Overview

In Duke's Young Writers’ Program for Middle and High School, you’ll spend two weeks meeting fellow writers, honing your craft, exploring new genres, and experiencing a writing community like no other. You’ll end the program with a full notebook, a full heart, and new confidence in your skills as a writer.

This summer, choose from a list of writing courses that reads like an adventure novel: Myth, Magic, Monsters: Making a World; Paper Cuts, Words that...

* Duke Young Writers - High School - Session 1 *
Join us for Duke Young Writers for High School students online, June 15 - 26, 2020. 

Choose one of the sections below to enroll in your favorite topic:

Performance Poetry: From Page to Stage (3133-001)

Are you a poet who wants to try taking their work to the stage? Are you a performer or fiction writer who wants to try poetry? All are welcome as we learn from the work of successful spoken word artists and each other to craft engaging, powerful works that impact audiences and change the world. Together, we’ll split our time between writing, workshopping and performing in a collaborative, team-oriented environment. Whether you’ve never read for an audience or you’re an open mic regular, this is the place for you.

Dark Fiction: Living on the Edge (3133-002)

Living on the Edge. Beneath our civil society and behind the masks we wear, darkness lurks -- political, social, ethical, spiritual. All those things we don't talk about in polite society, we'll write about ... stories that explore characters who harbor their own deep, dark secrets and how they navigate a world that has a dark side of its own. As a result, our fiction will embrace, as one critic wrote, "a healthy confusion of pleasure and disquietude."

Creative Nonfiction: True Stories That Crackle (3133-003)

There is an infinity of true stories worth telling: stories about strangers, stories about our loved ones, stories about ourselves. In this class, you’ll write some of them, using many of the same tools found in great fiction. We’ll use fun exercises, including a field trip, to help stretch your narrative skills. Within a few days, your stories will pop with description, dialogue, and character development.


* Duke Young Writers - Middle School - Session 1 *

Join us for an online Duke Young Writers program for Middle School, June 15 - 26, 2020, meeting 10:00 am - noon and 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Choose your section to enroll in one of the following choices:

Myth, Magic, Monsters: Making a World (Course 3132-001)

Become a god and take your seat on the pantheon.  Together with your fellow deities you will create the world around the small port town of Redemption.  Communally, you will design the magic system that this world operates on as well as the political conflicts, the world history, and the monsters and creatures that inhabit it.  Then design characters that will interact with the other characters created in the class.  Along the way, we’ll explore elements of fantasy fiction and what it takes to write convincing and intriguing fantasy stories.

Got Poems? (Course 3132-002)

Each scene in a work of fiction holds the dramatic tension of plot and is a mini-plot of a novel. Each day student will utilize multiple art forms as well as exercises created by the instructor to inspire the writing of a fictional scene. Each of these scenes may stand alone or be stitched into a work of short fiction. Inspiration will include film, music, visual art and nature.

Characters in 3D: Observation and Imagination (3132-003)

A writer’s greatest tools are observation and imagination.  In this class, we will create well-rounded, dynamic characters by going out into this great, big, beautiful world of ours.  Students will use their senses to observe the vibrant characters in the real-world to then create unforgettable, believable characters for their stories. Students will participate with independent writing, paired and group writing, as well as analyzing excerpts from texts, films, and music.  Writers will draw inspiration from their observations and then let their imagination take over. Where will your observations take you?

Paper Cuts: Words That Wound and Win (3132-004)

Influential leaders more often times win with words than weapons.  After this argumentative writing course, you’ll no longer be accused of fallacious reasoning, for you’ll learn how to write like a victor as we explore the craft of argumentative writing.  This course will expose you to debate and speech, along with personal essay writing and even poetry! Come discover the alchemy of argument.

“Grimm” Fantasy: The Darker Side of Once Upon a Time (3132-005)

Once upon a time, before adorable woodland animals talked, before cheerful fairy godmothers solved problems with the wave of a magic wand, fairy tales were darker – much darker. In this course, we will start exploring the “grimmer” side of fantasy by looking at these fairy tales, including death, dismemberment, and destruction. Sometimes you get the prince, sometimes you're lucky if all you get is a frog. We'll read classics for inspiration and set our darker natures free as we write our own twisted tales. This course calls writers who wish to study the history of the fairy tale and build upon its creepy foundations and questionable morals. 

Science Fiction and Fantasy: Secret Worlds (3132-006)

In his epic work Sandman, Neil Gaiman wrote, “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world...Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds...Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe." It is these secret worlds that give birth to our imaginations and empower us to craft stories that dazzle our fancies and free us from the confines of reality. In this course, we will tap into our own secret worlds, in addition to exploring those already well-established by some of the greatest world builders in the 'verse. We will write and share stories that bring to life and showcase all that is truly fantastical within us. Bring the fragments of every dream you've ever dared to dream, every hope you've ever hoped, and be ready to weave them into reality with vivid, dazzling prose.


