Guide to the Writers' Conference Files, 1935-1962
Collection number: UA 17/6
Size: 2 boxes
About University of New Hampshire Writers' Conference
This is Carroll S. Towle's collection of materials relating to the University of New
Hampshire Writers' Conference, held each summer from 1938 to 1961 in Durham, New
Hampshire. Towle was instrumental in establishing the Writers' Conference and
continued as its director until his death in 1962. In fact, the conference was never
re-scheduled after the cancellation of the summer 1962 session due to Dr. Towle's
Carroll S. Towle, a native of Maine, was graduated summa cum laude from Bowdoin
College in 1922. He attended Yale University, then taught at the University of
Texas. Later he returned to Yale, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1933. He taught at
the University of Texas for three years before joining the UNH staff in 1931 as an
assistant professor of English where he remained until his untimely death. Dr.
Towle's special interest was the short story. He was co-editor, with John Holmes, of
A COMPLETE COLLEGE READER and co-authored WRITERS ON WRITING, a by-product of the
The Writers' Conference of the University of New Hampshire was initiated in 1938
because of the interest in and success of undergraduate writing at the University
and the growing prominence of several young graduates. The conference was held each
August on the University campus. It was one of the first popular university writers'
conferences, attracting a large number of distinguished authors each summer.
Eventually it became one of the important centers of literary development in the
East. In 1962 a review of summer writing conferences in SATURDAY REVIEW rated the
New Hampshire Writers' Conference as one of the Big Four of such conferences, and
regretted its cancellation that summer.
The conference was intended for writers of all ages and degrees of experience. It was
not a formal school, but rather intensive discussion groups for the exchange of
opinions and information on good and bad writing, problems of publications and
criticism, current opportunities in publishing, and the problems of the individual
writer. A wide range of writing types was considered: the short story, novel,
poetry, book length non-fiction, article writing, drama, and radio. The program
included lectures, informal gatherings, manuscript readings, and personal
About the Writers' Conference Files
The collection contains letters, pamphlets, brochures, newspaper clippings, and
photographs which relate to and document the history of the Writers' Conference.
The letters in the collection are both personal and business letters to Carroll
Towle, many from the practicing writers-novelists, biographers and poets who staffed
the conference during its twenty-four year history. These have been arranged
alphabetically according to the sender, and where more than one letter exists, they
are arranged chronologically. Undated letters are placed at the end, after the dated
material. One folder (Number ll) of correspondence of others was found among Dr.
Towle's papers. These too have been arranged alphabetically by sender.
Excluding the correspondence, the bulk of the collection has been subdivided
according to form - clippings, news releases, schedules, brochures - and arranged
chronologically with undated material at the end of each folder. See also UV 17/6
for photographs of the conference.
This collection is open.
Copyright is retained by the University of New Hampshire.
[Identification of item], Writers' Conference Files, 1935-1962, UA 17/6, Milne
Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham,
These records were transferred to the University Library for storage prior to the
establishment of the University Archives in 1992.
- Series I: Correspondence, 1935-1962
- Series II: Programs and Schedules, 1938-1961
- Series III: News Releases and Clippings, 1938-1976
- Series IV: Brochures, 1938-1961
- Series V: Lectures, Speeches, and Manuscripts, 1935-1962
- Series VI: Chapbooks, 1944-1951
- Series VII: Miscellaneous Pamphlets, Mimeographed Pages, 1935-1961
- Series VIII: Durham Bull, 1953-1960
Series I: Correspondence, 1935-1962
Subseries A: Letters to Carroll S. Towle, 1935-1962
|Box 1, Folder 1||Mar 26, 1938 - Aug 31, 1941||Carroll, Gladys Hasty|
|Box 1, Folder 2||Jan 30, 1940 - Mar 7, 1940 ||Coffin, Robert P. Tristram|
|Box 1, Folder 3||May 3, 1951, Undated||Coit, Margaret|
|Box 1, Folder 4||Jul 19, 1944 - Feb 8, 1945, Undated||Eaton, Walter Prichard|
|Box 1, Folder 5||Undated||Forbes, Esther|
|Box 1, Folder 6||Aug 13, 1938 - Feb 2, 1957, Undated||Holmes, John|
|Box 1, Folder 7||Aug 29, 1940 - Aug 25, 1948||Humphries, Rolfe|
|Box 1, Folder 8||Oct 31, 1941 - Jul 31, 1957||Jones, Frangcon|
|Box 1, Folder 9||Aug 4, 1941 - Apr 12, 1948, Undated||Kelly, Eric P.|
|Box 1, Folder 10||Oct 14, 1935 - Jul 30, 1957, Undated||Brown, Herbert, Burnett, Whit, Coatsworth, Elizabeth,
Edgerly, John H., Ellis, William D., President, Editorial Service,
Inc., Gould, John, Gregg, Marion, Hitchcock, Alfred M., Holbrook,
Stewart, McKaye, Percy, Packard, Ted, Page, Curtis, Richards, Laura,
Roberts, Kenneth (postcard), Sagendorph, Robb (postcard), Schwarz,
Felix Conrad, Shute, Henry A., Stowe, David, Widdemer, Margaret,
Williams, Loring, Wilson, Robley C., Jr., Woodbury,
Subseries B: Letters to Others, 1948-1962
|Box 1, Folder 11||Nov 25, 1948 - May 7, 1962||Robert Frost to Robert Chase, (unsigned carbon copy), Rolfe
Humphries to Arthur Adams, President of UNH, (unsigned carbon copy),
Elizabeth Yates McGreal to ??, James H. Rinker to Edmond A. Cortez
(with enclosure "News Notes Never to be used in the Durham Bull"),
James H. Rinker to Margery and Lorus Milne (with enclosure "News
Notes Never to be Used in the Durham Bull" and envelope with pen and
ink drawing and note), Carroll S. Towle to Ted Packard (See also
folder 10), Margery and Lorus Milne to V.M. Talley|
Series II: Programs and Schedules, 1938-1961
|Box 1, Folder 12||1938-1961||Programs and Schedules
Includes daily and weekly programs, annual evening lecture schedules,
staff memo, biographical sketches of the conference staff and members.
