25 Best High School Summer Writing Programs in 2024

student writing under supervision of teacher
Updated:
March 8, 2024
10 min read
Contents

”Rohan

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 3/8/24

Do you love reading and writing? If you are a creative with a love for reading books and have a passion for creative writing, playwriting, or journalism, check out these summer writing programs for high school students.

Every summer, several schools host writing programs for high school students. While some of these programs focus on the basics of writing, others are much more immersive. They teach various writing fields, including creative writing, research writing, scriptwriting, and poetry.

Whether you become the next Poet Laureate or the top-rated journalist, you can begin by attending a writing program this summer. Participating in these programs will build your skills and boost your college applications. Of the many writing programs, we bring to you the best writing programs for high schoolers. 

25 Best High School Summer Writing Programs in 2024

1. Princeton Summer Journalism Program at Princeton University 

Location: Princeton, NJ 

Program Length:10 days

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Grade 11-12 students

Start Date: July 26, 2024

Application Deadline: February 15, 2024

The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) offers a free, year-long journalism program for high school juniors from limited-income backgrounds. Students must go through a hybrid intensive period during the summer after their junior year, after which they work one-on-one with a personal college counselor during their senior year.

It is open to students with enthusiasm for journalism. You gain new writing and essential skills, including communication and work ethics. Other young creatives from around the world come together to learn and discuss topics ranging from culture, history, social issues, politics, and current events. You need no prior experience in journalism before joining this program.

2. YAWP Summer Teen Writing Fellowship at GrubStreet Center for Creative Writing in Seaport

Location: Boston, MA 

Program Length: Three weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: July 8, 2024

Application Deadline: March 18, 2024

YAWP (Young Artists and Writers Project) is a highly sought-after creative summer writing program for high school students. Within three weeks, you collaborate with published authors and meet with literary agents and editors. There are also trips to inspirational locales like the ICA and libraries. 

Students without writing experience can be a part of this program. However, it is open only to applicants who attend school in Suffolk, Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, or Plymouth counties, prioritizing Boston residents. Only 20 applicants are selected for this program.

Students will learn techniques in genres, including but not limited to fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and screenwriting. You also discover how to relate as a student in the literary world. Each student will receive a stipend of $625 at the end of the program.

3. The School of New York Times Summer Academy at The School of New York Times

Location: New York City, NY 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $7,220 for Residents and $5,935 for Day students 

Eligibility: Grade 10-12 students

Start Date: June 3, 2024

Application Deadline: April 1, 2024

The School of the New York Times offers various summer writing programs, covering topics like Writing on Tech, Opinion writing in journalism, commentary writing, creative writing, film writing, and other writing genres. Each topic is a different course on its own.

The instructors at this summer academy are industry experts, including award-winning journalists working at the New York Times. Students also explore New York City on field trips and unique visits. They also form connections with peers and students participating in graduate programs.

4. JCamp by Asian American Journalist Association

Location: Austin, TX 

Program Length: One week

Cost: Free 

Eligibility: Grade 10-12 students

Start Date: August 3, 2024

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

JCamp is a national journalism workshop for high school students. It runs for six days, during which students from diverse cultures come to learn from veteran journalists and leading media executives. 

Expect hands-on training, including multiplatform news packages for the program’s news site, JCamp Live, interactive workshops, and field trips. A requirement to be selected is an apparent keen interest in broadcasting, magazines, newspapers, photojournalism, or online media. 

5. Juniper Young Writers Writing Lab at the University of Massachusetts 

Location: Amherst, MA 

Program Length: Two weeks 

Cost: $2,500 

Eligibility: Grade 10-12 students

Start Date: July 29, 2024

Application Deadline: March 7, 2024

The University of Massachusetts offers a two-week residential summer writing program at the Juniper Institute for Young Writers. During this program, students learn about writing concepts through lectures, fiction workshops, and writing prompts. They will participate in writing labs, craft sessions, writer’s life talks, readings, and write-alongs.

In addition, students will visit destinations associated with the writers, poets, and activists who made Western Mass their home. Seasoned instructors are available to answer your questions about creative writing. A bonus is the first-hand look at college life during this residential program on the University of Massachusetts campus.

6. Smith College Creative Writing Workshop at Smith College

Location: Northampton, MA 

Program Length: Two weeks 

Cost: $4,745

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: July 6, 2024

Application Deadline: May 2024

Smith’s Creative Writing Workshop creates an avenue to explore writing in a creative and supportive environment. If you are passionate about creative writing, this program will enhance your love of writing. 