* Duke Young Writers - High School - Session 2 *

Choose a course below and enroll in the appropriate section:

Finding Your Voice (3135-001)

Some of the most common complaints we hear from young writers are “I don’t know what to write” or “I don’t know what my strengths are.” In this class, students rarely say that after the first day. One of the most exciting things we get to do as writers is to experiment with how we tell the stories we choose to tell. Using a mixture of exercises in short story, poetry, journaling, and personal narrative, we will challenge ourselves to explore the variety of narrative voices that we each have. How are we most comfortable expressing ourselves, our experiences, and our ideas? How are we least comfortable, and why? When we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones as writers, we often produce our most intimate and interesting work. The goal of this class is to discover our most resonant voices—be they proud, happy, embarrassing, funny, or surprising—and share them.

Experimental Fiction: Weird and Wonderful (3135-002)

Do you want to push the boundaries of what a short story can do? Have you ever considered writing your novel backwards? Does your writing sometimes defy categorization? If so, come join the DYWC Fiction Laboratory, where you’ll study samples from the weirdest authors in fiction and test out your wildest ideas on willing test subjects—er, your classmates. Along the way, try new writing strategies to bend your mind and push the limits of your creativity. Can you find the cure for Writer’s Block? It’s time to find out . . .

Blogging; A New Art Form (3135-003)

During the last ten years, freelance writers and journalists have found that the blog offers opportunities to hone essential nonfiction writing skills and give a voice to a variety of topics and issues. Students in this class will learn how to structure an effective blog post, how to make blogging a conversation with readers, and how to write effective headlines. Students will compose blogs about everyday life, travel, the arts, advice, politics, and the media and then post those blogs to the Duke Youth Voice blog site.

Introduction to College Writing (3135-004)

College can be quite an adjustment for incoming students, particularly in the area of writing assignments. This class introduces students to the kinds of writing that their college professors are likely to assign, as well as strategies to approach those assignments. Through a combination of smaller pieces like blog posts and group work, and more formal assignments such as an opinion editorial and a research paper, this class will help students develop the writing skills they will need to be successful in the college classroom, including how to contribute to a scholarly debate, conduct effective research, and give a presentation. This class will also address ways to succeed in an online learning environment, given the likelihood that online learning will be a part of their education over the next year. 

This class is open to students in grades 11 and 12 in the 2019-2020 school year.


* Duke Young Writers - Middle School - Session 2 *

Join us online for Duke Young Writers for middle school students, July 13 through July 24th 2020!

Choose one of the following writing sessions and enroll:

Jump Starting Fiction: Scene Building (3134-001)

Each scene in a work of fiction holds the dramatic tension of plot and is a mini-plot of a novel. Each day student will utilize multiple art forms as well as exercises created by the instructor to inspire the writing of a fictional scene. Each of these scenes may stand alone or be stitched into a work of short fiction. Utilizing the rich cultural resources of Duke’s campus, inspiration will include film, music, visual art and nature.

Science Fiction and Fantasy: Secret Worlds (3134-002)

In his epic work Sandman, Neil Gaiman wrote, “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world...Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds...Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe." It is these secret worlds that give birth to our imaginations and empower us to craft stories that dazzle our fancies and free us from the confines of reality. In this course, we will tap into our own secret worlds, in addition to exploring those already well-established by some of the greatest world builders in the 'verse. We will write and share stories that bring to life and showcase all that is truly fantastical within us. Bring the fragments of every dream you've ever dared to dream, every hope you've ever hoped, and be ready to weave them into reality with vivid, dazzling prose.

Fan Fiction: For FANatics Only (3134-003)

What do Hamilton, The Lion King, and Riverdale have in common? They’re all wildly successful fanfiction projects! In this class, we’ll explore what happens when we ask, “What if?” and turn our favorite stories on their heads. What if the hero was secretly evil? What if the enemies were actually in love the whole time? What if it all took place at your school? Come stretch the limits of published fiction -- and your imagination!

Multi-genre Writing: Finding the “Write” Form (3134-004)

It takes a little practice to find the “write” form—and to change one genre into another. In Multi-Genre Writing, we’ll experiment with science fiction, fantasy, narrative, and poetry, and we’ll work on various writing exercises that mix and overlap genres. How about fantasy-mystery? Or graphic-poetry? We’ll turn short stories into plays, narratives into comics, news stories into fiction and poetry.

