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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 students, writers, educators, and the general public.

Diné students in high school, college, and graduate school can apply for our Ha'a'aahdę́ę́' Writing Fellowship. Accepted students will be mentored by acclaimed Diné writers in one of four areas including fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and visual storytelling.

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. This summer we are thrilled to also welcome visiting writers from Northern Arizona University, Colorado College, the University of Denver, and from regional literary journals.

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.

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.


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.

Ha'a'aahdę́ę́' Writing Fellowship Application.

Current Diné writers in high school, college, or graduate school are encouraged to apply to be designated a Ha'a'aahdę́ę́' Writing Fellow.

EDWI Faculty

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

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

Amber McCrary
Jake Skeets
Dr. Laura Tohe
Tanaya Winder

Read the Latest Articles Featuring EDWI

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..."

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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.

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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...”

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Our Location

EDWI is held on the Navajo Technical University (NTU) campus in Crownpoint, New Mexico. Within the Diné ancestral homelands as marked by the four sacred mountains, EDWI is proud of to represent various communities within Diné Bikeyah. For more information about NTU, please visit

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