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10 Best Creative Writing Programs for High School Students
Creative writing has a wide range of applications and benefits. It not only helps you structure and write in different ways but also makes you a better reader and communicator!
In this post, we have compiled a list of great creative writing programs for high school students. We’ve also thrown in some journalism programs for good measure!
10 Great Creative Writing Programs
1. iowa young writers’ studio – residential program.
Location: Online and in-person versions available
Fee/stipend: $575 for the online version, $2,500 for the in-person version
Financial assistance: Several full tuition and partial tuition grants are available.
Application deadline: February 5, 2023
Program dates: Session 1 from June 11, 2023, to June 24, 2023, Session 2 from July 9, 2023, to July 22, 2023
Eligibility: 10th, 11th and 12th graders are eligible to apply
The Iowa Young Writers’ Studio is one of the most prestigious writing programs in the country, with an estimated acceptance rate between 15-20%. You get to choose one course from poetry, fiction, creative writing, playwriting, or TV writing. The course structure contains a mix of seminars and workshops. The mentors are graduates of the University of Iowa, which holds the most prestigious creative writing program in the country (strange but true)! This is a great program if you’re looking for an immersive experience in a single style of writing.
2. Princeton’s Summer Journalism Program
Location: Online and in-person versions available throughout the year culminating in a 10-day residential program at the end of July
Financial assistance: NA
Application deadline: February 27, 2023
Program dates: Year-long
Eligibility: Students must be in the 11th grade, have a minimum GPA of 3.5, and must qualify for one of these socioeconomic conditions .
You will get a taste of life as a journalist in this year-long course. You will participate in a range of activities, including attending online workshops and lectures with renowned journalists from all over the country.
Apart from the usual workshops and lectures, you will have access to a number of exciting opportunities such as visiting newsrooms, making a documentary, and working on the Princeton Summer Journal which is published at the end of the program. Fair warning - this is a highly selective program including a three-round application process and a final cohort of up to 40 students .
3. NYU Tisch’s Future Dramatic Writers Workshop
Location: Commuter program at NYU's New York City campus
Application deadline: Closed for 2023
Program dates: February 4, 2023 - May 13, 2023
Program Selectivity: Highly selective
Eligibility: Open to 9th, 10th and 11th graders
If accepted to this program, you get the opportunity to study and practice writing for theatre, film, and television. The program takes place every Saturday for 14 weeks , where you will be spending 8 hours in lectures and workshops. It culminates in a yearly showcase where students can present what they’ve worked on. It is an intensive course equivalent to Tisch’s undergraduate curriculum . This has an in-person component, so it may be easiest if you are in New York City.
4. Telluride Association Summer Seminars
Location: Cornell University, University of Maryland, and University of Michigan
Program dates: June 25, 2023 – August 5, 2023
Eligibility: 10th and 11th graders
Primarily rooted in humanities and social studies, TASS looks at systems of power and oppression. While its main agenda is to exercise students’ critical thinking skills , reading and writing essays is a crucial part of the curriculum. You will find the opportunity to hone your writing skills in fields such as history, politics, culture, and more . This is a highly selective program with an estimated acceptance rate of 3-5% . While this may not fit the bill for traditional ‘creative writing’, the way in which it weaves a connection between critical thinking and impeccable writing is likely to enhance your creative writing projects.
5. Yale Young Writers’ Workshop
Application deadline: April 3, 2023
Program dates: July 9, 2023 – July 14, 2023
Eligibility: Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders
Yale Young Writers’ Workshop will give you an in-depth look at one of the following genres — fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or graphic storytelling. With only 12 students per workshop, the highly selective, one-week program ensures each person gets an immersive experience in developing the craft of writing, experimenting with their work, and finding their own voice .
6. Asian American Journalists Association’s JCAMP
Location: On campus at American University, Washington D.C.
Application deadline: March 17, 2023
Program dates: July 15, 2023 – July 21, 2023
Known for its multicultural diversity and unique hands-on training, this renowned program aims to prepare you for a career in journalism. Not only will you get workshops with veteran industry leaders and go on field trips, but you’ll also have the chance to produce news packages for the program’s news site ! You will also have some published work to your credit. This is a highly selective program with about 30 students chosen from hundreds of applicants.
7. Kenyon Review Young Writer’s Summer Residential Workshop
Location: On campus at Kenyon College
Financial assistance: Need-based financial aid is available.
Application deadline: March 1, 2023
Program dates: Session 1 from June 25, 2023, to July 8, 2023, Session 2 from July 16, 2023, to July 29, 2023
Eligibility: Open to 16–18-year-old students
This program offers a combination of individual conferences with your instructor and peer-led group discussion and exercises. The coursework is ungraded and focuses on students recognizing and working on their writing skills. You will also have the opportunity to sign up for a genre session where one genre or element of writing will be explored in-depth . This is highly selective with 12-14 students per workshop.
8. Bard College at Simon’s Rock Young Writers Workshop
Location: On campus
Financial assistance: Moderate
Application deadline: None. Applicants are reviewed until the program is full, usually in mid-April or May
Program dates: July 9, 2023 – July 29, 2023
Eligibility: Open to students from grades 9-11
Instead of focusing only on the writing style, this three-week workshop focuses on enhancing language and thinking skills that are key for effective writing. The program consists of three 90-minute sessions every day with each having a different area of research. You will engage in writing activities and reading discussions within small groups of 12, so every student gets individual attention. Writings are shared by the workshop leaders as well as peers. While building a portfolio, you will be encouraged to focus on the process and finding your voice rather than the end product. This program is a good fit if you’re looking for informal coursework with a heavy emphasis on critical thinking.