Horror Fiction: Fantastically Frightening Fiction (3134-006)

Do you want to horrifically horrify your readers? Students will construct a horror premise, develop dynamic characters who may or may not fall during the chase scene, and tell a truly terrifying tale. “It was a dark and stormy night.” Snoopy started off well. Where will horror fiction take you? Writers will draw inspiration from both their imagination and real-world scenarios. Students will participate with independent writing, paired and group writing, as well as analyzing excerpts from texts, films, and music to create truly terrifying stories. Join us for a terrifying journey into Horror Fiction!

Character Factory (3134-007)

Writers play favorites. After all, the characters we really love writing might have a small part of ourselves in them, so it really breaks our hearts when our readers just don't get them. If only we could round them out, make them three dimensional, and liberate them from the page—but wait! We can! Using the good old-fashioned character profile sheets and roleplaying games, you can find out what your characters would be like in a different world, a different plot, a different conflict. Throw curveballs at them and see if they've still got a mind and a voice of their own. Because if they do, you know they're sure to be unforgettable.


Why do young people choose Young Writers’ Camp?

Imagine an online camp where learning and fun are the same.

It’s a stress-free, nonjudgmental environment.

It gives students freedom to write on topics and genres that interest campers.

It teaches “the rules” for writing, but also ways to break those rules.

Even its academic classes allow students to be creative.It’s full of writing exercises that tease the mind and bond you with fellow campers.

It’s a place to find and make friends; it’s a place to find people like you.

Cost and Session Information

Tuition: $1,700

Dates: 

Session I:  June 15 - June 26, 2020 (excludes weekends)

Session II:  July 13 - July 24, 2020 (excludes weekends) 

 

 

 

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Duke University Youth Programs - Online

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1 Participant Review

Write a Review
My favorite place to be

My favorite place to be

5
Reviewed on 2/20/2019 by

I cannot render enough praise to Duke Young Writers’ Camp. It is an incredible experience. When I stepped in, I was initially unsure about whether it’d be fun, whether I’d make friends, and whether I’d become a better writer, among other things. I had relatively average expectations. They were immediately surpassed! The community of writers is supportive, talented, and kind. (Please use the Oxford comma while on the grounds of DYWC; you will make so many more friends.) The first Reader’s Forum is intimidating, especially for a first-timer, because everyone is SO GOOD! However, you will soon gain the confidence to read, and when you do, you will have people SWARMING you with congratulations, kind words, and hugs. Campers are generally more eccentric people, but we realize that the normalities the world places upon us are bizarre in a terrible way, and we bond over it. The teachers are extremely talented in the field of writing. However, classes are not extraordinarily academic. Field trips are in abundance, and many witty writing exercises are put to play. Teachers give useful, diplomatic advice. The food is good, especially for the context of a college campus. The dorms are well-maintained and air conditioning is a blessed piece of machinery. Besides classes, many other activities occur, like the iconic video production class (provided, I learned little about video production) for afternoon activity and many entertaining evening activities, like Mafia or Werewolves or even beautiful weddings. Leaving is the hardest thing to do, and I talk to the many friends I made at DYWC every day. I love this community so much and I cannot wait to see everyone again this July.

1 Participant Review

Write a Review
My favorite place to be

My favorite place to be

5
Reviewed on 2/20/2019 by

I cannot render enough praise to Duke Young Writers’ Camp. It is an incredible experience. When I stepped in, I was initially unsure about whether it’d be fun, whether I’d make friends, and whether I’d become a better writer, among other things. I had relatively average expectations. They were immediately surpassed! The community of writers is supportive, talented, and kind. (Please use the Oxford comma while on the grounds of DYWC; you will make so many more friends.) The first Reader’s Forum is intimidating, especially for a first-timer, because everyone is SO GOOD! However, you will soon gain the confidence to read, and when you do, you will have people SWARMING you with congratulations, kind words, and hugs. Campers are generally more eccentric people, but we realize that the normalities the world places upon us are bizarre in a terrible way, and we bond over it. The teachers are extremely talented in the field of writing. However, classes are not extraordinarily academic. Field trips are in abundance, and many witty writing exercises are put to play. Teachers give useful, diplomatic advice. The food is good, especially for the context of a college campus. The dorms are well-maintained and air conditioning is a blessed piece of machinery. Besides classes, many other activities occur, like the iconic video production class (provided, I learned little about video production) for afternoon activity and many entertaining evening activities, like Mafia or Werewolves or even beautiful weddings. Leaving is the hardest thing to do, and I talk to the many friends I made at DYWC every day. I love this community so much and I cannot wait to see everyone again this July.

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