Young Writers Workshop

Monday, July 9 - Friday, July 20 2018

1:00-4:00 p.m., Tompkins Hall, 2211 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC

The Young Writers Workshop is a two-week summer afternoon program that helps writers ages 9-14 develop and explore their creative writing talents and skills.


Sponsorship and Origins

The Young Writers Workshop began in 1986 as a nonprofit project developed by Lucinda MacKethan and was 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. Today the program is sponsored by the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Department of English.

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



Students who will enter the 4th-8th grades in Fall 2018. Note that if you are entering 9th grade in the fall you will need to apply to the Teen Writers Workshop.


Step 1: Application

Registration is now closed. Check back on March 1, 2018.  


Step 2: Pay Tuition

**After acceptance to the program, please send payment.** Note that your child has not reserved a place until you have received an acceptance email, signed the waiver, and paid the tuition.

Early bird registration March 1 - March 31  $275  (applied and paid)

Regular registration April 1 - May 31  $297  (applied and paid)

Late registration June 1 - July 1  $335  (applied and paid)

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 June 1. After June 1, refunds will be granted only if a replacement applicant is available, minus $30 for handling. No refunds can be granted after July 1. 

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


Step 3: Sign the E-waiver

Once your child has been accepted to the program, please sign the e-waiver and pay using the link provided in the acceptance email. Your child cannot begin the program without this waiver signed.

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 2017 workshop is June 1.** Please use this request form after applying to the program. Scholarship recipients will be notified in June 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.​​​​​​​


This summer's course offerings will be in poetry, prose, graphic novels, and dramatic writing. Each student will select their top three course preferences. Students will be placed in two courses.

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.

Prose - This workshop will consist of fiction and creative non-fiction. Students in this class will write narratives in an artful way, such as in nature writing, travel writing, memoirs, and food writing. They will learn the fundamentals of fiction such as character development, dialogue, point of view, and construction of plot. 

Graphic Novels - This workshop will focus on the creation of graphic novels and literary comic books. Participants work on both writing and drawing. Please submit a sample of your artwork with the application to be considered for this course. 

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 director and instructors will try to accommodate your interests.


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 60 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 will read their own material and then will receive a journal of work (anthology) produced by them and their peers. Awards will be given for the journal’s cover art. Parents, families, and friends are invited to attend the celebration and show support for their creative writers.