Teen Creative Writing Workshops
In our workshops, there are no exams, no grades and no wrong answers: only creative writing. We believe that good writers are also good readers, and that workshop is as important for sharpening writers’ critical skills as it is for honing their craft. Our workshops are supportive, collaborative, and aimed at helping each writer develop his or her unique voice. We focus on the elements that are universal to all genres: language, point of view, structure, plot, setting, character and time. Teen writers tend to find their people in our workshops: like-minded writers and creative souls who turn into a community of friends and champions. Better writers are more prepared for university and, eventually, for the workplace.
Advanced Teen Creative Writing Workshops
Our advanced workshops are genre-specific, and are aimed at students who are writing at an advanced level in one or more genres–fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama or screenwriting. These writers are looking to deepen their understanding and practice of their craft, and to sharpen their critical and editorial skills. Though our advanced workshops will include generative exercises, writers will “put up” pieces they have written at home for workshop discussion. Our advanced workshops encourage students to read published work as well as each other’s drafts with a critical yet supportive eye, and to take risks with language, voice, structure and other elements of craft.
Kids’ Creative Writing Workshops
Since kids are natural storytellers, we help our youngest writers tap into the wild, creative and magical worlds of their imaginations. We guide them to turn these worlds into concrete stories with beginnings, middles and ends. We engage kids in writing with fun, silly and imaginative games, prompts and exercises. As with all our workshops, each kid will finish the trimester with a fully developed piece of writing. Our kids’ workshops explore different genres–including fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama. They promote joy and curiosity in language and storytelling.
There is a crisis in the university and high school classroom: students lack the fundamentals to write a cogent essay. Many of these students are articulate and able to think critically, but they lose their confidence and interest in writing when faced with the blank page. In our essay workshops, we empower even the most reluctant writers to approach essay writing with creativity, curiosity and joy. We help students develop their critical thinking, research, draft writing and close reading skills. Our workshop method makes writing collaborative and open: as a group, we make writing more accessible, more creative and more engaging.
College Admissions Essay Workshops
Our admissions essay workshops prepare students to write an outstanding personal essay. Many students find the personal essay the most daunting part of the admissions process, yet admissions officers frequently cite it as the most essential criteria for acceptance. Our workshops help students identify significant life experiences, write effectively in the first person, reflect on profound personal themes and stand out from the masses. As a group, we brainstorm and work through several drafts, so each student receives ample critical feedback and is ready to tackle the rest of the application process stress-free. Our students have gained entrance to Stanford University, Columbia University, Tufts University, Sarah Lawrence College, University of Edinburgh, University of Toronto, University of Pennsylvania, and many other competitive schools.
As a creative community, our writers are often kids and teens who love books and who want to discuss books in an extracurricular setting, away from the academic constraints of an English class. In our book clubs, we don’t merely discuss books as readers; we discuss them as writers, too. We read with a critical eye, focusing on the elements of craft that are working (or not working), and citing specific examples. Our book clubs are student-centered; we discuss the books our students actually want to read, and we give merit and space to our students’ opinions. When possible, we have the author join us either by Skype or in person for questions.