Writopians!

Writopia Lab is a national community of young writers and storytellers.

We are committed to cultivating a safe and intellectual space for student-focused, joy-inducing instruction in creative writing and more. In order to help you explore our wide range of programs, this guide is designed to help you find a program that suits your needs.

Support Writopia Lab

Your donations help us change lives... the lives of exceptional low-income children and teens who yearn to be included and empowered by a creative and intellectual community. And it's not just about creative writing. Your donation ensures that we may help low income, lower literacy teens with their academic essays, their college essays, and with preparing for the SATs.

Read about 2017-2018 Writopia Lab Funding Opportunities

WriCampia 2019

Join Writopia Lab for twelve days at our creative, fun, and productive sleepaway camp in the Poconos in August!

Thank you for giving the transformative gift of sleepaway camp to children and teens of all backgrounds.

Check out our Impact Spotlight Report!

Impact Spotlight

At WriCampia, writers will spend their mornings in intimate writing workshops led by published authors and produced playwrights, their afternoons participating in their choice of over 20 artistic and active electives, and their evenings at campfires, scavenger hunts, and readings. Photos from WriCampia can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Registration is not yet open for WriCampia 2019.

See a Typical Camp Day Schedule.

Review our Frequently Asked Questions.

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girls with keyboard

Location

We will be returning to IHC in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.

Dates

August 12, 2019 to August 23, 2019

Tuition

$3,675

Limited financial aid will be available.

Ages

We welcome rising 4th graders through rising 12th graders. Bunks and workshops will be organized by grade.

Camp boys having fun

  • rising 4th through 11th Graders as campers
  • rising 12th graders as CITs (Counselors-In-Training). CITs receive additional leadership opportunities that prepare them for professional experiences in the future.

Transportation

We will provide buses to and from WriCampia for all campers. Buses will leave from and return to Manhattan; Brooklyn; Hartsdale, NY; West Orange, NJ; and Washington, DC.

rock climbing wall at the pool

A Typical Camp Day

  • 7:15 AM Wake Up Call
  • 8:00 AM to 8:45 AM Breakfast
  • 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Writing Workshop (led by published author or produced playwright)
  • 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM Lunch
  • 12:45 PM to 1:25 PM Free time (at bunk & main line)
  • 1:25 PM to 2:50 PM Electives period 1
  • 2:50 PM to 4:15 PM Electives period 2
  • campers on giant chair
  • 4:15 to 4:25 PM Group gathering & snack
  • 4:25 PM to 5:40 PM Electives period 3
  • 5:45 PM to 6:30 PM Dinner
  • 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Shower hour and free time
  • 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM Evening activity
  • 9:00 PM Lower Camp curfew (lights out 9:30 PM)
  • 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM Middle Camp Evening Electives
  • 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM Upper Camp Evening Electives
  • 10:00 PM Middle Camp curfew (lights out 10:30 PM)
  • 10:30 PM Upper Camp curfew (lights out 11:00 PM)

Electives include: Filmmaking, zine making, spoken word, poetry hikes, illustration, roleplaying games, graphic novels, playwriting, ceramics, woodworking, musical theater, jewelry making, tie-dye, waterslide, songwriting, dungeons & dragons, literary sports, gymnastics, spin, step, dance, memoir, novel writing, swimming, boating, ropes course, zip-lining, photography, and more.