9. Sarah Lawrence Writer’s Week – A Creative Writing and Performance Art Workshop
Location: Commuter program
Financial assistance: Limited scholarships available to Yonkers Public School students
Application deadline: Registrations open in February.
Program dates: Virtual program from July 10, 2023 – July 14, 2023, On campus program from August 7, 2023 – August 11, 2023
Eligibility: Students must be 14 years of age or older
Writing (workshops and collaborative discussions) and theatre (workshops on improvisation, solo performance, character comedy, and the like) come together in this program with students learning components of each as well as their relation to each other. While this is a highly selective program, once in, you’ll find yourself in an interactive and supportive environment in a class of 18 students.
10. The Adroit Journal’s Summer Mentorship Program
Financial assistance: Available
Application deadline: March 12, 2023
Program dates: June 19, 2023 – July 31, 2023
Eligibility: Open to students from the 9th to 12th grades
Hosted by a literary and art non-profit organization, this program pairs budding writers with established ones , making this a highly individualized program. While peer activities are also offered, you will get personalized support and guidance from your mentor. You can choose from poetry, fiction and non-fiction/memoir writing. However, the program’s acceptance rate has been approximately 8-9% in the past so keep in mind that it is highly selective.
If you’re interested in going beyond creative writing and want to explore research in fields you’re interested in (e.g., research in literature!) , consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program , a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.
Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.
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Top 10 Summer Writing Programs for High School Students
If you are a high school student interested in enhancing your writing skills over the summer, look no further. Scholarships360 has you covered with our picks for top 10 writing summer camps for high school students. Let’s dive right in!
What is a summer writing program?
A summer writing program offers high school students interested in different types of writing to immerse themselves in the field. These programs range from creative writing, to playwriting, to poetry, and everything in between.
Why we selected the following writing programs
We chose a diverse range of writing summer camps for high school students that vary in price, location, and academic focus. These are definitely not all of the writing programs that are in existence, but we wanted to name a few that impressed us.
A note on application deadlines and program dates
Application deadlines and program dates vary from program to program because these are all at different institutions, all over the country. We will do our best to keep these dates updated, so if a program that you are interested in currently says “TBD”, check back in a few weeks and the program may have released that information!
Top 10 summer writing programs for high schoolers
1. iowa young writers’ studio.
The Iowa Young Writers ’ Studio is a two-week session located at the University of Iowa campus or online. The two programs run at the same time, and there are two different date options for students to choose from. With this program, students select their primary focus throughout the program– fiction writing, poetry writing, or creative writing.
- Program benefits : Readings by published writers; workshops on process and aspects of craft; discussions on writing-adjacent subjects (literary translation, film, revision, mental health); collaborative projects to allow small groups of students to work together; as well as open mics, talent shows, icebreakers, and social gatherings
- Application deadline: February 5th, 2023
- Program dates: June 11th – 24th, 2023 or July 9th – 22nd, 2023
- Cost: The in-person program is $2,500, and the online program is $575
2. Interlochen Center for the Arts Camp Creative Writing Programs
Interlochen Center for the Arts is a prestigious arts center for students of all ages who are interested in various types of arts to hone in on their craft. The Camp Creative Writing Programs are for high school students of all ages. Campers choose between four different tracks– Comics and Graphic Narratives Intensive, Creative Writing Program, Novel Writing Intensive, or Performance Poetry Intensive. The focus below is the broadest category, the Creative Writing Program. This three week intensive allows students to immerse themselves in the world of writing.
- Program benefits : Genre workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting; placed in classes outside of comfort zones to learn more about different genres; reading showcase; guest artists and speakers
- Application deadline: January 15th, 2023, for both sessions
- Program dates: Session one is June 24th – July 15th, 2023, and session two is July 16th – August 6th, 2023
- Cost: $6,550
3. Sarah Lawrence College Writer’s Week: A Creative Writing & Performance Arts Workshop
The Sarah Lawrence Creative Writing and Performance Arts Workshop is offered both online and in person. The in-person workshop is a day camp, not a residential program. Each day of the program, students attend writing workshops led by poets, prose writers, and performance artists. The program also includes faculty led workshops and meetings, as well as a celebration of student work at the end of the program.
- Program benefits : Work with distinguished faculty and graduate students, generating materials to share, collaboration with peers, learning to revise and edit.
- Application deadline: TBD, registration opens in February
- Program dates: The virtual session is July 10–July 14, 2023, and the in-person session is August 7–August 11, 2023
- Cost : The on-campus cost (including lunch) is $1,125, and the virtual cost is $725
4. Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Writing and Culture Program
The Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Writing and Culture Program is a six-week high school summer program where students immerse themselves in writing, film, design, art, and culture. This program teaches students how to properly tell a story, regardless of what their story may be. Applicants must be sophomores or juniors in high school at the time of the application submission. There are opportunities to receive scholarships for this program as well, which is something to keep in mind while applying.
