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Unterberg Poetry Center

Young Writers' Workshop

"The program exceeded my expectations. I saw myself taking more risks in form and content. I loved the instruction and the group dynamic was one of the best I’ve witnessed in writing workshops,” wrote a Summer 2016 student.

“I fell in love with poetry. I now have the confidence to write with added personality too. I always wanted to write about my family and our history and my teachers showed me how to do that effectively,” wrote a Summer 2017 student.

“My daughter has been lucky enough to attend creative writing workshops in the past. This was her favorite by far. She was incredibly impressed by the teachers and the visiting artists - and most certainly by her fellow students. She also loved the thoughtful touches – like the personalized reading lists – or even the comments on her application,” wrote the parent of a Summer 2017 student.

92Y’s Young Writers Workshop offers two rigorous workshops for driven, intellectually curious young people who want to explore and develop their writing in a supportive, focused environment in the middle of New York City.

New York City’s 92Y has a long, storied history of hosting the world’s most celebrated teachers and writers: students attending the Young Writers Workshop join a family of writers whose careers began here, including Claudia Rankine (Citizen), Sapphire (Push), Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story) and Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me), among others.

92Y gives high school students access to opportunities only New York City and the Poetry Center can offer. Participants in the Young Writers Workshop meet with members of the Poetry Center’s extended family: once a week, an award-winning author meets with students to discuss both the craft and trade of writing over lunch.

In addition, students take part of exclusive events in NYC’s thriving literary community. In 2018, students studied spoken word and playwrighting in intimate seminars with award-winning authors.

One-week summer workshop for young writers (12-14)

Young writers, ages 12–14, read across genres, from poems to stories and essays, and use a variety of writing prompts to inspire new work. Students register by visiting our site (no application necessary).

Young Writers Workshop / Ages 12-14
Price: $500
Jul 8-11
10 am–12 pm

A three-week summer workshop for young writers (15-18)

We're adding an additional class group due to popular demand. Deadline has been extended to Monday, June 3 at 10 am.

A Typical Day

Your days are split between morning seminar and afternoon workshop. In the morning, that week’s faculty member (see bios below) will lead you and your small class to explore form and craft through analysis and creative prompts.

In the afternoon workshop, you’ll talk deeply and critically about your own work and learn to give smart and useful feedback to your peers on exercises and assignments.

You’re welcome to bring your own lunch or pick one up at one of the many delicious eateries in our neighborhood.

The Three Weeks

In the first week, Poetry, you’ll consider questions like, What makes a poem memorable? What makes us want to read it out loud? How do we write an arresting image? You’ll look at a variety of voices, forms, and styles across the poetic canon and contemplate the unique relationship between each poem's form and its content. Most importantly, you’ll write your own poems using a variety of prompts to inspire your work, sharing and revising new poems with each other daily.

In week two, Fiction, you’ll continue your investigation into form, structure and image and look at how language is used, and how character and voice are developed and sustained in fiction. You’ll ask yourself, constantly, why something speaks to you and how to recreate that effect in your own writing. By the end of the week, you’ll have an entirely new body of work built from in-class writing assignments. This week asks you to be curious and playful in your examination of the art of fiction, and to, in turn, embark on your own journey into the world of stories.

In the final week, you’ll study Creative Nonfiction. So many kinds of writing fall into this category — journalism, biography, true crime, narrative history, science writing, cultural criticism, memoir and personal essay to name just a few (not even including radio, podcasts and documentary films!) — it can be easy to forget what they all have in common: the writer has promised the reader that, to the best of their ability, everything contained in their work is fact. In the third week, you’ll work on crafting compelling, thoughtful stories in which the only rule is that you're sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

A summer at the 92Y Young Writers Workshop is an intense one: you’ll leave with a better understanding of your interests and goals as a writer, an understanding of what it takes to make a career in the literary community, as well as a highly-developed body of new work.

To Apply

Final Deadline: Monday, June 3 at 10 am

Send us one document with up to five pages of your original work: your poems, a short story, a scene, even your novel!

Enter your contact information (name, telephone number and email) in the Cover Letter field, as well as a short paragraph on why you’d like to spend three weeks writing with us.

Note: you’ll have to open a free Submittable account if you don't have one already.

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Young Writers Workshop /
Ages 15-18
Price: $2,400
Jul 8-25

Schedule

Morning session: 10 am–12 pm
Roundtable workshops: 1–3 pm

Students register for the whole program.

Each week will also feature lunch with a visiting author.

For questions, call 212.415.5760 or email us.

Scholarships

Scholarship assistance is available. For more information, visit 92y.org/Scholarships.

Video

2019 Visiting Authors

Lizzie Harris

Lizzie Harris is the author of the poetry collection Stop Wanting—"this book will speak to you," wrote Cosmopolitan

Myla Goldberg

Myla Goldberg is the bestselling author of Bee Season, The False Friend, and Feast Your Eyes, among other novels …

Sayre Quevedo

Sayre Quevedo is a multimedia artist and journalist based in New York City …

2019 Faculty

Maya Catherine Popa

Maya Catherine Popa is an English teacher and Director of the Creative Writing Program at the Nightingale-Bamford school in NYC …

Enkay Iguh

Enkay Iguh is a fiction writer and graduate of the Creative Writing Program at New York University …

Jon Savage

Jon Savage is a graduate of New York University. He has taught writing at the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Writing Center …

Michele Lent Hirsch

Michele Lent Hirsch is a writer and editor who specializes in science, gender, and health …

Christopher M. Hood

A graduate of UC Irvin’s MFA program, Christopher M. Hood is the Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at the Dalton School …

Poetry Center Staff

Ricardo Maldonado

Ricardo Maldonado (Managing Director) is the recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts …

Sophie Herron

Sophie Herron (Program Coordinator) obtained her MFA in poetry from New York University …