Young Writers March Break Camp
March 13 to 17 or March 20 to 24, 2017
Registration is open now.
Do you love to read, and want to write like your literary heroes?
Are you ready to dive into the world of story, and craft a short story you’ll be proud of?
Great news! This March Break, we’re running a special program designed just for you.
Introducing the Young Writers March Break camp,
for writers ages 15 to 18.
We’re thrilled to announce an online course for young writers who read and write for fun (not just for English class!) and are ready to go deeper.
This week-long course is for you if:
- you spent your childhood daydreaming, scribbling in a journal, or writing plays, poems and songs
- you know your overactive imagination is one of your superpowers
- books feel like oxygen to you—essential for survival!
Perhaps you’ve already started writing short stories but know they could be strengthened: made more believable, or more exciting. You’re ready to learn the mechanics of fiction writing so you can create something spectacular.
Maybe you’ve never tried to write fiction, but the idea of it makes you scared-excited—in a good way. (That’s your subconscious telling you to go for it!)
This course will allow you to go deeper with your writing. We’re going to pop up the hood and take a look at the mechanics of story, so that you can write the kind of short stories you love to read!
What you’ll learn:
Lesson 1: Freewriting
This lesson will help you write using a bed of concrete, sensory detail from imagination and from memory. We’ll help you open up your mental treasure chest to explore all the rich and wonderful story elements you already have inside you.
Lesson 2: Starting a story
Where do stories come from? And how do you start writing one? This lesson will help you see the stories all around you, and dive in with energy and confidence.
Lesson 3: Character
Your character is your story. Her dreams, fears, quirks and unique way of seeing the world bring your story to life. We’ll learn how to make your characters so authentic that a narrative will start unfolding organically around them. Magic!
Lesson 4: Dialogue
Dialogue is an essential ingredient in fiction. It allows the reader to be in the room with your characters, listening in on their most intimate conversations. But it isn’t the same as real-life conversation: not exactly. You’ll learn about that special quality that dialogue needs to propel your story forward.
Lesson 5: Influence
Other writers have much to teach us. You’ll start to flourish as a writer when you learn how to pay thoughtful attention to the stories you love. We’ll show you how to do that. You’ll also finish the first draft of your short story.
How it works:
This is an online course that you can do from the comfort of your home. All you need is a computer with a solid Internet connection, a notebook, and some fast-writing writing pens. (A printer would also be helpful if you prefer to read on paper.)
Students should be able to commit at least four hours a day to reading, writing, and participating in the course. The course requires a commitment to yourself and your writing, and to your classmates, who will be looking forward to your feedback.
You’ll be assigned to a small class with a dedicated teacher. Classes will be held every day; the date and time of your class will depend on your availability and time zone. You’ll be writing in your notebook during the classes, and participating via voice and chat.
Between classes, you will be asked to read some short stories we’ve chosen carefully for you, finish your writing assignments, and participate in the online forum by discussing the readings and lessons, and giving your classmates feedback and encouragement.
You’ll build a toolkit of techniques that will set you up for a lifetime of rich, fulfilling writing. And you’ll finish a draft of a short story you’ll be proud of.
A note on the readings (for young writers and their parents):
We want you to stretch and grow as writers during our time together. For that reason we’ve hand-picked short stories that will challenge and inspire you.
The readings are literary short stories with young characters and themes we know will be of interest to young writers: growing up, falling in love, mortality, the awkwardness of “fitting in.” They are not, however, children’s stories. Some deal with mature themes and/or contain swearing or sexual references. There’s nothing gratuitous, violent, or particularly offensive (we don’t like that stuff either), but we do want to flag the maturity level, along with the fact that you must be 15 to take the course.
Parents, please feel free to email us if you would like to review the readings before enrolling your young writer. We’re happy to help!
Meet the teachers:
Shannon won first prize at the 2014 Eden Mills Writers’ Festival literary contest as well as the 2016 Matrix Lit Pop awards. Her stories have appeared in The New Quarterly, Joyland, Matrix Magazine and soon, Found Press. She is hard at work on her first novel. She lives in Toronto where she helps animals and eats burritos.
Shannon’s class will be every day from March 13-17, 2017, at 9:30am-11:30am PT.
Nicole’s writing has appeared Joyland, the Feathertale Review, and in several newspapers including the Toronto Star, where she used to be a reporter. She’s the co-creator and editor of a collection of women’s writing called EAT IT, and works as a writing coach for small business owners. Nicole has lived in Ghana, India, and in several Canadian cities including Vancouver and Toronto.
Nicole’s class will be every day from March 13-17, 2017, at 9:30am-11:30am ET.
Kim is a writer and teacher from Calgary, Alberta. She is a two-time winner of the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award, and was a 2015 National Magazine Award finalist. Her first novel Clearwater is a past High Plains Award winner. She’s had work published in Room, Grain, and Freefall magazines. Kim has taught numerous teen writing workshops including Sage Hill Teen Writers’ Experience, Wordsworth Writers’ Camp, and the Fernie Writers’ Conference Teen Writers.
Kim’s class will be every day from March 20-24, 2017, at 4:30pm-6:30pm MT.
This course runs for one week, from March 13th or March 20th, until March 17th or March 24th, 2017. (Exact dates depend on which class you’re in — see above).
Classes will be offered in three sessions: March 13-17, every day at 9:30am Eastern Time; March 13-17, every day at 9:30am Pacific Time; and March 20-24, every day at 4:30pm Mountain Time. (For a time zone converter, please click here.)
The cost of tuition is $400 USD.
Classes will be small, which means you’ll get a lot of attention from our teachers and your fellow classmates.
It also means that spots are limited. If you’re interested, we encourage you to register soon.
We’ve worked hard to develop a program that is as fun as it is informative. If you’ve been waiting for a welcoming, supportive environment to share your writing, now’s the time. We hope to see you there!
Maybe next time:
Are you interested in this program, but not able to enroll this time? Please enter your name and email below. We’ll send you a note when we have more details and when registration opens for the next session.
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