Young Writers Workshop

July 8 - 19, 2024

Please check back in spring 2024 for next summer!

The Young Writers Workshop is a two-week summer afternoon program that helps writers ages 10-14 develop and explore their creative writing talents and skills. See the easy two-step process below to apply. 

Sponsorship and Origins

The Young Writers Workshop is a nonprofit program sponsored by the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of English. The YWW was started in 1986 as a project developed by professor Lucinda MacKethan and originally sponsored by the Raleigh Writing Alliance, a group representing area writers and writing instructors. The very first guest writer in 1986 was award winning North Carolina writer Clyde Edgerton. 

Questions about the program can be emailed to the director, Dr. William K. Lawrence at


Students who will enter the 5th - 8th grades in Fall 2024. Note that if you are entering 9th grade in the fall you will want to apply to the Teen Writers Workshop. All young writers must be ten years of age.

NC State provides equal opportunity in all education programs and activities. NC State engages in equal opportunity and affirmative action efforts, and prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. For more information on NC State’s Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy, please visit

Step 1: Application

Please check back in spring 2024 for next summer!

Step 2: Pay Tuition

You will be notified of your application status within 15 days via email from  A payment link and instructions will be included. * Note that your child has not reserved a place until you have received an acceptance email and paid the tuition. They are likely to lose their spot if registration is not complete. Cost of tuition depends on when you pay (see levels below). NO payments can be accepted after July 5. 


Regular registration April 1 - June 15 $365

Late registration June 16 - July 5  $399  [requested workshops not guaranteed]

Early bird registration March 15 -30  $320  

Please mark "state employee" on the application if you wish to receive a public service discount. 

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. Returned checks will result in a $30 administrative fee.

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. 

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

Financial Assistance

The Young Writers Workshop considers requests for financial assistance based on demonstrated need. Partial scholarships are available on a limited basis**The deadline for financial assistance for the 2024 workshop is June 1.** Please use this request form after applying to the program. Scholarship recipients will be notified in June or earlier up to two weeks after applying.


Our workshop faculty are working writers and artists-- some of whom also teach at area colleges and high schools-- who not only love the craft of writing, but practice it. We also host guest writers who read and discuss their work. 


This summer's course offerings will be Intro to Creative Writing, Poetry, Fiction, Genre Fiction, and Dramatic Writing. Each student will select their top three course preferences. Students will be placed in two courses. There is no guarantee of assigned classes. 

Genre Fiction - This workshop is a specialized fiction workshop that will explore a variety of literary genres, such as sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism, adventure, 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 complex topics. 

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.

Fiction - This workshop will consist of fiction. Students in this class will write narratives in an artful way and learn the fundamentals of fiction such as character development, dialogue, point of view, and construction of plot. 

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 in 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 instructor will accommodate your interests.

Introduction to Creative Writing - This exploratory workshop will focus on the creation of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Various skills applicable to all genres will be explored. 

Special Topics (to be announced)

Method and Structure

The Young Writers Workshop offers genre specific small-group workshop environments for children interested in developing their creative writing skills. 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 — 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 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 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 30 minute (bring-your-own) snack break in between. Young writers 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 may choose to read their work and will receive a printed anthology. Prizes will be awarded for the anthology cover art.