Evening Activities include: Scavenger Hunts, Escape the Room, Improv, Campfires, Spoken Word, Dance Party, and more!


workshop with a lake view

WriCampia 2019 FAQs

What are the dates?
August 12th through August 23rd
How do I apply?
We will update this once registration is open!
I’m having trouble with the application process. Can you help me?
We will update this once registration is open!
When is payment due?
A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due December 15 or upon registration, if you register after that (unless you are applying for financial aid). Payment is due in full by 3/31.
girl with butterfly
What is your refund policy?
If you withdraw from WriCampia before May 1st, and if we can fill the spot with another camper the same age as your camper, then we can refund the fee minus the deposit. There are no refunds after May 1st.
Is financial aid available?
Yes, we have limited financial aid available.
How do I apply for financial aid?
This all happens in CampMinder, where you will apply for camp. To apply, fill out your WriCampia application, indicate that you are applying for financial aid, and submit your complete financials via CampMinder. If you are applying for financial aid, you will not be required to pay a deposit, however we will only be able to hold your spot for two weeks if you have not submitted your financials. Please do not email financial data to sleepaway@writopialab.org.
Will Writopia provide transportation?
writer performing
Yes! We will provide buses to and from WriCampia for all campers. Buses will leave from and return to Manhattan; Brooklyn; Hartsdale, NY; West Orange, NJ; and Washington, DC.
When does enrollment close?
When camp fills up—which will be soon! We will accept registrations onto a waiting list, but we cannot make any guarantee about a spot opening up.
How many writers are attending?
We will host over 200 writers
How can I see what my child is working on?
We will be sending home a video featuring each camper.
Where will camp be held?
IHC, about ten miles north of Honesdale, PA. Their website has tons of great information.
Where are most of the campers from?
The majority of our campers come from New York City and its suburbs and from the greater Washington, DC area. Other campers come from all over the east coast, and from as far away as Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and even Europe.
What is the camper to adult ratio?
Three to one. Plus kitchen, grounds, and support staff!
How many campers will be sleeping in each bunk?
There will be 8 to 14 campers and two counselors in each bunk.
Can I send my camper a package?

No. WriCampia is a no-package camp. Letters and cards will be delivered to campers. Other items will be held at the camp office.

If your camper forgot something he or she needs, please reach out to the camp directors and we will make arrangements to help you get things to your camper.

Can my child bring his or her own food?
The kitchen staff on camp is very accommodating, always providing vegetarian and gluten free options. If your child needs (because of allergies or dietary restrictions) to bring her or his own meals or snacks, please let us know ahead of time. All food must be stored in the kitchen. No food may be kept in the bunks.
How are the workshops organized? What is the atmosphere of the workshops?
Morning workshops will have a ratio of eight writers to one instructor. All workshop leaders are published writers or produced playwrights who are experts in helping young writers understand and implement elements of plot and key literary tools. Sessions are peppered with original and fun writing exercises, but focus primarily on writing—and completing—creative pieces.
Are the campers allowed phones or other electronics?
Every writer will be given a Writopia laptop for workshop and writing. No personal laptops will be allowed at camp. Personal devices that can play music are allowed but not if they are capable of playing video.
Will I be able to speak with my child during camp?
Writers can, and are encouraged to, email home every day. Campers will be calling home approximately halfway through camp. They will call the phone numbers you supply when you register for camp.
Will there be swimming?
There is optional swimming every day except the first and last day of camp. In addition to a brand new swimming pool, IHC also offers boating activities on the lake and a waterslide. Pool and lake activities are only permitted when lifeguards are on duty.
Does my child have to bring his or her own bedding?
Yes. Campers must bring their own sleeping bags, blankets, sheets, pillows, pillowcases, and towels.
Is there air conditioning?
The bunks have fans but not air conditioners. Most workshop spaces have air conditioning.

I want to express my appreciation for all the work, love, learning and fun that you poured into the hearts and minds of your campers during this wonderful summer camp. My daughter had a wonderful experience. She will cherish the memories of this camp for many years to come!!!

Nadine, WriCampia parent

Thank you WriCampia. I want to let you know that my camper returned back home happier and more confident. His self-esteem has improved as well. It is unbelievable how two weeks has changed his personality

Parent of first-time WriCampian

I can not express my gratitude. I haven't seen this boy look so filled with joy, love and security. WriCampia allowed my son to find his voice, face his demons and commune with some of the kindest, open-hearted and talented people he may ever meet. He finally felt a part of something wonderful.