The classes employ a multi-draft writing model that embraces the unpredictability that occurs when we stop trying to control our writing. You learn a flexible writing approach that eliminates writer’s block and gives you access to your full creativity.

You also learn how to edit your work and others’ work. At the end of the program, you will have a budding online writing portfolio, an anthology with writing samples from all students, and professional contacts in the literary world.

7. Reynolds Young Writer’s Workshop at Denison University

Location: Granville, OH 

Program Length: One week

Cost: $1,500

Eligibility: Grade 11-12 students

Start Date: June 22, 2024

Application Deadline:  March 1, 2024

Denison University hosts a writer's workshop every year where core faculty members teach each student. The training begins with an introduction to the fundamentals and the depths of creative writing across the genres. Classes include writing exercises, short reading assignments, and craft discussions. 

Aside from writing workshops, you can meet with faculty members to discuss your work, aspirations, and writing goals. Not only the faculty members, you also get to meet and connect with acclaimed poets and writers.

During leisure, you can participate in cultural and recreational opportunities in Granville and Columbus. These include excursions to the Columbus Museum of Art, hiking in Denison’s 350-acre bio-reserve, movies, swimming, volleyball, bowling, and more.

8. The Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers by the Alpha Group 

Location: Greensburg, PA 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $1,500

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: July 24, 2024

Application Deadline: April 15, 2024

The Alpha workshop for high school students teaches students how to write stories in the sci-fi, horror, and fantasy genres. You learn how to generate and convert ideas into a draft. You also learn how to submit to professionals, attack revisions, and build a career in writing.

Alpha selects 20 students with significant experience in writing. Although the workshop is held at the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg, the university has no affiliation with Alpha Workshop For Young Writers Inc.

9. Liberal Arts Intensive at Barnard College

Location: Broadway, NY 

Program Length: Seven weeks

Cost: $13,724 for residents and $9,434 for commuters.

Eligibility: Grade 11-12 students

Start Date: July 24, 2024

Application Deadline: March 10, 2024

The liberal arts intensive summer program covers several writing courses, including the Art of the Essay, reading, and writing workshops. The Art of Essay course includes discussions about cogent subject matters. 

Students get to write three types of essays that center on personal experience as valuable evidence of more significant phenomena or patterns. All activities aim to hone your observing, questioning, describing, analyzing, and persuading skills. 

High school females can also benefit from the course that teaches feminist life writing and women's fairy tales. In the end, you earn three college credits. You can use the credits at Barnard or transfer them to any college or university that accepts credit transfers.

10. Pre-College Experience at Emory University

Location: Atlanta, GA 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $4,803 for residents and $3,435 for commuters.

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: June 16, 2024

Application Deadline: May 17, 2024

Emory University hosts high school students for different courses, including creative writing, during the summer. 

It is an introductory poetry course that analyzes a wide range of contemporary poems to develop the skills necessary for generating original poems. This summer school course includes poetry reading and a class chapbook production featuring every student's work. 

11. Pre-College Creative Writers Workshop at Emerson College

Location: Boston, MA 

Program Length: Four weeks

Cost: $4,310

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: July 8, 2024

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

Emerson College’s Creative Writers Workshop is one of the best creative summer programs for high school students. This workshop helps develop writing skills through intensive coursework that offers fiction, comedy, prose, scriptwriting, and performance poetry courses. 

You will write, revise, and compile a portfolio of your work, which is an addition to your college application. It comprises a series of faculty readings, literary hangouts, and open mic nights, all in a bid to learn how to collaborate with other writers. 

12. Hoya Summer Sessions at Georgetown University

Location: Washington, DC 

Program Length: Four weeks

Cost: $6,159

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: June 3, 2024

Application Deadline: May 15, 2024

Hoya Summer Session is an intensive writing and culture course that accepts 15 students. These students will learn how to use writing as a tool for inquiry. Their training will teach them to read critically, focusing on language, context, and form. 

Students will understand how to write for different rhetorical situations, taking note of the genre, context, and technology. Also, you learn the intricacies of language use, including grammar, punctuation, syntax, and semantics. 

You learn to research, evaluate, and synthesize appropriate evidence to build effective analyses and arguments. The training also entails navigating new forms of communication, for example, the social media platforms that spring up regularly.

13. Sewanee Young Writers' Conference at Education Unlimited 

Location: Sewanee, TN 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $2575 

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: June 30, 2024

Application Deadline: February 16, 2024

The SYWC is a summer conference for high schoolers passionate about creative writing. Within two weeks, you will read, cultivate your writing, and form a community with other young writers worldwide. 

