Teen Writers Workshop

For 2021 see Young Writers Workshop ONLINE

July 25 – August 5, 2022 

Monday through Friday, 12:30-4:00 p.m. 

Tompkins Hall, 2211 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC

The Teen Writers Workshop is a two-week summer afternoon program that helps writers ages 14-19 develop and explore their creative writing talents and skills. 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.

Questions about the program can be addressed by email to the director, Dr. William K. Lawrence at Wklawren@ncsu.edu


The Teen Writers Workshop, which grew out of the popular Young Writers Workshop, was begun by writer/professor Daun Daeman in 2007. TWW is a nonprofit program sponsored by the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of English.


Rising 9th - 12th graders and recent graduates who will enter college in Fall 2022. 

NC State University provides equal opportunity in all education programs/activities and prohibits discrimination and harassment. For more information on NC State’s Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy, please visit policies.ncsu.edu

Step 1: Application

 Thank you for your interest, but registration is now closed. Please check back on February 1, 2022. Follow us on social media for updates throughout the year. 

COVID-19 UPDATE: Applications are still being accepted for Summer 2021 Young Writers Workshop Online HERE

Step 2: Pay Tuition

**Upon acceptance, please send payment and the waiver, which will be emailed.** Note that your teen writer has not reserved a place until you have received an acceptance email, signed the waiver, and paid the tuition. Cost of tuition depends on when you pay (see levels below). NO payments can be accepted after June 25. 


Early bird registration March 1 - March 31  

Regular registration April 1 - May 31   

Late registration June 1 - June 20   $399  [requested workshops not guaranteed]

Remember, you must apply and pay by the end of the tuition level expiration. Applications submitted in the last few days of the cycle are not guaranteed to be reviewed in time.  

Students cannot be admitted until payment has cleared.

Refunds are available, minus $30 for handling, and only through May 15. After 5/15, refunds will be granted only if a replacement applicant is available, minus $30 for handling. No refunds can be granted after June 1. Returned checks will result in a $30 administrative fee.

Tuition includes the workshop, a t-shirt, a printed anthology, and the final celebration.

Step 3: Sign the E-waiver

Once your teen writer has been accepted to the program, please sign the e-waiver and pay using the link provided in the acceptance email. No one can begin the program without this waiver signed.

Financial Assistance

The Teen Writers Workshop will consider requests for financial assistance based on demonstrated need and student motivation. Limited financial assistance is available. **The deadline for financial assistance for the 2021 workshop is June 1.** Please send this request formScholarship recipients will be notified in June.


We are writers who are teachers and teachers who are writers. Our workshop faculty are comprised of working artists who are experienced and professional teachers at the high school and college level.


Course offerings will be in poetry, creative nonfiction, graphic novels, dramatic writing, fiction, and genre fiction. Each student will select their top three course preferences. Students will be placed in at least one of their preferred classes. Workshop placement is assigned on day one. 

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 or novel chapters.

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." The tools and techniques for writing fiction and creative nonfiction are very similar. 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 formal academic essays, reports, research or term papers. 

Dramatic Writing - This workshop will focus on playwriting for the stage, as well as screenwriting for film. 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 to 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.

Genre Fiction is a specialized fiction workshop that will explore a variety of literary genres, such as sci-fi, fantasy, gothic horror, magical realism, adventure, romance and mystery. Students will learn the basics of world building, extended metaphor, plot structures, suspense, persona, and how to use different genres as vehicles to talk about complicated topics.  

Graphic Novels / Comics is a specialized workshop that will focus on the creation of graphic novels and literary comic books. This course features instruction on writing and drawing. This workshop focuses on writing for graphic formats of varying lengths, including graphic novels, comics and strips. Students will write in prose, comic scripts and/or original comics, and gain tools for moving stories among these forms of writing. Students will learn the basics of writing dialogue, creating characters, designing visual narratives, working collaboratively, use of timing, metaphor, humor, and narration, as well as learn how to script a story for other artists to draw.

NOTE: This is a writing workshop; but some drawing or art experience is necessary. There will be opportunities to create visual art and/or tell stories through imagery, but our focus is on writing. If you are signing up for Graphic Novels and Comics, please note on your application if you have a preference for storytelling through writing or drawing/art. Your preferences will be taken into consideration during our workshops.

Method and Structure

The Teen Writers Workshop offers craft lectures and genre specific small-group workshop environments for students 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 between 9-12 students and no more than 14 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. Guest writers and artists also read their work in special craft talks and answer questions about their process. 

TWW students are grouped mostly by interests and age (older students with older students, younger students with their age group, as well). Students will be enrolled in two classes. Classes are 65 minutes long with a 45 minute craft talk by a guest writer or faculty member and a 20 minute (bring-your-own) snack break in between. 

Publication and Celebration

On the final day of the workshop, we celebrate the students' work with a reading and reception. Participants may choose to read their work. At the end of the program, participants receive one printed anthology. Awards will be given for cover art. Parents, families, and friends are invited to attend the celebration and show support for their creative writers. Please note that art is subjective and may push us to think in new ways. While students are guided to be aware of audience for both the written anthology and the public reading, individuals may still find subject matter sensitive.

NC State does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information, in its programs and activities.