Creative Writing

Grades 9–12

Location: Natural Sciences Building, Room 1063

Interested in creative writing? Create original work in various genres: fiction, poetry, playwriting, memoir, and essay. Guided by accomplished, experienced instructors who foster a supportive atmosphere of productivity and fun, the workshop-style format allows you to share your work and encourages discussions of writing technique and craft, including voice, character, tone, plot, and point of view. Produce polished pieces that can be used for college essays and/or award submissions. The program culminates in a reading to which friends and family are invited and publication in the institute’s online literary journal.


Typical Day

  • The workshop students will have use of the computer lab, so it’s not necessary to bring laptops from home; however, they are free to do so if they want to.
  • The buildings tend to be cold. Students should bring a sweatshirt.
  • Students may bring lunch or purchase food at the campus cafeteria.

 Humanities Building, Classroom and Computer Lab

9:30 am The writers convene in their classroom in the Humanities Building.

 9:30am-11:00am Each day, students will be introduced to a new element of writing craft (voice, tone, diction, dialogue, etc.). There will be a discussion of technique, and a related writing exercise (or exercises) that students will share.

 11:00am-12:00pm Intro of the Daily Writing Prompt, computer lab. Every day the students are given an optional writing prompt with the idea that at least one will develop into a longer piece that will be revised and polished. Spending at least twenty minutes on the daily prompt is good for writing practice, and for stretching our writers’ technique, imagination, and perception of their own capabilities.

 12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch. Students will have their lunch with the teaching assistants in/near the cafeteria.

 1:00pm-2:30pm Writing period. Students spend this time writing, drafting, revising, and polishing their pieces. Teacher and teaching assistants will be available to offer feedback.

 2:30pm-3:30pm Group activities: a variety of writing and relevant games modified from acting models to explore character, dialogue, plot, and rhetorical devices such as alliteration, assonance, diction, tone, etc.  

 Workshop: Each student shares the pieces that he or she is developing and revising (the exercises are shared daily— workshop is for pieces that the writers want to perfect). Students offer positive feedback as well as constructive criticism for the revision of the works in progress. Workshop is always guided by the instructor.

 Week 1: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, workshops

Week 2: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, workshops, revision, final reading.

 Final Reading: On the last day of the program, there will be a reading to which families and friends are welcome to attend.

Session II: July 15–July 26
Monday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
$1,200 for the first registration
$1,080 for the second registration in the family, Purchase College employees and alumni, and early registrations (received by May 10, 2019)

For a well-rounded summer, combine with Songwriting Workshop, Acting on Camera Boot CampMusical Theatre Boot CampModern JournalismWeb App Creator and Python Programmer, and/or Architecture Intensive

About the Instructor