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Top 10 Summer Writing Programs for High School Students

If you are a high school student interested in enhancing your writing skills over the summer, look no further. Scholarships360 has you covered with our picks for top 10 writing summer camps for high school students. Let’s dive right in!

What is a summer writing program?

A summer writing program offers high school students interested in different types of writing to immerse themselves in the field. These programs range from creative writing, to playwriting, to poetry, and everything in between. 

Why we selected the following writing programs

We chose a diverse range of writing summer camps for high school students that vary in price, location, and academic focus. These are definitely not all of the writing programs that are in existence, but we wanted to name a few that impressed us.

A note on application deadlines and program dates

Application deadlines and program dates vary from program to program because these are all at different institutions, all over the country. We will do our best to keep these dates updated, so if a program that you are interested in currently says “TBD”, check back in a few weeks and the program may have released that information!

Top 10 summer writing programs for high schoolers

1. Iowa Young Writers’ Studio

The Iowa Young Writers’ Studio is a two-week session located at the University of Iowa campus or online. The two programs run at the same time, and there are two different date options for students to choose from. With this program, students select their primary focus throughout the program– fiction writing, poetry writing, or creative writing. 

  • Program benefits: Readings by published writers; workshops on process and aspects of craft; discussions on writing-adjacent subjects (literary translation, film, revision, mental health); collaborative projects to allow small groups of students to work together; as well as open mics, talent shows, icebreakers, and social gatherings
  • Application deadline: February 5th, 2023
  • Program dates: June 11th – 24th, 2023 or July 9th – 22nd, 2023
  • Cost: The in-person program is $2,500, and the online program is $575

2. Interlochen Center for the Arts Camp Creative Writing Programs

Interlochen Center for the Arts is a prestigious arts center for students of all ages who are interested in various types of arts to hone in on their craft. The Camp Creative Writing Programs are for high school students of all ages. Campers choose between four different tracks– Comics and Graphic Narratives Intensive, Creative Writing Program, Novel Writing Intensive, or Performance Poetry Intensive. The focus below is the broadest category, the Creative Writing Program. This three week intensive allows students to immerse themselves in the world of writing. 

  • Program benefits: Genre workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting; placed in classes outside of comfort zones to learn more about different genres; reading showcase; guest artists and speakers
  • Application deadline: January 15th, 2023, for both sessions
  • Program dates: Session one is June 24th – July 15th, 2023, and session two is July 16th – August 6th, 2023
  • Cost: $6,550

3. Sarah Lawrence College Writer’s Week: A Creative Writing & Performance Arts Workshop

The Sarah Lawrence Creative Writing and Performance Arts Workshop is offered both online and in person. The in-person workshop is a day camp, not a residential program. Each day of the program, students attend writing workshops led by poets, prose writers, and performance artists. The program also includes faculty led workshops and meetings, as well as a celebration of student work at the end of the program. 

  • Program benefits: Work with distinguished faculty and graduate students, generating materials to share, collaboration with peers, learning to revise and edit. 
  • Application deadline: TBD, registration opens in February
  • Program dates: The virtual session is  July 10–July 14, 2023, and the in-person session is August 7–August 11, 2023
  • Cost: The on-campus cost (including lunch) is $1,125, and the virtual cost is $725

4. Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Writing and Culture Program

The Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Writing and Culture Program is a six-week high school summer program where students immerse themselves in writing, film, design, art, and culture. This program teaches students how to properly tell a story, regardless of what their story may be. Applicants must be sophomores or juniors in high school at the time of the application submission. There are opportunities to receive scholarships for this program as well, which is something to keep in mind while applying. 

  • Program benefits: Opportunities to explore some of Pittsburgh’s world-class museums, access to the Carnegie Mellon Archives and Fine and Rare Book Rooms, mentorship and networking opportunities.
  • Application deadline: February 1st, 2023
  • Program dates: July 1st – August 11th, 2023
  • Cost: $10,025

Related: Top writing and essay scholarships

5. Denison University Reynolds Young Writers Workshop

The Reynolds Young Writers Workshop based out of Denison University in Granville, Ohio is an eight-day residential writing program that helps to immerse students in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writing. This program is open to students who have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school who have an interest in writing. Generous financial assistance is available to those who need it.  