Parent of a three-year WriCampia veteran

Writopia sleepaway camp was the best experience of my daughter's life. It changed her. She had never done sleepaway camp before, so we didn't know if she would like being away from home for a week. She said had never been with a group of kids where she felt like she could be completely herself.

S.E., WriCampia Parent

I would like to thank you for what was probably the best week of my summer. I had such an amazing time working and creating with my fellow writers, young and old, male and female... I loved the amount of professionalism among the staff, but also the positive and loving attitudes of all the counselors. Thank you, especially my workshop leader, for helping me so much with writing a story with an extremely mature topic that I was hesitant to explore. You exude a vibe that lets all campers know how okay it is to write from the heart, and to not hold back. So, once again, thanks to everyone for an awesome experience.

Ben R., age 16, Camper

This week has been one of the best weeks of my life. Wricampia is amazing not just because of all the writing and the awesome location, the churros and the cool electives mostly because of my fellow campers and counselors. My fellow campmates are some of the coolest, smartest, nicest people I have ever met in my life. It's a well-known fact that writers, nerds and geeks are fabulous people to be around, but upon coming to this camp, I was astounded at how friendly and accepting everyone was and still is .... I've made more friends than I have in well, ever. Not just my new sisters in Cabin 27 other campers: young or old, boy or girl very the counselors too. Everyone here is unfailingly sweet and caring. They are all so friendly to me and I couldn't be happier that I signed up for this camp one lazy June morning.

Caroline V., Five-Year Camper

Make a Payment

Thank you so much for choosing to enroll in a Writopia program. This page will allow you to pay for a Writopia program at a pro-rated amount.

 

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Past Winners

This year we received more than twice as many submissions as last year and a team of theatre, TV, and film professionals read your plays! Final-round judges this year include the writers of Late Show With David Letterman, Dutch filmmaker Finbarr Wilbrink, and Karl Gajdusek, who wrote the screenplay of Hollywood blockbuster Oblivion.

The 2014 Winners

Elementary School

FIRST PLACE

Funniest Play: The Chocolate Thief by Alejandro Salas
Best Dramatic Play: tie between P.O.V. by Arjun Mazumdar and The Drill by Sierra Blanco

SECOND PLACE

Time Travel Twist by Vivienne Soares and Melanie Santana

THIRD PLACE

The Homework from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks by Ella Mare
The Upstander by Bella Rosenblatt
Chloe by Zoe Wohlman

Middle School

FIRST PLACE

Funniest Play: Zombie Grandma by Everett Moore
Best Dramatic Play: KABOOM by Abigail Sylvor-Greenberg

SECOND PLACE

Bird Girl by Kate Pamplin
Bad Dreams by Henry Green

THIRD PLACE

Before Barnaby by Leo Lion

High School

FIRST PLACE

Funniest Play: Set Back by Peter Chipman and Victoria Stiely
Best Dramatic Play: A Social Experiment by Kai Williams

SECOND PLACE

Three Cats in a Box by Will Hegecock
Thoughts by Kristjan Tomasson

THIRD PLACE

For the Sake of the Lizard by Emma Paquette
Nathan and Amelia by Sarah Fisher
Ticking by Luis Bermudez

Scholarship Opportunities

The winning playwrights will be awarded scholarships: $1,000 for the high school winners, $500 for middle school winners, and $250 for the elementary school winners. These plays will be produced as part of our Worldwide Plays Festival, funded by David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, will run May 17th through May 22nd at the Abingdon Theatre in New York City.

Second- and third-place winners will receive a free video chat session with a Writopia Lab Instructor!

The winner of the middle school drama award will be the recipient of the $500 Playscripts Scholarship, sponsored by Playscripts, Inc, an independent publisher of new plays and musicals. Playscripts, Inc. will also offer a 25% discount on all book orders to members of the Writopia community! Enter the promocode WRITE234 at checkout to use the discount.