- Program benefits : Opportunities to explore some of Pittsburgh’s world-class museums, access to the Carnegie Mellon Archives and Fine and Rare Book Rooms, mentorship and networking opportunities.
- Application deadline : February 1st, 2023
- Program dates: July 1st – August 11th, 2023
- Cost: $10,025
Related: Top writing and essay scholarships
5. Denison University Reynolds Young Writers Workshop
The Reynolds Young Writers Workshop based out of Denison University in Granville, Ohio is an eight-day residential writing program that helps to immerse students in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writing. This program is open to students who have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school who have an interest in writing. Generous financial assistance is available to those who need it.
- Program benefits : Group sessions, hands-on work with Denison faculty and staff, notable visiting writers
- Application deadline: March 1st,2023 at 11:59 PM
- Program dates: June 24th – July 1st, 2023
- Cost: $1,500
6. Alpha– The Young Writers Workshop
Alpha – The Young Writers Workshop is a 12-day writing workshop for students ages 14-19 located on the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg campus. Not only will students immerse themselves in their writing and have the opportunity to hone in on that skill, but they will also learn more about the technical side of writing– submitting for publication, editing, and receiving feedback. Alpha also offers scholarships for those who may need them.
- Program benefits : Ample time spent with influential professors, opportunities for brainstorming workshops, professional writer presentations, lectures.
- Application deadline : March 12th, 2023
- Program dates : July 19th – July 30th, 2023
- Cost: $1,200
Don’t miss: Top free summer programs for high school students
7. Loyola Marymount University- Beginning Screenwriting Program
The Loyola Marymount University Beginning Screenwriting Program is a hands-on two-week program located on the campus of one of the nation’s best film schools. Students learn the basics of the script developing process, gain a deeper understanding of cinematic storytelling, and enhance their writing skills. The first program dates are for eligible high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The second program dates are for juniors and seniors only.
- Program benefits : Opportunity for hands-on experiences within Los Angeles’ film industry, touring local film or television studio”
- Application deadline : March 15th, 2023
- Program dates : June 25th – July 8th, 2023, and July 16th – July 29th, 2023
- Cost : $5,400 for tuition with a $65 application fee
8. Georgetown University Creative Writing Academy
The Georgetown University Creative Writing Academy is a week-long writing academy for high school students of all ages. During this academy, students have the opportunity to work on and present a capstone project, which can be on various topics and within various subject areas. This academy focuses largely on the publishing aspects of creative writing.
- Program benefits : Readings from published authors, work with Georgetown faculty and staff, field trips, group discussions
- Application deadline : The “Early Bird” deadline is January 31st, 2023, and the Final deadline is May 15th, 2023
- Program dates: July 16th – 22nd, 2023
- Cost : $3,225
9. Emerson College Creative Writers Workshop
The Emerson College Creative Writers Workshop is an on-campus program that focuses on topics such as fiction, prose, scriptwriting, comedy writing, graphic novel writing, and performance poetry. This four-week program offers students opportunities to create and revise their personal writing portfolio.
- Program benefits : Work with highly regarded faculty writers, participate in literary hangouts, participate in “final reading” at the conclusion of the program
- Program dates : July 6th, 2023 – August 5th, 2023
- Creative Writers Workshop Non-Credit Tuition: $3531
- Creative Writers Workshop Credit Tuition: $4310
- Residential Room and Board Fee: $3744*
- Non-refundable application fee: $60
Also see: How to rock the summer before your senior year
10. Harvard Pre-College Summer School Program
The last entry on our list of writing summer camps for high school students is also one of the most prestigious. The Harvard Pre-College Summer School Program is a two-week summer program that offers over 100 non-credit courses for high school students to take part in. The Speech, Writing, and Literature topic is a great option for students who want to pursue a career in writing or just want to develop their craft. This topic offers multiple different courses, such as creative writing, English, expository writing, journalism, and speech. The program also offers some financial aid for qualifying students.
- Program benefits : Build valuable academic skills, learn to live independently on a college campus, take sample college courses
- Application deadline : Early application deadline is January 25th, 2023, and the regular application deadline is February 22nd, 2023
- Program dates : Choose between June 25th – July 7th, 2023, July 9th – July 21st, 2023, and July 23rd – August 4th, 2023
- Cost : $5,300 plus a $75 application fee
Don’t miss: High school checklist: Freshman through senior year
- Now that you’ve got some writing summer camps for high school students in mind, start preparing your application materials! This may include application essays , letters of recommendation , transcripts, or sample writing materials
- Apply for program scholarships if needed
- Write! Bring your writing samples with you, as you never know when you might need them
- Don’t forget that Scholarships360 offers all the resources you need as you continue your education! It’s never too early to learn about extracurricular activities and when to start applying to colleges !
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Kratz Center for Creative Writing
at Goucher College
Creative Writing Programs for High School Students
Summer Creative Writing Programs for High School Students
For writers below the age of eighteen we suggest the following programs. Click the names below and visit the program’s websites.
