in which students exchange manuscripts and offer feedback on the work of their peers under the guidance of their instructor. At the end of each day’s workshop, students are invited to lunch talks where the faculty discuss their publishing experiences and answer questions from attendees.

The afternoons are comprised of three, one-hour classes led by additional faculty on topics ranging from story structure and the ethics of writing nonfiction to crafting compelling images in poems. Each evening is capped off by a reading and from conference faculty.

We hope you join us for all the great experiences we have planned!


IUWC is committed to creating a safe and comfortable environment for us to be together. To that end, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and observe Indiana University protocol. We will post updates and communicate any changes to protocol as necessary.  

The IUWC Team

Bob Bledsoe, Director

Bob is Director of the Indiana University Writers’ Conference. He has been awarded a fellowship at The MacDowell Colony, and his writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Potomac Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Exit 7, Ms. Magazine, and The Habit of Art: Best Stories from the Indiana University Fiction Workshop.

Teja Sudhakar, Associate Director

Teja Sudhakar is an MFA candidate in Poetry. A native of Chennai, India, and long-time resident of Lexington, Kentucky, their work explores queer and immigrant narratives of the transnational South. Teja’s work has been published or is forthcoming with FRONTIER PoetryThe Georgia Review, Salt Hill Journal, and othersThey now live and write in Bloomington with their cat Soup.

Zeb Demorest, Intern

Zeb Demorest (he/him) is a senior majoring in English, completing a certificate in Journalism, and minoring in Latin. Along with being an IUWC intern, he is the president of the Lifewriting Club at IU. His interests lie in creative nonfiction, and he enjoys reading memoirs and personal essays as well as writing personal essays. When he isn’t studying or writing, he enjoys playing basketball, traveling, and baking.


Sam England, Intern

Sam England (she/her) is a senior at IU studying English, Linguistics, and Anthropology. She enjoys writing creative nonfiction, especially for IU Lifewriting Club. When she isn’t writing, she’s singing with Ladies First A Cappella or making bagels at Bloomington Bagel Company.


Cara Roberge, Intern


Sym Cloyd, Intern

Sym Cloyd (they/them) is a Sophomore studying English with a focus in creative writing as well as Theatre/Drama with a focus in acting and a minor in Gender Studies. They are a poet and have been featured in various poetry events at IU and in the Bloomington. Their most recent one being the Black Lit exhibit in Maxwell Hall. Sym is also the library coordinator at the IU LGBTQ+ Culture Center.


Helen Pilkington, Intern

Helen Pilkington (she/her) is a senior studying English at IU and a creative nonfiction/fiction writer. In addition to being an IUWC intern, she has been an editorial intern for the Victorian Studies Journal and a member of both Writer's Talk IU and the literary publication An Inkslinger's Observance. She has had poems published in the first issue of Writer's Talk (2023) and read a commissioned nonfiction piece in Speaking of Sex: An Undergraduate Thesis (2023). Helen currently works part-time as a bookseller and barista at Morgenstern's Books.


Sam Cushing, Intern

Sam Cushing (she/her/hers) is a Junior studying English with a concentration in creative writing, as well as Political Science. She often finds herself writing pieces of fiction in the realm of magical realism. Her love for the craft inspires her to be involved in writing workshops through the Writers Talk club, student publications like An Inkslinger’s Observance, and art showcases like HHart. She is excited to be learning and growing as an intern with the IUWC this semester.