Now in its second year, our Writer's Workshop has grown! After the success of our inaugural senior program at Amherst, we've expanded to include both intermediate programs (grades 6-8) and senior programs (grades 9-12) at both Amherst and Stanford!
Emphasizing creativity and skill building, students will work with accomplished writers to hone their craft. Beyond engaging in intensive creation alongside expert faculty, students will come away from Writer's Workshop replete with new ideas, a brimming portfolio, and, most importantly, a refined sense of their own voice.
Please see details for the intermediate and senior programs below.
The Writer's Workshop Intermediate Program will give students the opportunity to try their hand at various genres while learning key skills and writing techniques. Students will learn about character building, dialogue, vivid descriptions, voice, time and more in poetry, prose and non-fiction writing.
This energizing program features seminars, small group classes and supervised writing time aimed at awakening creative impulses as experienced faculty writers introduce craft techniques. Students will engage with creative writing prompts and exercises aimed to inspire during supervised writing time. Sharing works with teachers and peers will provide constructive critique.
Afternoons include a free time period wherein students have a chance to unwind. Dinner follows and reading time precedes an evening event: either a guest speaker, a reading by a well-known writer, a camp-wide game or, on Thursdays, the much-anticipated weekly dance.
Space is limited in this inaugural program. Whether signing up just for a week of writing or adding a session of Great Books too, register now to secure your spot.
The Writer's Workshop Senior Program provides an intensive atmosphere dedicated to either generating new work or honing existing projects. Days begin with a seminar aimed at awakening creative impulses and nuancing craft. Supervised writing time follows before students head to lunch. Refueled and refreshed, they then proceed to workshop: two hours of critical engagement with one another's work, divided into small groups determined by genre and led by an experienced faculty member.
Afternoons include a free time period wherein students have a chance to unwind. Dinner follows and reading time preceds an evening event: either a guest speaker, a reading by a well-known writer, a camp-wide game or, on Thursdays, the much-anticipated weekly dance.
Students who enroll in the Writer's Workshop Senior Program will choose one of the following program tracks in which to develop their work. Please note campus availability for each.
Generative Fiction (Amherst & Stanford): The goal of the Generative Fiction track is to help students build a portfolio of "starter" writing projects as they engage with creative prompts and exercises aimed at helping them produce new work that can be built upon in the future. As they hone their craft, students will gain the skills necessary to develop and revise their own fictional prose while workshopping and refining work with peers.
Graphic Novel (Stanford): The Graphic Novel track will give students the opportunity to bring their writing skills and artistic interests together on the page. Students will examine the possibilities of combining images with the written word by analyzing the range of genres encompassed under the umbrella of the "graphic novel": comics, memoirs, and novelistic fiction, among others. Students will learn about the history of this literary form as they produce their original work.
Non-Fiction (Amherst & Stanford): The Non-Fiction track will focus on the art of the personal essay. Students will explore the creative potential of essay writing by reading a variety of non-fiction writing and examining expository, argumentative and narrative essay forms. This is an especially good workshop for students wishing to cultivate their college admissions essay.
Poetry (Amherst): The Poetry track will focus on generating writing that explores poetic language, including cadence, rhythm, visual texture, and meaning. Students will examine the potential of poetic language compared to more traditional prose forms. At the end of the week, students will have written new material, developed ways of talking about their own work and the work of others and learned strategies for revision.
Screenwriting (Stanford): The Screenwriting track will engage students in the creative process of script writing as well as the technical elements of script formatting. Students will dig into character-building, story development, voice, and dialogue as they simultaneously explore screenplay form. Through the examination of screenplay excerpts and focused writing exercises, students will develop skills and create original screenplays that can continue to be honed in the future.
Manuscript Fiction (Amherst): The manuscript fiction track focuses on key elements of prose fiction, including point of view, style, the play and pause of time, character-building, dialogue, and vivid descriptions. Students in this workshop must submit a substantial story or excerpt from a novel (four pages) ready to share at the beginning of the week. Workshop faculty and peers will provide critically engaged feedback for each piece.
Register solely for Writer's Workshop or, better yet, add a week of writing to your Great Books experience! Apply today!
Whether you choose to focus on your college essay, your novel manuscript, or are looking to generate new work, this intensive writing environment brings together passionate young writers with professional writing teachers and mentors. Develop your voice, hone your craft, and be inspired with us at Amherst College and Stanford University.