Between the Lines International Writing Program at the University of Iowa ( facebook )
Iowa Young Writer’s Studio
Interlochen Summer Writing Program
Creative Writing Workshops at Columbia University’s Summer Program for High School Students
Wriitopia Lab (In-Person and Digital Programs)
Juniper Institute for Young Writers at UMass Amherst, MA http://www.umass.edu/juniperyoungwriters
The Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop at Kenyon College, OH: http://www.kenyonreview.org/workshops/young-writers
Johns Hopkins University Pre-College Summer Programs (select creative writing courses): http://www.jhu.edu/summer
More Creative Writing Workshops
Here are websites for summer creative writing workshops, conferences, centers, festivals, residencies, or retreats. Keep in mind that these programs are usually engaged by writers over the age of 18. A writing “residency” is a short-term period of instruction for writers at a specific geographical location.
Let us know if you have any questions and we’ll get right back to you ( [email protected] ).
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- Career Edge - NYU High School Summer Program
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This summer, immerse yourself in the craft of creative writing with fellow young authors in a pre-college environment. Learn from an industry expert as you transform your ideas and stories into compelling writing. Develop the techniques that are fundamental to all types of fiction writing—literary fiction, dystopian fantasies, fairy tales, and mysteries—and refine your skills in story structure, character development, description, and dialogue. Students will also experience lectures, interact with noted authors, and receive information on how to turn your passion into a career. Gain exposure to workshopping your writing with constructive feedback, ultimately walking away with a variety of short creative pieces ranging from poems, stories, and scenes, to collage texts and flash fiction.
- High school students who have completed grades 9, 10, or 11
- High school students interested in strengthening creative writing skills
You'll Walk Away With
- Refinement of your creative writing, including narrative arc, world-building, authentic dialogue, and character development
- A portfolio of peer-critiqued short stories
- An NYU transcript showing grade(s) earned upon completion of the course (Please note: No college credit or certificate of completion is granted for this course.)
Students from around the world attend NYU summer programs, but only a college prep program like High School Academy provides the opportunity to explore both traditional and emerging career paths.
Projects and short assignments provide take-aways that prepare you for college classroom work, while demonstrating your newly acquired skills.
Career Edge Schedule
Start Date : July 10, 2023 End Date : July 14, 2023
Start Date : July 17, 2023 End Date : July 21, 2023
Start Date : July 24, 2023 End Date : July 28, 2023
Start Date : July 31, 2023 End Date : August 4, 2023
Start Date : August 7, 2023 End Date : August 11, 2023
Session 6 (Commuter Only and Limited Online Courses)*
Start Date : August 14, 2023 End Date : August 18, 2023 * No Housing/Dining available this week
Applications for Summer 2024 will become available in early 2024!
Application Requirements and Fees
To apply you must have successfully completed grades 9,10, or 11. You must submit the online application, a 250-500 word essay, and an official high school transcript. Essay Topic: Please describe why you would like to take your selected course(s). Please include any previous courses you've taken in this subject or previous experiences with this subject. Give more detail as to why you would like to take this course over the summer. Your response should be 250-500 words total. If selecting multiple courses, please contain all responses to a single essay.
Fees for Summer 2023
Application Fee: $25 (non-refundable) $2,395 Tuition $100 fees Total cost per course: $2,495 Housing & Dining Fees: $607 per week* * Housing & Dining Fees still being finalized Please note: No financial aid, scholarships, or discounts are available for Career Edge
For International Students
Resources and visa information for international students interested in studying abroad in NYC
212-998-7006 - [email protected]
Resources for students who have been admitted to the program
Choose Your Test
Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 12 summer writing programs for high school students (2022 -2023).
Love reading, writing, and being creative? Then consider checking out summer writing programs for high school students!
Whether you want to become a journalist or the next Poet Laureate, there are tons of summer writing programs that will help you achieve your goals. Participating in these programs can look great on college applications too!
In this article, we’ll give you all the info you need to decide if creative writing summer programs for high school students are right for you, including:
- A full description of 12 summer writing programs for high school students (including cost, eligibility, and what they cover!)
- A quick, five question quiz to help you decide if a summer writing program is right for you
- Three tips on how to impress colleges with your summer writing program
Let’s get started!
Summer's the perfect time for sitting on the beach, eating ice cream...and participating in writing programs.
What Are Summer Writing Programs for High School Students?
Creative writing summer programs for high school students are a great way for students with an interest in writing to explore subjects they’re interested in, build skills for college, and meet other students who share their interests.
As a bonus, summer writing programs can look great on college applications!
Summer writing programs for high schoolers are typically held between May and August each year . These programs are similar to a summer class or camp. Additionally, these programs last anywhere from a week to several weeks throughout the summer.
Like summer camps, writing programs for high schoolers are pretty intensive. Students spend their time l istening to lectures from experts, participating in workshops, presenting their work, and getting real-life feedback.
Best of all, summer writing programs are hands-on, so you’ll spend lots of time writing and creating original work ! The goal of any summer writing program is to help you develop and improve your writing skills through practice and feedback.
While some programs teach general writing skills, many summer writing programs focus on a particular field or genre, like journalism, essay writing, or creative writing . For instance, if you’re thinking about becoming a journalism major, you might participate in a journalism writing summer program that’ll give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in the industry.
There are many benefits of summer writing programs when it comes to college applications too. After all, writing great college essays is an important part of getting into your dream school! And because they’re extracurricular activities, summer writing programs are also a good option for students who are aiming for an arts-based spike approach on college applications.
