Creative Writing Summer Program for High School Students

Why Take Creative Writing

Develop and amplify your writing voice in our immersive program. Guided by an outstanding faculty of published writers, you will experiment with multiple genres, deepen your understanding of the craft, and cultivate the confidence to share your work with the world.

What You'll Learn

During Interlochen's writing camp, you’ll focus intensively on two genres of creative writing. Genre workshops include: 

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry

In addition to exploring the fundamentals of your chosen genres, you'll discuss a wide range of published works, and craft your own pieces via in-class exercises and roundtable workshops with a class of dedicated peers. You’ll also experience the natural beauty of Northern Michigan via our Environmental Explorations class, attend readings by award-winning faculty and visiting authors, and learn to craft your work for publication and performance. Each session culminates in a camp anthology and student reading. 

Workshop Placement

Students benefit from exposure to a broad range of literary forms. By studying forms outside of your primary genre, you’ll gain new insight into the styles you love most. 

After enrolling, students rank the four genres in order of preference. We’ll do our best to accommodate the top two choices, however, space is limited. We encourage students to submit preferences as soon as possible!

Portfolio Requirements


Program Snapshot
Program Length
3 weeks
Program Dates
  • SESSION 1: June 23, 2024 to July 13, 2024
  • SESSION 2: July 14, 2024 to August 4, 2024
Age Range
High School (Grades 9-12)
  • SESSION 1: Applications CLOSED
  • SESSION 2: Applications CLOSED

Program Specialties

Fiction Workshop

Learn the fundamentals of narrative craft in addition to cutting-edge experimental techniques being used by contemporary fiction writers. Focus on the fundamental elements of writing short stories. You will explore story structure, point of view, characterization, plot development, setting, dialogue, and revision strategies.

Nonfiction Workshop

Survey a variety of subgenres in the the nonfiction mode, particularly lyric and hybrid essays. Studies in structure, point of view, characterization, temporality, setting, revision strategies, and the subversion of genre conventions and received voices will give students the flexibility to adapt to a wide range of nonfiction genres.

Poetry Workshop

Explore the fundamentals and contemporary techniques of poetic craft in the lyric, narrative, and dramatic modes, with particular attention given to imagery, voice, musicality, lineation, and forms—both received and invented.

Playwriting Workshop

Focus on character creation and dramatic structure. You will write scenes exploring conflict, action, dialogue, motivation, and stage directions while workshopping a scene in class.

"For me, writing feels like a release."

Learn more about Nailah's experience as a Creative Writing high school student at Arts Camp. 

Meet the Faculty

Our creative writing instructors are committed educators and accomplished artists with extensive experience in their disciplines. As mentors, they are dedicated to helping you develop your own unique voice.

Please note the gallery may showcase previous instructors.

All faculty

Megan Baxter

Megan Baxter

Instructor of Creative Writing

Reina Hardy

Reina Hardy

Instructor of Creative Writing

A.M. Ringwalt

AM Ringwalt

Visiting Instructor of Creative Writing

Emily Pittinos headshot 400x600

Emily Pittinos

Instructor of Creative Writing

Heather Truett

Heather Truett

Instructor of Fiction

Director of Creative Writing Karyna McGlynn

Karyna McGlynn, Ph.D.

Director of Creative Writing

Program Highlights

Reading Showcase

The students will participate in a reading showcase in The Writing House Great Room at the end of the program.


Students contribute work to a print anthology that they can take home at the end of their session to remind them of a productive and inspiring summer.

The Writing House

During the three-week sessions, your artistic home will be the The Writing House. This comfortable space provides quiet work areas, ample seating for group projects, and a literary publications room with computer and printing stations. Take a 360-degree virtual tour.

Additional Opportunities

We have additional camp program opportunities for young writers, including our one-week Comics & Graphic Narratives, Performance Writing & Spoken Word, Novel Writing, and Screenwriting intensives.

Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers a Creative Writing major, as well as a post-graduate year.

Guest Artists

  • Aja Gabel, author of The Ensemble
  • Kaitlyn Greenidge, Harper's Bizarre features director and author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman
  • Lily Hoang, associate professor of literature at University of California San Diego and author of Changing and A Bestiary
  • Caitlin Horrocks, professor of creative writing at Grand Valley State University and author of Life Among the Terranauts and This is Not Your City
  • Amy Kurzweil, The New Yorker cartoonist and author of Flying Couch
  • Sarah Elaine Smith, author of Marilou is Everywhere and I Live in a Hut
Creative Writing student working during Interlochen Arts Camp

This experience at Interlochen has been truly inspiring. I have seen and met so many people who have inspired me to continue with my own writing and explore other creative outlets like drawing and painting. The arts program at my own school is underfunded, so coming here has helped me really immerse myself in the arts.

Alexandra, Creative Writing