The courses cover the following genres: fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, songwriting, fantasy, and science fiction. When students are not reading, they are in book discussions or optional craft classes. 

Outside writing activities, students take guided hikes on Sewanee's 13,000-acre domain, sing karaoke, participate in talent shows, play board games, or hang out with friends in the dorm.

14. Emerging Writers Institute Creative Writing Camp

Location: Berkeley, CA 

Program Length: One week

Cost: $995 

Eligibility: Grade 10-12 students

Start Date: June 10, 2024

Application Deadline: April 29, 2024

The Emerging Writers Institute creative writing camp provides an experience for students to develop and support their imaginative writing across literary genres. The genres include fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. 

Students undergo intensive workshops, literary outings, one-on-one instructor evaluations, group editing sessions, and creative work presentations.

Experienced authors and instructors are on the ground to help young writers hone their craft in a collaborative environment. Also, young writers worldwide will form and sustain literary friendships that can last a lifetime. 

15. Iowa Young Writers’ Studio at the University of Iowa

Location: Iowa City, IA 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $2,500 

Eligibility: Grade 10-12 students

Start Date: June 16, 2024

Application Deadline: February 4, 2024

Students in the Summer Residential Program take an immersive course within two weeks. These courses are taught by graduates of the renowned Iowa Writers' Workshop

You can choose from fiction writing, poetry writing, creative writing (which includes some combination of poetry, fiction, and personal essays), TV writing, and playwriting. Students will participate in writing exercises, receiving constructive criticism from teachers and peers. 

They’ll also conduct craft workshops, engage in discussions on writing-adjacent subjects (such as literary translation, film, and mental health), organize readings by existing published writers, and facilitate collaborative projects among students.

16. Pre-College Writing and Culture Program at Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Pittsburgh, PA 

Program Length: Four weeks

Cost: $8,995 for residents and $6,800 for commuters 

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: June 22, 2024

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

At CMU, high school students explore writing, culture, and film through traditional, historical, and contemporary lenses. You will learn critical and creative thinking, which will cause you to write effectively for college and beyond. You also gain a toolkit that helps you interpret written and visual stories from different viewpoints.

Upon completion, you will produce a body of works containing short-form writing, film development and production, and preparatory materials to help you set a strong foundation in the humanities. This program adds individualized feedback and guidance, increasing your strengths and interests. 

17. Beginning Screenwriting Program at Loyola Marymount University

Location: Los Angeles, CA 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $5,800

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: June 23, 2024

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

In the heart of the entertainment capital, the Beginning Screenwriting program stands out as one of the best summer writing programs for high school students in the U.S. The teachers are experienced screenwriters.

These instructors teach the basic elements of screenwriting and broaden their writing skills. The training explores structure, character development, dialogue, descriptive action, and formatting in a supportive workshop environment. 

18. Pre-College Summer School Program at Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, MA 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $5,550

Eligibility: Grade 11-12 students

Start Date: June 23, 2024

Application Deadline: April 10, 2024

The Harvard Pre-College Summer School Program is a two-week summer program offering high school students a Speech, Writing, and Literature course. If you seek to pursue a career in writing, you should take this course. 

This course covers creative writing, English, expository writing, journalism, and speech. Students can expect to build valuable academic skills and learn to live independently on a college campus.

19. The Multicultural Journalism Program (MJP) at the University of Alabama

Location: Tuscaloosa, AL 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: Free 

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: TBA

Application: Deadline: April 1, 2024

While students are still in high school, the University of Alabama selects 10 to 15 students to attend an intensive workshop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The workshop emphasizes writing, editing, graphics, multimedia reporting, and basic communication skills. 

The workshop begins from day one under the direction of the faculty and visiting professionals. At the end of the program, participants showcase their work via an MJP Journal, a newspaper, and a website. 

The tutors are journalists from around the state and are paired with each student. Many tutors contact their assigned youngsters throughout the year and into their careers. 

20. Tisch’s Future Dramatic Writers Workshop at New York University 

Location: New York City, NY 

Program Length: Four weeks

Cost: Free 

Eligibility: Grade 9-11 students

Start Date: July 4, 2024

Application Deadline: February 1, 2024

The Dramatic Writers Workshop gives students a glimpse of what it means to study and write drama. It is a free, highly focused academic and professional writing program for students with the talent and the will to write for theatre, film, and television. 

The schedule includes professional training in Dance, Drama, Production and design, Dramatic Writing, and Filmmaking. The Tisch Summer High School Program is tuition-based, and students earn about four to six college credits.

21. Yale Young Writers’ Workshop at Yale University 

Location: Online 

Program Length: One week

Cost: $950 

Eligibility: Grade 10-12 students

Start Date: July 7, 2024

Application Deadline: April 1, 2024

Yale Young Writers' work is yet another one of the creative writing summer programs for high school students to look out for. A group of bookish wordsmiths come together to generate and share their work in an intimate, non-competitive, online community. 

There are three genres (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry) to choose from, each with twelve writers. Participants attend talks, open mics, and student readings and learn about careers in writing. 

Participants will read one assigned book from a visiting writer at the start of the workshop to investigate writing techniques. The faculty has gifted teachers and published writers who will challenge students to produce their best work.

22. Young Writer’s Summer Residential Workshop at Kenyon College

Location: Gambier, OH 

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $950 

Eligibility: Grade 10-12 students

Start Date: July 23, 2024

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

At Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshops, 12 to 14 passionate high school students come together to stretch their talents, discover new strengths, and challenge themselves. This program combines individual conferences with peer-led group discussions and exercises.

The aim is to help students recognize and work on their writing skills. You will also be able to participate in a genre session where one genre or element of writing will be explored in-depth. 

23. Young Writers Workshop at Bard College

Location: Great Barrington, MA 

Program Length: 3 weeks

Cost: $3,500

Eligibility: Grade 9-11 students

Start Date: July 7, 2024

Application Deadline: May 2024

Instead of focusing only on the writing style, this three-week writers workshop at Bard College focuses on enhancing language and thinking skills, which are key skills for effective writing. You will engage in reading and writing activities within small groups of 12. 

In the workshop, you will read various challenging texts to examine form, content, and evolving ideas in our world. Evening revising and journal writing assignments complement the daily readings and writing activities. 

You build a portfolio in the end. But much more than that, You will learn how to find your writing voice and style. 

24. Creative Writing Studio at Auburn University

Location: Auburn, AL 

Program Length: One week

Cost: $880

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: June 16, 2024

Application Deadline: April 2024

Creative Writing Studio at Auburn University is dedicated to feeding the passionate muse and sharpening your writing skills in three genres – fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. 

You will participate in workshops and writing craft classes to help you create original fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Also, you will read some established work pieces daily, with an eye toward the architecture of how they are made. 

They offer a tour of how a literary journal, the acclaimed Southern Humanities Review, works. Expect to experience campus life in Auburn's resident dormitories while you enjoy evening social and recreational activities.

25. Screenwriting Institute at Wake Forest University 

Location: Winston-Salem, NC 

Program Length: One week

Cost: $2,800

Eligibility: Grade 9-12 students

Start Date: June 23, 2024

Application Deadline: April 2024

The Wake Forest Summer Immersion Screenwriting Institute is an unforgettable experience for students interested in screenwriting and storytelling. It is a week-long program designed to teach the art and craft of writing screenplays for film, television, and/or video games. You will learn how to write your screenplay and create two short original screenplays by the end of the week.

FAQs: 25 Best High School Summer Writing Programs in 2024

Summer writing programs are great investments for high school students. Here are answers to some other questions you may have. 

1. How Do Summer Writing Programs Benefit High School Students?

Summer writing programs offer numerous benefits to high school students. Firstly, they allow students to enhance their writing skills in a focused and immersive environment. These programs expose students to different styles of writing, literary works, and discussions about the craft of writing. It offers them a platform to improve their writing skills and build a supportive community of fellow writers.

2. Are There Specific Eligibility Criteria for High School Students to Join Summer Writing Programs?

Yes. Eligibility criteria for summer writing programs vary depending on the specific program. Most programs have age restrictions or grade-level requirements. It’s important to carefully review the eligibility criteria outlined by each program and ensure you meet any specified requirements before applying. 

3. How Can Participating in a Summer Writing Program Enhance a High School Student's College Applications?

Joining a summer writing program boosts college applications, showing your love for literature and creativity. It's great for English, creative writing, or journalism interests. You'll create a portfolio, proving your skills for admissions committees.

Final Thoughts

Summer programs set you apart in college application, particularly at highly selective schools. Now that you have a list of the top summer writing programs for high school students, start preparing your application materials. 

Materials include transcripts, application essays, letters of recommendation, or sample writing materials. If you need financial aid, ensure that you apply before the application deadline. While at it, check out this list of internship opportunities for high school students.

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