Dust off that typewriter...it's time to apply!
12 Summer Writing Programs for High School Students
We’ve put together a list of 12 summer creative writing summer programs for high school students to help you get a sense of the many great options out there. Our list includes journalism, research-based, and creative writing summer programs for high school students so you can find the best one for you!
#1: The School of New York Times Summer Academy
- Eligibility: Must be entering 10th, 11th, 12th grade, or graduating high school
- Dates: Term 1: June 5-17; Term 2: June 19-July 1; Term 3: July 3-15; Term 4: July 17-29
- Location: New York City
- Cost: $6,420 for residential; $5,820 for day program
- Deadlines: Varies by term; deadlines range from early May to mid-June
The New York Times (NYT) offers a series of writing-based summer courses for high school students at their campus in New York City. Courses are designed to develop students’ curiosity and critical thinking through traditional coursework and in the museums, arts centers, think tanks, and start-up labs of New York City. Courses are offered on various topics , including creative writing and investigative journalism.
The program “seeks talented student leaders with diverse interests, ambitions and writing styles.” To participate, students complete an online application that includes short answer questions and optional writing samples, high school transcripts, and one recommendation.
#2: Boston University Summer Journalism Academy
- Eligibility: Must be aged 14-18
- Dates: Vary by year; Session 1: June 20-July 1; Session 2: July 4-July 15; Session 3: July 18-July 29
- Location: Boston University, Boston, MA
- Cost: On-Campus w/tuition, room, board and activity fees: $3700; On-Campus Commuter w/tuition and activity fees: $2700; Learn-from-Home: $1300
- Deadlines: Applications due mid-May
The Summer Journalism Academy at Boston University is designed to introduce high school students to life as news reporters . Students practice their skills in the classroom then apply them to hands-on learning opportunities in a real newsroom. One of the biggest perks is that students get to learn from working journalists who cover a wide range of beats.
Students can participate in person or remotely. In-person participants can stay on BU’s campus through the residential program, where they’ll get a chance to live alongside other academy attendees. To participate, applications must be submitted online and should include a 300-word letter explaining the student’s interest in journalism.
#3: Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA) Journalism Camp
- Eligibility: 9th-12th graders with a strong interest in journalism
- Dates: Summer; exact program dates may vary
- Location: Varies by year; JCamp 2022 is hosted by the University of Southern California
- Cost: No cost (travel expenses are also covered by the program)
- Deadlines: Applications due March 31
The AAJA‘s six-day summer training camp, called JCamp, gives students the opportunity to learn from journalists and journalism executives while developing their writing skills. This summer writing program gives students hands-on experience producing multi-platform news packages that are published on the program’s news site, JCamp Live.
Students who show a strong interest in broadcasting, newspaper, magazine, photojournalism, or online media are encouraged to apply online. Also, JCamp isn’t limited to Asian American students, so all high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible. Even better: all program costs are covered , including travel, university lodging, and meals.
#4: Yale Daily News Summer Journalism Program
- Eligibility: Open to all high school students
- Dates: August 16-20
- Location: Varies by year; 2022 program held via Zoom
- Cost: Free to students from New Haven Public Schools; all other participants pay $160 in tuition
- Deadlines: Unspecified
The Yale Daily News Summer Journalism Program is a one-week journalism course for high school students. Students participate in workshops on the basics of writing and reporting, hear lectures by journalists from major publications, and work as a team to produce an issue of the Yale Daily News.
As a bonus, the program is run entirely by undergraduate staff members of the Yale Daily News , so students will get to see what it’s like to be a real journalism student at an Ivy League school.
To apply, students must submit four short answer questions and a pitch for one professional-grade news article . Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible as program costs may increase as the program start date approaches.
Howard University's writing program is perfect for people who want to write across media--and yes, that includes TikTok.
#5: Howard University Multimedia Academy
- Eligibility: Must be in 9th-12th grade
- Dates: June 14-25
- Location: Virtual/online
- Cost: Not specified
- Deadlines: Applications due June 5
Howard’s virtual summer writing program teaches students to use multimedia journalism to report on health and wellness in underserved communities . At the end of the program, students’ work appears on the Howard University News Service and on Voices of Tomorrow, a nonprofit that provides social services to immigrants and refugees from East African communities.
Additionally, the best work by seniors and recent graduates will be eligible for the Dow Jones News Fund’s scholarship competition . To apply to Howard’s Multimedia Academy, students must fill out an online application, including a 250-word essay.
#6: The Multicultural Journalism Program (MJW)
- Eligibility: Rising 9th graders through college freshmen
- Dates: June 3-12
- Location: University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
- Cost: Free, including housing, meals, and field trips; students are responsible for transportation to and from Tuscaloosa
- Deadlines: Applications due April 1
MJW’s summer writing program selects 10 to 15 students to attend an intensive workshop held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This workshop focuses on multimedia reporting, writing, editing, graphics, photography, and production. During the workshop, students produce an issue of the MJP Journal to showcase everything they’ve learned.
Applicants must submit a high school transcript, a typed 500-word essay explaining their interest in journalism, and a recommendation letter. The program also encourages students to submit samples of published journalistic work , but unpublished writing samples are also acceptable.
