Writer’s Boot Camp

Writer’s Boot Camp

August 1-6, 2019


This 4-day/night immersion provides high school juniors, seniors, and rising college freshman with the tools they need to face the higher writing expectations and increased work loads of their school year ahead.

The practical workshop sessions focus on honing students’ essay-writing skills. Any student who hopes to improve his or her writing will benefit from practical instruction which includes refreshers on grammar, vocabulary, mechanics, logic, precision, how to develop and expand on a theme, and how to connect with a reader.

Whether wanting to improve their English grades, preparing for AP English, or dreading Freshman Writing 101, attendees will partake in rigorous practice that will greatly enhance their writing facility, speed, and confidence.

bryn athyn cathedral

Excursions To increase retention and alleviate brain drain, the program incorporates plenty of social activities to recharge the mind and engage the body. With outings and lots of counselor-led experiences, Boot Campers pair up with our Young Authors participants for fun and relaxation.

Outings highlight the natural, architectural and recreational gems of the surrounding community, including creekside hiking in the Pennypack Nature Preserve, a local farm/craft market, swimming and tours of the Bryn Athyn Historic District’s Glencairn Museum. Additionally, campers will be traveling off-site by van to the Philadelphia Rock Gym for top-roping and team building, a night at Altitude Trampoline Park and games on the turf under the lights. All of our experienced staff are lit-loving professionals excited to engage and connect with their Boot Campers.

Young people studyingGuided Writing
These one-hour sessions encourage pen-to-paper writing time, with staff support and inspiration.  

Additional Program Option
Students who are rising seniors are strongly encouraged to stay and participate in the Crush Your College Admission Essay Workshop. This two-day program is only $150 for those enrolled in either Young Authors or Writing Boot Camp.

residence hall cottage family room

Housing/ Meals
Boot Campers may choose to live at home and attend the program from 9 am – 9pm or immerse themselves in the full overnight experience. Partnered with our Young Author Program, we offer single-sex residences in one of four charming stone cottages on the green with experienced residence counselors on staff. The cottages have WIFI, air-conditioning and feature a first floor open-plan Great Room, living/dining area, washer/dryer and a large kitchen. Each cottage has a private outdoor patio overlooking the meadow and opens on to the communal green for socializing, games, readings, meditation and yoga.

Meals will be served in the Bryn Athyn College’s Brickman dining hall. The menu features fresh, healthy, local fare and includes gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Erica CantleyInstructor — Erica W. Cantley
Erica taught high school English literature, AP English, creative writing, and film at her alma mater, The Academy of the New Church, in Bryn Athyn, PA for sixteen years. She holds a BA in Literature/Writing from Columbia University, where she studied with renowned Shakespeare scholar, James Shapiro, and an MA in Literature/Writing from Arcadia University. As a teacher, she strives to instill in her students an appreciation for classic storytelling forms as the basis for all the tales we tell today. Two of her primary areas of interest are spirituality and narrative writing that responds to classic literature. Erica wrote the memoir Teaching Hamlet As My Father Died based on her experiences grappling with deep grief and the demands of the classroom with the help of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy. Erica first became comfortable working a room and standing behind a podium during her 20-year career in fine dining management, which culminated in positions as the first female maitre d’ for chefs Daniel Boulud and Mario Batali in New York City. Erica maintains an active connection with the food world, and is currently revising a roman-a-clef based on her time working as a maitre d’ in New York City, pre-and-post 9/11.


50% is due on acceptance into the program, with the remaining balance due by July 15, 2019.
See Refund/Cancelation policy below.

How To Apply:


Refund/ Cancelation Policy

A 50% deposit is due upon acceptance. Participants who cancel before July 1 will receive a refund minus a $100 cancelation fee. If you cancel after July 1, 2019 there is no refund.

If it is necessary for Bryn Athyn College to cancel a class for any reason, students will be notified and offered another class in its place. We cannot be responsible for nonrefundable airline tickets.

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