About the Festival

Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival is an annual off-broadway festival of plays written by playwrights ages 6 to 18 and produced, designed, directed, and acted by New York theater professionals.

Thanks to the support of David Letterman's production house, Worldwide Pants and the Mellam Family Foundation, Writopia Lab's Worldside Plays Festival is now in its fifth year, and is open to more writers than ever before.

The festival includes plays written in workshops at Writopia’s labs across the country and plays submitted to our competition from playwrights around the world! You’ll see comedies, musicals, monologues, historical dramas, tear jerkers, thought pieces — all written by playwrights not yet old enough to vote.

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Worldwide Plays Festival Competition 2019

Immersive Theater

We invite playwrights in grades 1 through 12 around the world to submit their plays to the Worldwide Plays Festival Competition. All plays will be read by working theater professionals. Winning playwrights receive scholarship awards and will have their work produced at an off-Broadway theater by New York City theater professionals.

This Year’s Theme:

The Neighborhood

The 10th annual Writopia Lab Worldwide Plays Festival is happening in your neighborhood! Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that the plays will be set in your neighborhood. Following the success of the past two years of immersive theater where audiences roamed the rooms in 2017’s Home, or hiked the hallways in 2018’s School, this year we want plays that take us around your Neighborhood. Playwrights must set their plays in one of three spaces in a neighborhood: at a convenience store, outside a character's front door (e.g. a hallway, the front stoop of a building, etc), or a place to convene and connect (e.g. a yoga studio, place of worship, community center, etc).

You might think you know everything about your neighborhood, but on those familiar streets that you tread every day, someone fell in love, someone fell apart, someone stood up for themselves, someone stood up for others. It’s where you went trick or treating, where you first rode your bike, where you moved from, where you moved to.

Your neighborhood — whether you like it, love it, or left it — is part of you. So come on, let’s go around the block.

Guidelines

Who can submit?

The competition is open to playwrights in 1st through 12th grade around the world. There are two different categories of competition: internal and external.

Entering the Competition

Current Writopia Workshoppers

If you are currently enrolled in a Writopia workshop, please do not submit your play to the competition. Your workshop instructor will help you submit your play.

All Other Playwrights

You can submit your play by filling out the online form and sending a PDF of your play to submissions@writopialab.org. Judging is completely blind, so please make sure that your name and contact information do NOT appear in your submission document.

Due Date

Submissions will be accepted through February 1st.

Length

Plays must be no more than eight minutes long (this is roughly eight pages, but all plays must be eight minutes or shorter, no matter the page count).

Cast

Plays must use a maximum of 3 actors.

Genre

Plays can be any genre — comedy, drama, horror, polemic, tragedy, historical, docu-drama, solo-play, interactive, sci-fi, musical, or any other you dream up.

Setting

All plays must take place in ONE of the following places in “the neighborhood”:

  • Convenience Store — whether that’s a bodega in Manhattan, a 7-11 in your suburban town, or a gas station snack shop in farm country.
  • Outside your Front Door — this could be the door to your house, your apartment, your apartment building, your mobile home, or any other space you call home.
  • Your Place of Worship — a place to convene and connect, i.e. a yoga studio, a mosque, a church, a synagogue, etc.

NOTE: There can be NO set changes. The entirety of the play must take place in ONE of the spaces listed above.

Number of Submissions

Writers may submit more than one piece.

Format

While there is no standard playwriting format, we encourage you to use Writopia Lab’s Playwriting Format, which you can find online here.

Narrators

There can be NO narrator in the play who is not emotionally invested in the story (i.e. Ramona can tell her story to the audience, but an unnamed narrator cannot tell the audience the story of Ramona)

Writers are enrolled on an ongoing basis for trimester-long workshops.

Registration is not confirmed without payment.
We will hold a spot for your child for one week. If we do not receive payment in that time, we will make that spot available to others.

AFTER you have clicked the "Submit" button above...