#7: Carnegie-Mellon University Writing and Culture Program
- Eligibility: Must be at least 16 years old by program start date; must be a current high school sophomore or junior at time of application; must have an academic average of B (3.0/4.0) and/or have received a B or higher in their last English class.
- Dates: July 5-August 12
- Location: Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
- Cost: $9,000 for residential program; $6,932 for commuter program
- Deadlines: Applications accepted on a rolling basis
The Carnegie-Mellon Writing and Culture Program teaches high school students to think critically and express themselves creatively. This six-week course features classes taught by Carnegie-Mellon faculty, readings and events with local authors, and hands-on visits to Pittsburgh’s museums. Throughout the program, students produce a written portfolio that explores film, art, and culture .
To apply, students must complete an online application that includes a high school transcript, responses to essay prompts, and up to three optional writing samples. If an applicant’s cumulative high school GPA is below a B average (3.0/4.0), submitting writing samples is strongly encouraged.
#8: Iowa Young Writers’ Studio Residential Program
- Eligibility: Must be a current 10th, 11th, or 12th grader
- Dates: Session 1: June 12-25; Session 2: July 10-23
- Location: University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
- Cost: $2,500 for residential
- Deadlines: Applications due February 6
The Iowa Writers’ Workshop offers a two-week, residential creative writing summer program for 144 high school students from across the country. Once accepted, students will select a course of study from the following options: poetry, fiction, creative writing, playwriting, or TV writing. Students also participate in writing workshops, receive constructive feedback, and star in open mics and talent shows.
The Iowa Young Writers’ studio acceptance rate falls between 15% and 20% . A competitive application to this program will include a polished writing sample, statement of purpose, letter of recommendation, and high school transcript. Students from outside the United States are also welcome to apply.
It turns out that Virginia is for writers.
#9: UVA Young Writers Workshop
- Eligibility: Session 1: rising 9th-12th graders; Session 2: rising 10th graders through rising first-year college students
- Dates: Session 1: June 19-July 1; Session 2: July 3-July 22
- Location: Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA
- Cost: $2450 for Session 1; $3500 for Session 2
- Deadlines: Applications due March 1
UVA Young Writers Workshop is a summer program designed to immerse students in a creative writing genre . Students focus on one of the following for the duration of the program: short form creative writing, poetry, songwriting, screen and playwriting, creative nonfiction, or fiction.
UVA Young Writers Workshop is one of the best summer writing programs for high school students because it offers two program sessions that are geared toward different skill levels . Session 1 is designed for a wider range of skill levels and experience, whereas Session 2 is geared toward more advanced writers. You can apply to both sessions online by submitting several writing samples, a brief autobiography, and a letter of recommendation.
#10: Smith College Creative Writing Workshop
- Eligibility: Must be in 9th-12th grades; must be female-identified or gender-nonconforming students
- Dates: July 9-23
- Cost: $4,285
- Deadlines: Applications due May 15
Smith’s Creative Writing Workshop teaches the importance of practice and perseverance by engaging students in a multi-draft writing process in a variety of mediums . Students are taught by real published writers and get the chance to present their work at open mic and improv nights. In the evenings, there are even opportunities to meet with agents and learn how to create an author website!
Students are selected for this writing program based on academic performance, a written essay, and a teacher recommendation. Also, because Smith is a women’s college, this summer writing program is only open to young women, female-identified, or gender-nonconforming students . Students from outside of the U.S. are also encouraged to apply.
#11: Sarah Lawrence Writer’s Week
- Eligibility: Must be in 9th-12th grade and 14 years of age or older by the program start date
- Dates: On-campus session: July 11-15; online session: August 1-5
- Location: Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY; online
- Cost: $1,125 for on-campus; $725 for online
- Deadlines: Unspecified; contact [email protected] for more information
Writer’s Week at Sarah Lawrence is a week-long experience with creative writing and performance arts for high school students. Students attend workshops taught by real writers, artists, and Sarah Lawrence faculty and will get the chance to meet in small groups with workshop leaders. At the end of the week, the program hosts a celebration of student work and faculty and student readings.
Sarah Lawrence Writer’s Week offers both an on-campus and online session (but note that the on-campus session is a day camp, not residential). Applications and registration must be completed online.
#12: Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers
- Eligibility: Must be aged 14-19
- Dates: July 20-31
- Location: University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, PA
- Cost: $1,200
- Deadlines: Unspecified; applications open in January
Alpha is a twelve-day writing workshop for 20 high school students at the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus. During this program, students are expected to write an original science fiction, fantasy, or horror short story of 2000 words or more. During the writing process, students receive plenty of hands-on guidance.
The Alpha program is held in-person on the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg campus . To apply, students must fill out an online form and submit an original short story of at least 2000 words.
Quiz: Is a Summer Writing Program Right for You?
If you’re still not sure if participating in a summer writing program is right for you, don’t worry–we’re here to help!
We’ve put together a five-question, yes-or-no response quiz to help you decide if summer writing programs support your interests and goals. Just read the questions below and respond with “yes” or “no.”
- Is your English class the most exciting part of your school day?
- Do you spend free time reading and writing for fun?
- Are you looking for new challenges and experiences as a writer?
- Are you willing to share your writing with others, including peers you’ve just met and writing professionals and experts?
- Are you highly motivated to pursue your interests outside of school and even during your summer vacation?