  • Program benefits: Group sessions, hands-on work with Denison faculty and staff, notable visiting writers
  • Application deadline: March 1st,2023 at 11:59 PM
  • Program dates: June 24th – July 1st, 2023
  • Cost: $1,500

6. Alpha– The Young Writers Workshop

Alpha– The Young Writers Workshop is a 12-day writing workshop for students ages 14-19 located on the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg campus. Not only will students immerse themselves in their writing and have the opportunity to hone in on that skill, but they will also learn more about the technical side of writing– submitting for publication, editing, and receiving feedback. Alpha also offers scholarships for those who may need them. 

  • Program benefits: Ample time spent with influential professors, opportunities for brainstorming workshops, professional writer presentations, lectures. 
  • Application deadline: March 12th, 2023
  • Program dates: July 19th – July 30th, 2023
  • Cost: $1,200

Don’t miss: Top free summer programs for high school students

7. Loyola Marymount University- Beginning Screenwriting Program

The Loyola Marymount University Beginning Screenwriting Program is a hands-on two-week program located on the campus of one of the nation’s best film schools. Students learn the basics of the script developing process, gain a deeper understanding of cinematic storytelling, and enhance their writing skills. The first program dates are for eligible high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The second program dates are for juniors and seniors only. 

  • Program benefits: Opportunity for hands-on experiences within Los Angeles’ film industry, touring local film or television studio”
  • Application deadline: March 15th, 2023
  • Program dates: June 25th – July 8th, 2023, and July 16th – July 29th, 2023
  • Cost: $5,400 for tuition with a $65 application fee

8. Georgetown University Creative Writing Academy

The Georgetown University Creative Writing Academy is a week-long writing academy for high school students of all ages. During this academy, students have the opportunity to work on and present a capstone project, which can be on various topics and within various subject areas. This academy focuses largely on the publishing aspects of creative writing. 

  • Program benefits: Readings from published authors, work with Georgetown faculty and staff, field trips, group discussions
  • Application deadline: The “Early Bird” deadline is January 31st, 2023, and the Final deadline is May 15th, 2023
  • Program dates: July 16th – 22nd, 2023
  • Cost: $3,225

9. Emerson College Creative Writers Workshop

The Emerson College Creative Writers Workshop is an on-campus program that focuses on topics such as fiction, prose, scriptwriting, comedy writing, graphic novel writing, and performance poetry. This four-week program offers students opportunities to create and revise their personal writing portfolio. 

  • Program benefits: Work with highly regarded faculty writers, participate in literary hangouts, participate in “final reading” at the conclusion of the program
  • Application deadline: March 15th, 2023
  • Program dates: July 6th, 2023 – August 5th, 2023
  • Cost:
    • Creative Writers Workshop Non-Credit Tuition: $3531
    • Creative Writers Workshop Credit Tuition: $4310
    • Residential Room and Board Fee: $3744*
    • Non-refundable application fee: $60

Also see: How to rock the summer before your senior year

10. Harvard Pre-College Summer School Program

The last entry on our list of writing summer camps for high school students is also one of the most prestigious. The Harvard Pre-College Summer School Program is a two-week summer program that offers over 100 non-credit courses for high school students to take part in. The Speech, Writing, and Literature topic is a great option for students who want to pursue a career in writing or just want to develop their craft. This topic offers multiple different courses, such as creative writing, English, expository writing, journalism, and speech. The program also offers some financial aid for qualifying students. 

  • Program benefits: Build valuable academic skills, learn to live independently on a college campus, take sample college courses
  • Application deadline: Early application deadline is January 25th, 2023, and the regular application deadline is February 22nd, 2023
  • Program dates: Choose between June 25th – July 7th, 2023, July 9th – July 21st, 2023, and July 23rd – August 4th, 2023
  • Cost: $5,300 plus a $75 application fee

Don’t miss: High school checklist: Freshman through senior year

Next Steps

Next Steps

  • Now that you’ve got some writing summer camps for high school students in mind, start preparing your application materials! This may include application essays, letters of recommendation, transcripts, or sample writing materials
  • Apply for program scholarships if needed
  • Write! Bring your writing samples with you, as you never know when you might need them
  • Don’t forget that Scholarships360 offers all the resources you need as you continue your education! It’s never too early to learn about extracurricular activities and when to start applying to colleges
Next Steps