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9th Annual Teen Writers' Workshop

Monday, July 20 - Friday, July 31

1:30-4:00 p.m., Winston Hall, 2301 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC

The Teen Writers' Workshop is a two-week, non-residential summer camp with daily afternoon sessions to help teens develop their creative writing talents. Often, students who have aged out of the Young Writers' Workshop find a new group of like-minded friends and creative soul mates in this sister program.


The Teen Writers' Workshop, which grew out of the popular Young Writers' Workshop, began in 2007 as a pilot program. It is sponsored by the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of English and is a nonprofit program.


Rising 9th-12th graders as well as students who will enter college in Fall 2015. 


$250. Make your check payable to "NCSU - Teen Writers' Workshop" and mail by June 5. Refunds are available, minus $10 for handling, through June 24, 2015. After that date and up to the first day of the workshop, refunds will be granted only if a replacement applicant is available. Refunds will not be granted after the workshop begins. 


Click below for the 2015 TWW application. The deadline for applications is June 1.

Teen Writers' Workshop Application Form

Financial Assistance

The Teen Writers' Workshop will consider requests for financial assistance based on demonstrated need and student motivation. Limited financial assistance is available. For more information and to request financial assistance, see the Financial Assistance Request Form.


Our workshop faculty are working writers--some of whom also teach part or full time at area colleges and high schools--who not only love the craft of writing, but practice it. 


This summer's likely course offerings will be in poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, and dramatic writing. Each student will select their top three course preferences. Students will be placed in at least one of their preferred classes.

Poetry is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a "composition in verse or some other patterned arrangement of language in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm." Students will learn and experiment with a variety of poetic forms and techniques in this class.

Creative Nonfiction is defined by the Associated Writing Programs as "factual and literary writing that has the narrative, dramatic, meditative, and lyrical elements of novels, plays, poetry, and memoir." Students in this class will be writing true stories in an artful way, such as in nature writing, travel writing, memoirs, and food writing, for instance. They will not be writing academic essays, reports, term papers, or other nonfiction of that kind. The tools and techniques for writing fiction and creative nonfiction are very similar.

Fiction, for our purposes, is "the species of literature which is concerned with the narration of imaginary events and the portraiture of imaginary characters" (Oxford English Dictionary definition). Students in this class will learn about some of the basic techniques of fiction writing, such as developing characters, writing dialogue, managing point of view, and constructing plot and narrative -- and they will then apply these techniques to their own short stories.

NOTE: Students who would like to work in science fiction or fantasy genres, please request "Fiction" and note your interest on your e-mailed application and writing samples. Our director and instructors will try to accommodate your interests. Please note that students may be asked to write "realistic" fiction in addition to fiction in their preferred genre as a means of practicing some of the techniques that they will be learning. Sometimes the best way to learn new techniques is to practice them outside of your comfort zone so that you're more aware of the techniques you're using.

Dramatic Writing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "a composition in prose or verse, adapted to be acted upon a stage, in which a story is related by means of dialogue and action, and is represented with accompanying gesture, costume, and scenery, as in real life." Dramatic writing can take the form not only of playwriting (for a stage), but also screenwriting (for a movie or video screen). In this class, students will learn some of the basic techniques of writing plays and/or screenplays, such as setting a scene, creating characters, constructing a plot, and moving a plot forward through dialogue -- and then (you guessed it!) they will apply these techniques to their own one-act plays or screenplays.

NOTE: Students who would like to work in dramatic writing, please note in your application if you have a preference between writing plays or screenplays. Our director and instructors will try to accommodate your interests.

Method & Structure

The Teen Writers' Workshop offers craft lectures and genre specific small-group workshop environments for teens interested in developing their creative writing skills. Over the course of the two-week workshop period, experienced, working writers of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction encourage participants to explore their own creative writing abilities. Student-to-teacher ratio is low — usually no more than 12 students per class — so that participants can receive the benefit of the instructor's expertise and individual attention.

Our students are not graded but are encouraged, nurtured, and invited to explore their own styles of writing in our workshops and beyond. During the two-week program, they read from their own writings, work in small groups and workshops, and receive one-on-one craft-based instruction in plot, character, action, conflict, and more. 

Publication and Celebration

On the final day of the workshop, we celebrate the students' work with a reading and reception. Workshop participants will read their own material and then will receive a journal of work produced by them and their peers. Awards will be given for the journal title and cover art. Parents, families, and friends are invited to attend the celebration and show support for their creative writers.