Young Writers Workshop

Monday, July 11 - Friday, July 22

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.


Students who will enter the 4th-8th grades in Fall 2017. Note that if you are entering 9th grade in the fall you will need to apply to the Teen Writers Workshop.


Please check back to apply for the 2017 program in the spring. Note that there is no confirmation for your application. You will be notified via email of your status within 15 days. 


**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  $295  (applied and paid)

Late registration June 1 - July 1  $325  (applied and paid)

Pay online HEREOr, make your check payable to " NC State - Young Writers Workshop" and mail by the appropriate date to: William K. Lawrence, c/o Young and Teen Writers Workshop, Department of English, Campus Box 8105, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695.

Refunds are available, minus $25 for handling, through June 11, 2017. After that date and up to the first day of the workshop, refunds will be granted only if a replacement applicant is available. Refunds cannot be granted after July 1.

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 11.** Please use this request form after applying to the program. Scholarship recipients will be notified in June.


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, for instance. They will learn the fundamentals of fiction such as character development, dialogue, point of view, and construction of plot. 

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

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 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 together 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 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.