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Shine With These Summer Writing Programs!

Summer break is heaven for writers; responsibilities are slim, and you can endlessly dedicate yourself to writing.

It is the perfect time to continue writing the draft of that novel you neglected over the school year, indulge in some outdoor writing, and, overall, improve your craft. 

Not only that, but with the beginning of summer comes the commencement of numerous summer writing programs. There are ample local writing programs that are a perfect opportunity for teens to improve their writing skills. Of these programs, I’ve highlighted the Iowa Young Writers 2-Week Residential Workshop, Iowa’s 6-Week Online Course, and Midwest Writing as the peak programs to apply to. 


Iowa Young Writers Workshop: A 2-Week Residential Program

With a 10-15% acceptance rate, the Iowa Young Writers Workshop is the prestigious writing program fit for a high school student with a passion for writing. The workshop has three core classes to choose from: play writing, TV writing, or creative writing. 

To submit an application, students must gather a portfolio. This is a 10-page sample of the writer’s “Best of." A letter of recommendation from an advisor familiar with your writing and a two-page “statement of purpose" are also needed in a student's application. 

Applications are typically accepted through late January to early February, and there is a $10 fee to submit an application. Application results are sent out in early April, and students will be informed whether they were accepted, rejected, or are an alternate. 

At the IYWW, students stay at the University of Iowa for two weeks, experiencing writing workshops, analyzing texts, reading, and overall improving their writing skills through discussions with their peers. 

Mrs. Albright, an English teacher here at North Scott, attended this 2-week residential program when she was in high school.

"I really like the program. For me, it pushed me outside the box of what I was familiar with in writing. It's really intense—it's two weeks of basically getting your writing torn apart, which maybe sounds terrible to some people, but actually it's really good for you. Because if writing is a passion for you, then you're probably good at it, and you likely hear a lot of compliments from your teachers, friends, and parents because they care about you and want you to do well. But then you get put into a room with actual writers, and they're like, 'Hey, you have something to improve on,' and it's a bit of a shock to hear at first, but it only makes you grow by the end of those 2 weeks. I was such a better writer; it was actually insane. The program pushed me to grow so much, and I still use things I used in that program in my writing—it definitely stuck with me my whole life. I would recommend it to everyone," said Mrs. Albright.


Although applications are closed now, keep the IYWW in mind for next year! This program is a magnificent opportunity to develop your writing skills, plus it's close to home, so you don’t have to worry about a strenuous drive. 


Iowa Young Writers Workshop: A 6-Week Online Program

For those writers who enjoy the idea of a writing workshop but dislike the residential aspect of the IYWW, Iowa’s six-week online course is the perfect option for you. 

Throughout the 6 weeks, students improve their writing skill set through their online instructor, submitting their works and discussion posts regardless of where they are in the world.


Additionally, the online program has two sessions per year: one in the summer and one in the fall. Although the application period for this summer’s program has passed, it's a great time to start on an application for the winter program, as the applications open through September and October.


The online courses are quite diverse, ensuring that there is something for every writer. For instance, the courses for this summer include a class on personal and non-fiction essays, a class on poetry and perception, one on creative writing, and lastly, a class on fiction writing. 

Make sure to check out Iowa’s website and put the upcoming application dates on your calendar! These programs will undoubtedly improve a writer’s skill set, so you might as well try out submitting an application. 


The Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program, led by the Midwest Writing Center, is another great local program.

Applications typically open in January and close in early May. In 2024, applications are open until May 15th. The YEW is a paid internship opportunity dedicated to supporting young writers in the Quad Cities. Together, these students work to create another edition of The Atlas Literary Magazine. The YEW spans seven weeks and is held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from June 10 through July 24th. 

The YEW provides instructions and teachings on a diverse set of writing styles and processes, procuring the perfect environment for writers to hone and mature their skill set. Throughout the course of the program, students will develop a variety of professional skills, including editing, magazine production, and collaborative project management. Not only that, but the Midwest Writing Center is located on Rock Island! Making it quite close to North Scott. 

For more information, make sure to check out the Midwest Writing Center website and consider submitting an application! Hybrid options are available as well, so even if you are unable to make it to every in-person meeting, you can still be involved! 

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1 bình luận

Super cool article! I didn't know these programs existed.

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