Boulder Writing Studio’s creative writing summer camp is an opportunity for authors ages 13 –17 to spend two-and-a-half weeks producing, revising, and publishing creative work ranging the gamut of literary genres and forms. Through a variety of classroom-tested writing prompts, multi-modal activities, and hearty class discussions, we will spend the summer tapping into the natural curiosity of young authors’ minds, guiding students toward finding and developing their literary voice, and promoting engagement with literature as a product and writing as a process.
Boulder Writing Studio’s Teen Authors Project strives to:
-Facilitate in building and retaining a vocabulary for students to discuss literature and writing.
-Develop skills in reading like a writer by exposing youth to canonical and emerging literary works.
-Provide a wellspring of narrative techniques from which students can draw after the camp concludes.
-Offer a balance of encouraging support and pointed critique on individual writing projects in one-on-one student-instructor conferences.
-Cultivate recognition of audience and purpose through envisioning publication as a stage in the writing process.
-Contribute to the development of writers rather than merely writing.
Throughout the summer, we will work toward the ultimate goal of creating, compiling, and completing the first issue of the Boulder Writing Studio teen author’s literary journal.
Week 1 will serve as an introduction to the formal foundations of craft while offering a healthy number of writing prompts for producing work. We will first explore the basic elements of writing—such as plot, character, point of view, setting, time, symbolism, and metaphor—then practice synthesizing these elements on the page. Our objective for this week will be building a vocabulary for discussing each others’ writing and generating a number of micro-pieces that will serve as launching points for longer work.
Week 2 will concern the revision and rewriting process as well as understanding (and ultimately challenging) genre conventions. We will spend mornings conducting group workshops and considering techniques for re-seeing our work, and afternoons exploring genres such as mystery and fantasy in fiction, the food and the travel essay, and the found poem. We will also entertain visits from local published authors such as BWS’s Executive Director Robert Gatewood, and members of the MFA program at UC-Boulder and the creative writing PhD program at the University of Denver.
Week 3 will focus on polishing our pieces for publication, investigating contemporary literary magazines, and choosing the design and organizing principles for the first issue of the BWS teen literary journal. Students will become—in addition to published authors—members of the journal’s masthead, where each author has an important editorial responsibility. As the editorial board, we will learn and employ copyediting and proofreading skills, determine the design elements for our journal, and create a cover.
At the conclusion of each day’s meeting, students will submit their work for tailored feedback from the TAP Instructor. Submitted work will be accepted in the form of hard copies or via our optional digital discussion board. Feedback in either form will serve to foster an ongoing, summer-long conversation about our written products and the writing process. At the end of camp, we will have collaboratively created a literary product of our own, featuring a number of creative pieces from a range of literary genres, as well as a book review, artists’ statement, and biographical statement from each teen author. The BWS teen author literary journal will be professional printed and bound. BWS will donate a copy of the issue to local public and school libraries, and parents, family, and friends will have the option of purchasing the journal at the end of the summer.
One session = 14 meetings from 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m.