Fiction and Fun

In the morning workshop, writers ages 9 to 16 work in age-based groups with a published author or produced playwright on developing and completing a short story, poetry collection, or a one-act play. In the afternoon, writers may choose from various electives, including graphic noveling, filmmaking, spoken word poetry, songwriting, literary sports, worldbuilding, improv, and playwriting & performance. The week culminates in a final showcase on Friday afternoon.

Playwriting and Performance

In age-based groups, young playwrights spend the morning developing plays or musicals under the guidance of a professional playwright. In the afternoon, writers work to bring their plays to life, exploring acting, directing, and all elements of theater production with NYC theater professionals. The week culminates in a final showcase of one-act plays.

Screenwriting

In age-based groups, young screenwriters spend the morning developing scripts under the guidance of a professional screenwriter. In the afternoon, writers delve into film and TV show analysis with screenplay experts, and explore the ways in which acting, production, and directing all influence the choices one makes when crafting a script. The week culminates in a table read of each writer’s screenplay.

Teen Creative Writing Seminar

Visit theTeen Creative Writing Seminar page.

"During this program I not only discovered my love for the memoir genre (previously, I didn't think my life was worthy of discussion, let alone glorification via the written word), but was comforted by the presence of like-minded people my age who are deeply passionate about creative writing. It can't go without mentioning that everybody was supremely well-read and talented- it felt right to be surrounded by people who were on my level. Moreover, what I had thought was an incurable bout of writer's block was completely eliminated by the fun, diverse writing activities/prompts/games offered and initiated by my instructors. Because of those, I now have three works-in-progress that I'm particularly proud of and excited to continue writing for the rest of the summer." -Kimberly

Writopia’s Teen Writing Seminar is open to rising juniors and seniors. Over the course of two weeks, participants will delve into their craft with published authors, and will meet and share their work with literary agents and editors. Each day will begin with a small fiction workshop (8 - 10 participants) from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. During this time, writers will write on our laptops and receive feedback from the author/instructor, as well as from their peers. Workshop time will also allow for writing and editing. At 1:00, writers will have one hour for lunch--please send your writer with something to eat! Between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., writers will have the opportunity to take electives in poetry or memoir, led by published poets and personal essayists. The Writopia Teen Seminar is unique in that participants will have the opportunity to work closely with published authors, agents, and publishing editors. Writers will also take part in evening readings and literary events, and will have the opportunity to explore the literary scene.

Teen Filmmaking Seminar

Visit the Teen Filmmaking Seminar page

The Filmmaking program is driven by the participants’ creative vision. It is a writing-focused program elevated by professional grade instruction, software, and equipment. In a fun and productive space, students write, shoot, and edit short films under the guidance of professional filmmakers. The program culminates in a celebratory showcase of excerpts and short films.

Songwriting/Memoir and Poetry

During the morning session, writers will participate in a songwriting workshop. Professional musicians trained in the Writopia Teaching Method lead writers ages 11 and up in writing and recording their own original compositions. Instructors versed in rap, pop, rock, and musical theater work with students to help them to explore musical genres and craft lyrics. For the rest of the day, writers will work with published poets and essayists to craft creative nonfiction stories and various poems exploring their lives, from mundane moments to pivotal learning experiences, gaining confidence in their voice and personal narratives.

Historical Fiction/Creative Writing

During the morning session, writers will explore the very meaning of historical fiction, how to begin, what research is essential, and what can wait. We will also explore character development and realistic voices for specific decades and eras. Each writer will develop goals and a timeline and will begin work on their historical story. This element of the workshop will have a lasting impact, as what characters have been through informs their narrative and provides fascinating dialogue, engrossing tone, and atmosphere so specific it will carry your readers on a journey they’ll never want to end. For the rest of the day, writers will focus on seeing their stories through to completion using Writopia games and writing prompts.

Politics and Pens

In the morning workshop, writers will play the role of a member of congress and write a piece of legislation, arguments, and speeches for a fictional scenario, mimicking the real process of government. In the afternoon, writers will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of multi-genre writing electives with a political spin, including graphic noveling, filmmaking, spoken word poetry, songwriting, literary sports, worldbuilding, improv, playwriting & performance, zinemaking, and speech writing. The week will culmimate in a visit from a local elected official who will play the role of president in a mock session of Congress. Writers will then get to share their elective projects and discuss civic action outside of Writopia.

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