Are you a high school student looking to practice and improve your writing abilities through specialized summer programs? Whether you prefer to read and write fiction, poetry, journalism, or something else entirely, there are many programs to help you hone in your writing ability and to give you different avenues to explore your writing voice.
Do You Want To Be A Journalist?
For capable writers interested in exploring journalism (specifically investigative journalism), consider The School of the New York Times: Introduction to Investigative Journalism. In a field so engrossed in the exposure of fresh and hidden news, it is important to confirm the verity behind stories and construct a convincing and straight-forward portrayal of that news. It is necessary for journalists to sharpen their literary skills and to learn the tools and tenets of journalism.
This NYT program will teach students the necessary models to succeed in the interpretation of primary sources and is designed to suit the interest of students. It focuses primarily on understanding basic investigative principles, practicing work with primary documents, source protection, fact-checking, and the legal aspects of investigations and exposés.
The School of the New York Times: Introduction to Investigative Journalism is scheduled to be virtual for the summer of 2021. However they will also offer virtual site visits (which can vary based on your instructor and term) that can include visits to: Jackson Heights & Chelsea, the New York Public Library, and leading schools of journalism based in New York City.
Those looking for more general summer programs in journalism, photography, and writing should explore Boston University’s Summer Journalism Academy. This program teaches students how to expand and solidify their news-reporting abilities, experience an early glimpse at collegiate life, and strengthen and build their resumè.
The instructors are current working journalists, so all academic interaction and news work is rooted in real life experiences. Every day at BU’s summer program is a glimpse into life as a news reporter, you can expect to: review the fundamentals of journalism success, read and write stories that cover a variety of fields, research and source-check, write leads and strengthen coverage through structure and tone, learn about the complicated legal aspects of libel, and much more.
The photojournalism program shares many of the same topics but focuses more specifically on camera use and editing of photographs. By the end of the two-week program, students will have attended three to four guest talks with renowned journalists and will have written three to four original stories to add to their personal portfolios; these stories will also be featured on Boston University’s website: The Terrier.
Experts will provide insight on specialized topics such as media law, radio reporting, and studying journalism in college as students are divided into reporter teams that will report real news events and stories near them. While Boston University’s Summer Journalism Academy is currently scheduled online, it may change to in-person depending on the progression of the pandemic.
Do You Want To Be A Stronger Writer?
Those high school students looking for non-specialized writing programs should look into the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. The program is based around workshops that help students develop and strengthen their creative and practical abilities in English. Fostering dynamic writers and intuitive thinkers, Kenyon hosts week-long online workshops covering three different subjects. Students can attend one workshop or all three!
This program covers all genres and is tailored to suit high school students passionate about and hoping to continue creative writing; commonly specialized genres are poetry, essays, stories, research articles, and journalism. The broad scope of the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and the customizability of the course to students hoping to focus on a broad variety of different fields of writing, makes it a well-rounded course suitable to all students of the English language.
Another more generalized and well-rounded virtual summer program for those interested in strengthening their writing abilities is the Juniper Summer Writing Institute Online. During the program, students are encouraged to experiment with a variety of different writing forms. With the curriculum revolving around morning writing labs and evening readings, students are prompted to continue both reading and writing to strengthen their English abilities.
While the programming is online this year due to the effects of COVID, there are still many scholarship opportunities for underrepresented young writers. In transitioning to virtual programming, Juniper has altered their syllabus to include a myriad of writing challenges to inspire creativity and capability.
Why Should I Take A Summer Writing Course?
The ability to write clearly, effectively, and concisely is important for every career and avenue of study. Whether it’s writing for a scientific journal or a short paragraph to hook the reader to continue on, it is an important skill for every career and interest.
If you are looking to strengthen or develop those skills across the board, then you should consider the Juniper Summer Writing Institute Online. If you want to learn how to develop worlds and convey a new level of depth in your writing, then the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop may be the best option for you.
But if you are looking to take your interest in journalism to the next level, then you have two choices based on where your passion lies. Are you more interested in the exciting world of investigative journalism? Do you want to learn how to uncover systemic injustice and hold those in power accountable? If you, then you will want to check out The School of the New York Times: Introduction to Investigative Journalism.
But what if you want a broader, more holistic approach to journalism? If you enjoy more structure and the opportunity for hands-on practice (like conducting interviews by phone and covering a city council proceeding), then Boston University: Summer Journalism Academy can be the right program for you.
There are many ways to nurture and sharpen your writing skills. It is not always about writing a great college essay or getting a top grade in English. There are so many ways to express yourself in a meaningful way, whether it’s through creative short stories or a hard-hitting exposé. No matter how or why you want to develop your writing ability, there are programs out there to help you get to the next level!