All material is in chronological order with undated material at the end
of the folder.
Series III: News Releases and Clippings, 1938-1976
|Box 1, Folder 13||1938,1946,1950||News Releases
Chronological arrangement of new releases and a radio script publicizing
the Writers' Conference.
|Box 1, Folder 14||1942 - (1945-46) - 1976||Clippings
he 32 clippings are in chronological order; material for which no date
could be determined has been filed at the end. The majority of the
clippings are from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine
Series IV: Brochures, 1938-1961
|Box 1, Folder 15||1938 - 1945||Brochures
Brochures, and some circulars for all the Writers' Conferences from 1938
(First Session) to 1945 (Eighth Session).
|Box 1, Folder 16||1946 - 1961||Brochures
The brochures and/or circulars for the other sessions are in
|Box 1, Folder 17||1941||Brochure - Paste-ups and Proofs
The original galley proofs and paste ups used in preparing the brochure
for the 4th Session, the 1941 Writers' Conference.
Series V: Lectures, Speeches, and Manuscripts, 1935-1962
Subseries A: Lectures and Speeches,, 1935-1962
|Box 1, Folder 18||1942-1944||Lectures and Speeches
Towle, Carroll S. 1942 Aug 6. "Letters and Education." Digest of
discussion., Towle, Carroll S. Seminar in Milton. 3 typed pages,
Humphries, Rolfe and Holmes, John. 1942 Aug 12. "Poetry is Tough."
Digest of lecture, Coffin, Robert P. T. 1944. "Carroll S. Towle
Scholarship of the New Hampshire Writers' Conference." Original
typescript of speech establishing the scholarship, with pen and ink
drawing on cover.
Subseries B: Manuscripts, 1939/1954
The manuscripts are primarily typescripts of original manuscripts found
among Dr. Towle's papers. They have been arranged alphabetically by
author with the anonymous material placed last.
|Box 1, Folder 19||October 1954||Barker, Shirley
"Satan's Instruments." 27pp. Submitted to the Ellery Queen's Mystery
Magazine Short Story Contest.
|Box 1, Folder 20||Undated||Mulstay, Walter H.
"The Elm." 100pp. Submitted to the DeRochemont Contest.
|Box 1, Folder 21||May 1939, Undated||Staples, Linnea Standig
"New Sweden, Maine, Its Birth and Settlement." Published in NATIONAL
HISTORICAL MAGAZINE, "Tale of a Grist Mill." Published in the
AMERICAN SWEDISH MONTHLY.
|Box 1, Folder 22||Undated||Anonymous
"How Plead Ye Now?" 17pp, "They had their Cake." 55pp, Milton's
Series VI: Chapbooks, 1944-1951
For 17 years, starting in 1944, the American Weave Press, annually published
the Durham Chapbook of poetry. The selection was made from manuscript folios
submitted by those attending the current session of the Writers'
|Box 1, Folder 23||1944||Durham Chapbook Number One|
|Box 1, Folder 23||1946||Durham Chapbook Number Two|
|Box 1, Folder 23||1947||Babcock, Donald. "For Those I Taught"|
|Box 1, Folder 24||1949||Jewett, Sarah Orne. "Verses"|
|Box 1, Folder 24||1951||Babcock, Donald. "For Those I Taught and The Friendly
|Box 1, Folder 24||1951||Durham Chapbook Number Seven|
|Box 1, Folder 24||Undated||"Two Poets": Pearl Lunt Robinson and Blanche Gile.|
|Box 2, Folder 1||1958||Weil, James S. "Quarrel with the Rose"|
|Box 2, Folder 1||1958||Hinchey, Barbara D'Arcey. "Syllabus."|
|Box 2, Folder 1||1960||Durham Chapbook XV: Kneeland, Isobel
"Room of Shadows."
|Box 2, Folder 1||1961||American Weave Award Chapbook: Parsons, Kitty
"People and People"
Series VII: Miscellaneous Pamphlets, Mimeographed Pages, 1935-1961
|Folder 2||1935-1961||Miscellaneous Pamphlets, Mimeographed Pages
Holmes, John. "The World is One.", Holmes, John. "Along the Row at Tufts
College", Malan, C. "The Watchmaker and His Family.", Nash, Ray, ed.
"Fifty Years of Robert Frost, A Catalogue of Exhibition.", Parsons,
Kitty. "People and People", A Winter Work, The Cradle. 2pp.
Series VIII: Durham Bull, 1953-1960
The DURHAM BULL was an informal, mimeographed newssheet, Newsletter) for, by,
and about the conference, the staff and the conferees. It commenced
publication in 1953 and ceased in 1961 with the closing of the
|Folder 3||August 1953||Vol. 1|
|Folder 3||August 1954||Vol. 2|
|Folder 4||August 1955||Vol. 3|
|Folder 5||August 1956||Vol. 4|
|Folder 6||August 1957|
|Folder 7||August 1959|
|Folder 8||August 1960|