If you responded with “yes” to three or more of the questions above, you might consider applying to a summer writing program for high school students!
At the end of the day, you want your summer activities to support your interests and boost your college applications . If you’re aiming for a future career as a writer or just want to hone your writing hobby, a summer writing program may be the perfect fit for you.
3 Tips To Impress Colleges With Your Summer Writing Program
Summer writing programs for high school students look great to college admissions teams . But what are the best ways to showcase your writing experience on your applications?
We’ll show you how to impress colleges with your summer writing program–just check out the tips below !
Tip 1: Work It Into Your College Essays
You want your college essays to tell a vivid story about your interests . Your experiences in a summer writing program provide a great springboard for illustrating your interests and passions on your college applications!
Colleges want to accept students who are creative, courageous, and motivated to pursue their dreams. Writing about how you stretched and grew during your summer writing program will show colleges that you’re up for a challenge…and that you won’t give up, no matter how many revisions your draft needs.
Tip 2: Connect It to Your Major
If you’re already certain you want to major in a writing-related field in college, your summer writing program will be especially helpful. Many elite schools ask students to apply directly to their chosen major. So if you’re applying to an arts or humanities major, there’s a good chance you’ll have to submit a writing sample as part of your college application .
The good news is that most summer writing programs give you the chance to produce original writing and receive critiques from professional writers. By taking the writing you produce during your summer writing program and continuing to revise it, you’ll have a top-notch writing sample to include with your application.
Tip 3: Ask a Program Instructor for a Recommendation
Creative writing summer programs for high school students give you the opportunity to connect with writing faculty at elite colleges and real-life writers, journalists, poets, and more. These professionals provide feedback on your writing during your summer program…which means they’ll have unique insights into your potential as a college student !
In fact, several summer writing programs offer students the chance to receive a college recommendation from program faculty . For instance, the New York Times Summer Academy says this about recommendations from program faculty:
As a pre-college program, [NYT] Summer Academy gives students the opportunity to get a glimpse of the college experience while also exploring possible topics of study. Typically, college admissions officers look favorably on students who continue to enhance their academic portfolio during the summer months. Students will also benefit from receiving a narrative evaluation from their instructor which can be included as part of their college applications.
If you build strong rapport with an instructor at your summer writing program, consider staying in touch and asking them to write you a letter of recommendation for your college applications. Having a recommendation from someone outside of your high school will show colleges that you’re already building real-world connections with people in your future career field .
Writing programs can prepare you for writing your college admissions essays . Our expert guide breaks down the whole admissions essay writing process , step by step.
One popular college essay format is the “why this school?” prompt. We’ll show you how to write an amazing “why this college” essay that will wow admissions counselors.
If you’re not sure what a great college essay looks like, that’s okay. We’ve compiled a list of over 140 college essays that can inspire you as you’re writing yours!
Thinking ahead to college applications?
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PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We've helped thousands of students get into their top choice schools , from state colleges to the Ivy League.
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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.
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Creative Writing Academy
- How to Apply
Transform your dreams, ideas, and stories into organized, compelling, creative written works with dynamic lectures in craft topics, workshop sessions with graduate student instructors, and insightful, productive feedback from your peers. This combination of instructional approaches will help you generate and polish a wealth of new poems, stories, and essays, and allow you to experiment with innovative forms in the field of creative writing. The Academy will also focus on the publishing and professionalization aspects of the industry, exploring what markets are available for your writing, what jobs are available to creative writers, funding opportunities for your work, undergraduate and graduate programs in writing, and how to get published. Topics for discussion will include literary form and targeted craft points, often in relation to social, political, and environmental themes. In addition, this week-long program will feature excursions to sites around Washington, D.C., including an exercise in ekphrastic writing at the National Gallery of Art and the chance to read your work aloud at Busboys and Poets, a famous D.C. literary hub.
Price includes tuition, housing, and meals. Commuter Student tuition is $2,625.
How You'll Benefit
- Participate in writing workshops
- Awaken your powers of observation, imagination, and description
- Learn concrete elements of the craft of writing in daily workshops
- Attend readings from published authors, who will lead interactive classes and conduct group discussions
- Work with Georgetown's expert creative writing faculty to bring out your most creative ideas
- Read excerpts from award-winning works and use them to develop your own original works
- Visit local monuments, world-renowned theaters, museums, and literary organizations
- Take part in peer critiques and learn how to revise and refine your writing
Program Format & Subject Areas
As a student in the Creative Writing Academy, you'll spend your day immersed in a blend of classroom lectures, field trips, hands-on activities, and group discussions. Throughout the week, you'll have the opportunity to explore the following subject areas:
- Personal prose
- Literary history
- Technique (story structure, character development, theme, description, dialogue)
- Finding good ideas and turning them into polished pieces
- Using great literature and art for inspiration
All in all, I fell in love with the program. I got to meet so many amazing people not only from the D.C. area but all around the country.
Having the chance to experience once in a lifetime opportunities and getting to meet people from around the world made it so I got to really experience what college life was like.
My #SummerHoya experience was enriching, inspiring, and rewarding; if I could turn back the clock, I’d do it all over again.
It was amazing to be surrounded by such high caliber students and staff who were all encouraging and fabulous to work with. I took away many positive things from my week as a Summer Hoya.
