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Learn from acclaimed Diné writers within the four sacred mountains. Apply today!
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Message from Our Director

Yá’át’ééh and thank you for visiting! Since its inception in 2017, the Emerging Diné Writers’ Institute (EDWI) has been a premier summer creative writing experience for Diné high school and college students. EDWI takes place on the Navajo Technical University campus in Crownpoint, New Mexico.

At EDWI, our students learn the craft and art of creative writing, the importance of language, and reconnect with cultural stories from regional medicine people. Our faculty consists of acclaimed Diné writers and storytellers such as Dr. Laura Tohe, Rex Lee Jim, Esther Belin, Jake Skeets, and many more. In previous summers, we’ve welcomed and hosted visiting writers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Institute of American Indian Arts.

EDWI has always been a program for creativity, storytelling, cultural legacy, and critical inquiry. For one week, EDWI creates a space in which stories are nurtured, a space in which our students are encouraged to explore their creative inclinations and ideas, a space in which discoveries are made, and above all, a space in which students learn ancestral and contemporary notions of Diné storytelling.

Navajo high school and college students are encouraged to apply for our prestigious Writing Scholars program, in which they will be awarded funding to cover lodging and meals during the program. We also invite the general public to participate in our public agenda. There is space for everyone to attend EDWI in some capacity.

We hope you will join us in investing in literary and creative life within our communities on the Diné Nation. Please consider attending EDWI and sharing your stories.

Sincerely,


Manny Loley
Director of EDWI

 

 

ABOUT EDWI

Learn specifics about the program such as our history, our mission, our vision, dates of the program, and benefits of attending.

WRITING SCHOLAR APPLICATION

If you are a current Navajo high school or college student, apply for a Writing Scholar position to receive funding for lodging and meals to attend the program.

EDWI FACULTY

EDWI faculty are acclaimed Diné and non-Diné writers. These faculty represent various genres including fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, journalism, and song writing.

Student and Faculty Testimonials

EDWI exists within the four sacred mountains to impact literary life in our homeland.
Rebekah McNiel 2018 Writing Scholar “Before coming to the Institute, non-fiction didn’t seem that interesting. When we got to hear from a creative non-fiction writer, I realized that it is very fun to write. The writers that came to the Institute were very helpful in the tips that they gave and very encouraging in their feedback.”
Shundeen Martin 2018 Writing Scholar “You get to create so many new things here in the Institute. Writings, friends, and wonderful memories with others that share your passion for writing.”
Kathleen Mariano 2018 Writing Scholar “The Emerging Diné Writers’ Institute provides workshops where it instantly feels like family. Not only are you next to other writers-in-the-making, but also experienced, published Native American and Navajo writers. EDWI at Navajo Technical University is worthwhile. It definitely has opened new doors and even some windows for my writing.”
Jake Skeets 2018 Poetry Faculty and 2019 Lead Author “Writing is transcendent because it is also an artistic skill and one rooted in our ancestral stories, prayers, and songs that continue our people’s lineage. In this way, writing becomes a holistic skill and approach needed for our people’s survival. The Emerging Diné Writers’ Institute make this possible and I wholeheartedly support this cause and movement within Dinétah, our ancestral homeland.”
Dr. Laura Tohe 2018 Poetry and Fiction Faculty and Navajo Nation Poet Laureate “The Institute is unique in that it not only is geared toward Navajo youth, but the content of the workshops focuses on Navajo-related topics that are relevant to our beliefs, traditions, language, and worldview. With the work the Institute is doing, I believe it will continue to support and grow the next generation of Navajo writers who will distinguish themselves as writers, poets, essayists, and so forth.”

Meet EDWI Faculty

Sherwin Bitsui
Jake Skeets
Dr. Laura Tohe
Roanna Shebala

Read the Latest Articles Featuring EDWI




News
14 June 2019

Begaye Encourages Aspiring Diné Writers

“CROWNPOINT, N.M. – Navajos are natural storytellers, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye told the rising generation of Navajo novelists, poets, screenwriters and nonfiction writers July 12..."

Link to article: https://www.nhonews.com/news/2018/jul/17/begaye-encourages-aspiring-dine-writers/

News
14 June 2019

Emerging Diné Writers' Institute in Crownpoint | July 12

Photos from the Emerging Diné Writers’ Institute are featured on the Farmington Daily Times website.

Link to article: https://www.daily-times.com/media/cinematic/gallery/36861559/photos-emerging-dine-writers-institute-in-crownpoint-july-12/

News
14 June 2019

The 2018 Emerging Diné Writers' Institute

“From July 11th to the 15th, I attended the 2018 Emerging Diné Writers’ Institute at Navajo Technical University Crownpoint, New Mexico campus...”

Link to article: https://www.salinabookshelf.com/uncategorized/the-2018-emerging-dine-writers-institute/

Our Location

Navajo Technical University, like all tribal colleges and universities, grew out of a prayer in the 1960s that envisioned all tribes moving toward self-determination by expressing their sovereignty and establishing their own institutions of higher education. It was as a result of this movement that NTU began as the Navajo Skill Center in 1979 to meet the immediate needs of an unemployed population on the Navajo Nation.

Contact Us Today
Navajo Technical University Lowerpoint Road, State Hwy 371
Crownpoint, NM 87313 505.786.4358