Focused on sharpening student writing in the domains fiction, and non-fiction, the Great Books Writer's Workshop builds on fifteen years of experience engaging students in big conversations by providing a program wherein they articulate their own answers.
Emphasizing creativity, students work with accomplished writers in an intensive atmosphere dedicated to either generating new work or honing existing projects in one of four program tracks.
Students who enroll in Writer's Workshop will choose one of the following program tracks in which to develop their work:
Poetry: 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 others', and learned strategies for revision. Amherst College.
Non-fiction: 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. Amherst College and Stanford University.
Generative fiction: The goal of the Generative Fiction track is to help students build a portfolio of “starter” writing projects that they can use to start new fictional writing projects. Students will engage with creative prompts and exercises aimed at helping them hone their writing craft while producing new work that can be built upon in the future. Amherst College and Stanford University.
Manuscript fiction: 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 to each piece. Amherst College.
Screen Writing: description coming soon. Stanford University
Graphic Novel: description coming soon. Stanford University
Days begin with a seminar aimed at awakening creative impulses and nuancing craft. Supervised writing time follows before students head to lunch with the larger Great Books community. 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. An art elective of their choosing rounds out the afternoon before 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.
Beyond engaging in intensive creation alongside expert faculty, students come away from the Writer's Workshop replete with new ideas, a brimming portfolio, and, most importantly, a refined sense of their own voice.
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. Request a brochure to learn more!