As I am filling out my college applications, I am able to think back to my memories from the summer and I am reassured that I am pursuing the right educational path.
The program offers so much–from the off-site visits to the daily lectures and the on campus activities. The lectures were interesting, meeting new people was great and the off-site visits were interactive and intriguing.
Want to learn more?
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- Summer 2024
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Iowa Young Writers' Studio
Creative writing programming for high school students
2-week Summer Residential Program and 6-week Online Courses
2-Week Summer Residential Program
At the Summer Residential Program, you will choose a single core course—Poetry, Fiction, Creative Writing, Playwriting, or TV writing—as your focus for the two weeks of the program.
6-week Online Courses
We offer asynchronous 6-week online creative writing courses for high school students every winter and summer. You can study creative writing with us your own schedule, from anywhere in the world!
Teachers and Counselors
Teachers and counselors at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio are chosen, with rare exceptions, from among the students and graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Experience the Iowa Young Writers' Studio
Watch this short video for an inside look at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio experience.
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NOTICE: The University of Iowa Center for Advancement is an operational name for the State University of Iowa Foundation, an independent, Iowa nonprofit corporation organized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, publicly supported charitable entity working to advance the University of Iowa. Please review its full disclosure statement.
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Creative Writing Summer Program for High School Students
Why Take Creative Writing
Develop and amplify your writing voice in our immersive program. Guided by an outstanding faculty of published writers, you will experiment with multiple genres, deepen your understanding of the craft, and cultivate the confidence to share your work with the world.
What You'll Learn
During Interlochen's writing camp , you’ll focus intensively on two genres of creative writing. Genre workshops include:
In addition to exploring the fundamentals of your chosen genres, you'll discuss a wide range of published works, and craft your own pieces via in-class exercises and roundtable workshops with a class of dedicated peers. You’ll also experience the natural beauty of Northern Michigan via our Environmental Explorations class, attend readings by award-winning faculty and visiting authors, and learn to craft your work for publication and performance. Each session culminates in a camp anthology and student reading.
Students benefit from exposure to a broad range of literary forms. By studying forms outside of your primary genre, you’ll gain new insight into the styles you love most.
After enrolling, students rank the four genres in order of preference. We’ll do our best to accommodate the top two choices, however, space is limited. We encourage students to submit preferences as soon as possible!
- SESSION 1: June 23, 2024 to July 13, 2024
- SESSION 2: July 14, 2024 to August 4, 2024
- SESSION 1: January 15, 2024
- SESSION 2: January 15, 2024
Learn the fundamentals of narrative craft in addition to cutting-edge experimental techniques being used by contemporary fiction writers. Focus on the fundamental elements of writing short stories. You will explore story structure, point of view, characterization, plot development, setting, dialogue, and revision strategies.
Survey a variety of subgenres in the the nonfiction mode, particularly lyric and hybrid essays. Studies in structure, point of view, characterization, temporality, setting, revision strategies, and the subversion of genre conventions and received voices will give students the flexibility to adapt to a wide range of nonfiction genres.
Explore the fundamentals and contemporary techniques of poetic craft in the lyric, narrative, and dramatic modes, with particular attention given to imagery, voice, musicality, lineation, and forms—both received and invented.
Focus on character creation and dramatic structure. You will write scenes exploring conflict, action, dialogue, motivation, and stage directions while workshopping a scene in class.
"For me, writing feels like a release."
Learn more about Nailah's experience as a Creative Writing high school student at Arts Camp.
Meet the Faculty
Our creative writing instructors are committed educators and accomplished artists with extensive experience in their disciplines. As mentors, they are dedicated to helping you develop your own unique voice.
Please note the gallery may showcase previous instructors.
Instructor of Creative Writing
Visiting Instructor of Creative Writing
Instructor of Fiction
Karyna McGlynn, Ph.D.
Director of Creative Writing
The students will participate in a reading showcase in The Writing House Great Room at the end of the program.
Students contribute work to a print anthology that they can take home at the end of their session to remind them of a productive and inspiring summer.
The Writing House
During the three-week sessions, your artistic home will be the The Writing House. This comfortable space provides quiet work areas, ample seating for group projects, and a literary publications room with computer and printing stations. Take a 360-degree virtual tour .
We have additional camp program opportunities for young writers, including our one-week Comics & Graphic Narratives , Performance Writing & Spoken Word , Novel Writing , and Screenwriting intensives.
Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers a Creative Writing major, as well as a post-graduate year.
- Aja Gabel, author of The Ensemble
- Kaitlyn Greenidge, Harper's Bizarre features director and author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman
- Lily Hoang, associate professor of literature at University of California San Diego and author of Changing and A Bestiary
- Caitlin Horrocks, professor of creative writing at Grand Valley State University and author of Life Among the Terranauts and This is Not Your City
- Amy Kurzweil, The New Yorker cartoonist and author of Flying Couch
- Sarah Elaine Smith, author of Marilou is Everywhere and I Live in a Hut
This experience at Interlochen has been truly inspiring. I have seen and met so many people who have inspired me to continue with my own writing and explore other creative outlets like drawing and painting. The arts program at my own school is underfunded, so coming here has helped me really immerse myself in the arts.
Alexandra, Creative Writing