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Emerging Writers Institute
Emerging Writers Institute is a summer writing program for teens. Offered on the campuses of UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, Georgetown, and Yale, teens’ experience a unique curriculum designed to develop and support their imaginative writing across literary genres. This creative writing summer program encourages students to challenge themselves technically and artistically through guided daily writing workshops, one-on-one instructor evaluations, group editing sessions, and creative presentations of their work. In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore the literary culture of the area. By the program’s conclusion, students will produce and perfect quality pieces suitable for publication in their own literary magazine and professional teen publications.
Emerging Writers Institute is available to both middle school and high school students. In order to attend, students must demonstrate their potential as writers by submitting a creative writing sample during the application process.
What draws teens to your program?
Hands-down it's our immersive camp environment. We don't just have classes but create a writing community. We also happen to hire amazing instructors who are working writers from some of the best MFA programs in the country. Our instructors create college-level writing seminars that take craft and workshopping to the next level.
What type of teen attends your program?
All kinds! Some are really into writing and have been doing it for years. Some have won awards for their work, published in lit mags, and completed novels. Some enjoy writing and want to explore more. Some don't have much experience writing but love reading. Some are like, uh, sure, let me try writing!
Where do your participants come from?
From California to Connecticut, France to Japan, our students come from all over the US and the world.
What's a typical day like?
After breakfast, students gather for a morning meeting for some generative writing. Then it's workshop time! Our workshops are 3 hours every morning and include mini-lectures, readings, craft exercises, and constructive workshops. After lunch, students take electives, which are hour-long fun genre classes that could be on anything from screenwriting to science fiction to found poetry. In the afternoon, students have time to read/write followed by free time or maybe a trip to a local cafe, museum, or bookshop. Dinner is a great time to re-group, and afterward, we generally have more time to read/write followed by an evening activity which could be as mellow as a movie night in the dorms or a fun night out to a play in the area. Around 10 pm, we gather back in the dorms to get ready for bed. This all sounds busy, but there's also plenty of time to explore campus and hang out with new friends
What should participants expect to learn or take away from your program?
We want our students to proudly say that they are writers! Emerging Writers Institute is challenging, but our immersive program helps students find their voices and create original, well-crafted work. Most importantly, students make lit friends from around the world. A lot of our students keep in touch far after camp ends.
What are past participants saying about your program?
"The best feature of the camp was the open creative environment that allowed its students to really step beyond any fear and doubts they had concerning writing. The staff members were wonderful, interesting people to engage within and outside the classroom. I liked going out into surrounding cities and events (Poetry Slam!). It really exposed us to new and amazing things. The most important thing I learned was that practice makes perfect: don't let your muse tell you when to write, but rather sit down ten minutes every day and swim."
- Ana G., Emerging Writers Institute participant