Young Writers Workshop

For 2021 please see Young Writers ONLINE

July 11 - 22, 2022

1:00-4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday 

Tompkins Hall, 2211 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC

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.

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 2022. Note that if you are entering 9th grade in the fall you will need 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

 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

*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. 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 June 25. 


Early bird registration February 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. 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.

Step 3: Sign the E-waiver

Once your child has been accepted to the program, please sign the e-waiver and pay using the links 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 2021 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 in poetry, prose, graphic novels, and dramatic writing. Each student will select their top three course preferences. Students will be placed in two courses.

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.

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 / Comics - This workshop will focus on the creation of graphic novels and literary comic books. Participants work on both writing and drawing. 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. Your child will need to submit a writing and illustration sample with their application. 

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. Parents, families, and friends are invited to attend the celebration and show support for their creative writers.