Creative Writing Major at Arts Academy


Why Study Creative Writing

If you write to discover, to understand, or to grow, we provide the guidance and resources you need to develop your unique voice. At Interlochen, you'll deepen your craft and prepare for your future as a writer and active participant in the literary scene. 

What You'll Learn

As a creative writing major, you will receive accelerated, individualized, graduate-level instruction that will put you leaps and bounds beyond the typical high school writer in terms of technique, versatility, and vocational know-how.

Our faculty of writer-educators will provide personalized mentorship within an intensive but nurturing workshop environment. You will learn to listen, read, and critique like writers. Our faculty will help you create a strong portfolio to apply to top undergraduate literary studies programs or to adapt your learning to a broad range of pursuits.

As a student of the Creative Writing program, you will:

  • Craft an exciting body of work in diverse literary genres, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, and forms you invent
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of craft terminology and cutting-edge stylistic techniques
  • Engage in professionalization opportunities, such as preparing portfolios for national high school creative writing contests and literary publications, interviewing visiting writers about their career paths, and attending workshops
  • Prepare a portfolio for professional and educational submissions
  • Collaborate in interdisciplinary contexts with artists from other majors on campus

Core Curriculum

Portfolio Requirements

For information on graduation requirements and academic curriculum, please visit Academy Academics.

Meet the Faculty

Our faculty includes novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, and a New York Times bestselling author. Their work has appeared in such venues as Agni, Tin House, The Rumpus, New South, Denver Quarterly, and Best New Poets. They travel widely to give readings and lead masterclasses, but they always return to Interlochen to help nurture the next generation of creative trailblazers.

All Faculty

Joe Sacksteder

Joe Sacksteder

Director of Creative Writing

Brittany Cavallaro

Brittany Cavallaro, Ph.D.

Instructor of Creative Writing

Mika Perrine

Mika Perrine

Instructor of Creative Writing

Lesley Tye

Lesley Alicia Tye

Instructor of Creative Writing and Film & New Media

Oren Safdie writer in residence at interlochen arts academy

Oren Safdie

Writer-in-Residence

Creative Writing Scholarship Opportunity

Win a full-tuition scholarship to Interlochen Arts Academy with the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition.

Learn More

Program Highlights

Student Publications 

You'll have the opportunity to gain hands-on editorial experience by working on The Red Wheelbarrow, our in-house publication, and The Interlochen Review, our international, online literary journal, which is constructed and curated during the semester-long elective Literary Publications. Through this course, creative writing students strengthen their skills in visual design, converse with professional editors, and learn vital industry software.

Awards & Honors

Our students regularly receive regional and national recognition from contests like the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, YoungARTS, Bennington Young Writers Awards, Michigan State University’s Samet and Benvenuto contests, the Adroit Prizes for Poetry and Prose, and Princeton University’s Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize. Student work has recently appeared in such publications as Black Warrior Review, Quarterly West, Brevity, and The Texas Review, and we have to-date mentored twenty Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Get to know Sabine

"At Interlochen, you are surrounded by a wealth of resources and people who are equally excited to be there as you are." - Sabine, Creative Writing

Interlochen was a dream of mine for much of my childhood, and, after four years at the Academy, I love it even more than I thought possible. With an Interlochen education comes the ability to mix artistic and academic learning, a community that fosters close friendships, and a constant array of opportunities, among other things.

Poppy Rose '20, Arts Academy (Creative Writing)

Guest Artists

  • Tess Fontaine
  • Garth Greenwell
  • Tyehimba Jess
  • Douglas Kearney
  • Rebecca Makkai
  • Jenny Offill
  • Carl Phillips
  • Elissa Washuta

Take a Tour of The Writing House

Creative writing courses take place in the Writing House, a facility in a Northwoods aesthetic designed to support the needs and development of young writers. The building offers both large communal spaces in the Great Room as well as more private learning spaces in the form of alcoves, reading rooms, one conference room, a big porch, and faculty offices.

The Writing House

The Writing House interlochen center for the arts

College Matriculation

  • Bard College
  • Barnard College
  • Bennington College
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Davidson College
  • Emerson College
  • Harvard University
  • Kenyon College
  • Knox College
  • Middlebury College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Oberlin College and Conservatory
  • Princeton University
  • Reed College
  • Smith College
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Southern California
megan baxter and brittany cavallaro

Back Again

Learn how alumnae Megan Baxter (IAC 02, IAA 02-04) and Brittany Cavallaro (IAA 02-04) started their writing careers after Interlochen—and why they came back as faculty. 

Upcoming Creative Writing Events
Dec
2

Creative Writing, Academy Student

Red Wheelbarrow Reading

Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 7:30 p.m.

The Writing House

Feb
12

Academic Info, Interdisciplinary Arts, Creative Writing, Dance, Film & New Media, Music, Student Life, Theatre, Visual Arts, Academy Student

Winterlochen

Saturday, February 12, 2022 - 11 a.m.

ICA Campus

Mar
3

Creative Writing, Academy Student

Red Wheelbarrow Reading

Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 7:30 p.m.

The Writing House