Vintage photo of DU dorm, circa 1988 ©Author Adventures

University of Denver

The University of Denver is a small, private university located in an historic part of Denver. It was founded in 1864 as Colorado Seminary (Methodist). The University offers the distinctive Publishing Institute as a postgraduate program to cultivate rising stars in the publishing industry. It has an enrollment of approximately 100 students. One of the partners of Author Adventures is a proud graduate of the Publishing Institute.

A critically acclaimed playwright who attended the University is Neil Simon, and a notable writer and editor who instructed upcoming writers there was the Honorable George L. Brown.

Publishing Institute

The Publishing Institute at the University of Denver has led many adult students to careers in book publishing. It is a full-time, intensive program that provides training to college graduates interested in working in publishing, especially book publishing.

Coursework ranges from graphic design principles to editing to marketing and sales. Publishing executives and literary agents teach the courses and get acquainted with students. Because of the training and the professional connections, the vast majority of graduates are quickly successful in getting hired into entry-level publishing jobs in New York, Boston, and other major publishing cities. Some eventually become publishing executives themselves.

Check out examples of lectures here: Publishing Institute.

Field trips to local literary establishments in the Denver area, such as the original and flagship Tattered Cover bookstore, are included in the curriculum. Read more about Tattered Cover here: Tattered Cover.

Neil Simon, University of Denver Student

The world-renowned playwright Neil Simon (1927-2018) lived and studied at the University of Denver for a year at the start of his career. Neil Simon later wrote such groundbreaking plays as The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, The Sunshine BoysPlaza Suite, and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Read about the life and achievements of Neil Simon here: Neil Simon.

The Honorable George L. Brown, University of Denver Instructor

The Honorable George L. Brown (1926-2006) was a police reporter and editor for the Denver Post. He was a Black editor of a major newspaper in the Rocky Mountain region during the pre-Civil Rights 1950s and the first Black politician to hold statewide office in the 1970s. His illustrious career spanned multiple arenas, including the military as a Tuskegee Airman, journalism (print and radio), higher education, politics, and finance, and he had significant success in every field. Educated as a student-athlete at the University of Kansas, followed by the Harvard Business School of Management, he taught writing at both the University of Denver and the University of Colorado.

Watch a video interview of him here:

According to, “In 1955, Brown made history when he was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives. He served as a state senator for eighteen years, and was reelected to five consecutive four-year terms. Then, in 1974, in the middle of his fifth Senate term, he was elected lieutenant governor, a position he held for four years. He was the nation’s first Black lieutenant governor.”

Read more about him here:

The Place

Visitors can tour the campus virtually here: DU Virtual Tour or can arrange a tour by registering for one through the University of Denver Admissions Office’s tour portal at Information packets about the Publishing Institute can be requested here:

The University of Denver is the third stop on our Colorado Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart