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Young Writers Workshop

writers workshop - Young writers workshop web banner
Messiah College’s annual Young Writers Workshop is a summer writing program with residential and commuter options held on the scenic, suburban campus of Messiah College, located just 12 miles from Harrisburg, PA.

The 2014 edition of the Young Writers Workshop, running July 20 - 24, will foster an ongoing community of young writers entering grades 9 through 12. Through this enriching, summer writing camp environment students will learn to improve their skills as writers, thus promoting their success in high school and preparing them for success in college.

The Young Writers Workshop provides college-level writing skills development, offering students the choice of three distinct tracks: creative writing, memoir writing, and playwriting.

Creative Writing Track

(fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction)

Overview: This track focuses on writing, reading and discussing works of short fiction and poetry. Students will write original works of short fiction and poetry, critique each other’s work, produce a portfolio, and do a reading for parents and classmates.

Writing Your Life Track

(reading and writing autobiography, memoir, and personal accounts)


Overview: Everyone has a memoir - it's not just for old people! Students will write a series of self-reflection and observation pieces, building a collection of perspectives about their own lives. In doing so, we will practice a number of vital writing skills that are applicable to both high school and college work. Activities will include interviews, observation walks, time for personal reflection, short journal assignments, and lively discussions about the relationships between good writing and a life well-considered.

Playwriting Track

(from script to stage)

Overview: In playwriting, we will work, work, work, so bring your most comfortable artist's work clothes. This will be "play work," a mix of improvisation, scene work, monologue and dialogue writing, and staging. Together we will discover that the "spine" of a good play is conflict. This then allows an audience to witness (even participate in) a created world in which its heroes are confronting the problems of their lives! We will read some good plays, and then finally present some of our best work as staged readings to an audience of parents and friends.  P.S., if you are into musical theatre, bring your musical instruments and vocal skills along, and we will utilize them too.