Chautauqua editors Jill and Philip Gerard actively solicit writing that expresses the values of Chautauqua Institution broadly construed: a sense of inquiry into questions of personal, social, political, spiritual, and aesthetic importance, regardless of genre. Chautauqua (published annually in June) considers the work of any writer, whether or not affiliated with Chautauqua Institution, except for members of the Board of the Chautauqua Writers' Center unless solicited for special issues.
Qualities sought include a mastery of craft, attention to vivid and accurate language, a true lyric "ear," an original and compelling vision, and strong narrative instinct. Above all, the editors value work that is intensely personal, yet somehow implicitly comments
on larger public concerns-work that answers every
reader's most urgent question: Why are you telling
The original Chautauqua, founded in New York state, inspired a national movement that included traveling tent shows imitating the programs presented at Chautauqua. These shows brought theater, opera, classical music, art, theological debate, and literature to the hinterlands all across America. Over the years, the literary arts
became a prominent focus, culminating in the Chautauqua Writers' Center.