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31st Annual Young Writers' Workshop

Monday, July 6 - Friday, July 17

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

The Young Writers' Workshop is a two-week, non-residential summer camp with daily afternoon sessions to help young people develop and explore their creative writing talents.

Sponsorship

The Young Writers' Workshop began as a nonprofit project by the Raleigh Writing Alliance, a group representing area writers and writing instructors. The program is now sponsored by the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Department of English.

Eligibility

Students who will enter the 4th-8th grades in Fall 2015.

Tuition

$250. Make your check payable to Young 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. 

Registration

Applications for the 2015 workshop will be available as we get closer to the spring of 2015. 

Young Writers' Workshop Application Form (currently unavailable)

Faculty

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

Classes

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.

NOTE: Students interested in Creative Nonfiction may find themselves in a Fiction class instead because there is typically less interest in Creative Nonfiction for the younger writers. However, those students who would prefer to write Creative Nonfiction will be allowed to do that even if they are in a Fiction class. 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 Young Writers' Workshop offers craft lectures and genre specific small-group workshop environments for children 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. Our teachers are especially good at working with young writers--nurturing and guiding their enthusiasm and talent by building on skills and craft. 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 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, dialogue, conflict, and more.

YWW students are grouped by interests and if possible, by age (older students together with older students, younger students with their age group, as well). Students will be enrolled in two classes. Classes are about 65 minutes long with a short snack break in between. Students are supervised at all times. 

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.