Please follow this link to pay for your program:

Hudson-to-Housatonic Region

The 2018 Hudson-to-Housatonic Scholastic Awards have been announced, and the results are in!

The 2018 Scholastic Writing Awards accepted submissions from September 15, through December 15, 2017. Guidelines, deadlines, and coverage area for the Hudson-to-Housatonic Region are available now. Submissions to the 2019 Awards will be accepted beginning in September, 2018.

The 2018 Hudson-to-Housatonic Region Scholastic Awards

  • 2,009 writing works submitted
  • 420 Honorable Mentions awarded to promising works
  • 272 Silver Keys awarded to distinguished works
  • 168 Gold Keys awarded to the most accomplished works
  • 5 American Voice Nominees selected as the strongest regional works

Gold Keys are automatically forwarded for consideration at the national level of the Scholastic Writing Awards.

View Results from Previous Years

Regional Ceremony

Sunday, March 4th, 2018
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY

To recognize their outstanding work, this year's Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention recipients are invited, along with their guests, teachers, and our esteemed jurors, to the 2018 Awards Ceremony for the Hudson-to-Housatonic Writing Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards! This year's keynote speaker will be author Sarah Darer Littman.

RSVP now for seating and further details!

Contact Info

Email: rob@writopialab.org
Phone: (914) 401-4159

Program Partners

Since 2013, The Crosswicks Foundation has generously provided the annual Madeleine L'Engle Scholarship for $1000, presented each year to the H2H Region's top Senior Portfolio. Mrs. L'Engle's literary legacy of more than 60 published works included the Newbery Medal winning A Wrinkle in Time.

For 2018, The Village Bookstore of Pleasantville, NY once again presents six prizes for middle school writers! These $100 prizes aim to empower and embolden 7th and 8th grade writers who demonstrate exemplary skill and promise in their writing abilities, and to encourage their interest in and love for the craft.

Through its MFA in Creative Writing program, Manhattanville College partners with Writopia Lab to help adjudicate the H2H Regional Awards and to help host the annual Awards Ceremony at Manhattanville's O'Byrne Chapel.

The Writing Graduate Program at Sarah Lawrence College partners with Writopia Lab to help adjudicate the H2H Regional Awards.

Support the Hudson-to-Housatonic Region

Please support our work in getting the word out, organizing the submissions, coordinating the judging, and running the ceremony.

  • $1000 — Truman Capote Sponsor
  • $500 — Sylvia Plath Sponsor
  • $250 — Joyce Carol Oates Sponsor
  • $100 — Friend of The Awards
  • Paying Online

    Please follow one of these links to pay for your workshop or private session(s):


    Five-Day Half-Day Workshop

    These workshops meet five days in a row, generally Monday through Friday (some holiday weeks may vary).

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    Private Sessions

    These one-hour sessions are usually requested by a) high school seniors developing their college essays; b) writers who wish to work on fiction, memoirs, or scripts individually before joining a workshop; c) writers who enjoy one-on-one editing and development; d) students struggling with expository writing (school essays).

    Rate
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    Cancellation Policy

    If a child withdraws two weeks (or more) prior to the workshop start date, payment can be credited toward a future workshop at no cost, or refunded with a $50 cancellation fee. If withdrawal is requested within two weeks of the workshop start date, the same policy applies, as long as we are able to fill the spot. However, if we are unable to fill the spot, we cannot refund or credit the workshop. Missed days can be made up during another week in the summer, provided that there is space available.

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    Writopia offers instruction in a variety of narrative art forms and mediums.

    Browse by Schedule LINK

    We're in session all year round—school year, summer and holiday breaks!

    Browse our Off-Site Workshops LINK

    Learn about Writopia’s programs offered beyond our Labs—in public and private schools, at our partner organizations, and more!

    Learn more about additional enrichment opportunities for young writers, e.g. fellowships, internships, submission and production opportunities, personalized events.

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