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 your session, you’ll focus intensively on two genres of creative writing. Genre workshops include:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Meet Megan Baxter, Author of "The Coolest Monsters"
You could say Megan Baxter (IAC 02, IAA 02-04) has gone through every Interlochen experience as a camper, Academy student, and instructor. The biggest lesson she learned here, though, is that the craft of writing goes beyond words on a page: "Art is a practice that includes more than just the creation—it’s the life you live, the experiences you have, the people you talk to, the books you love."