Young Authors Creative Writing Camp

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Young Authors Creative Writing Camp

August 1-5, 2019

This 4-day/night immersion provides master classes, guided writing, workshops and excursions for eligible 10th, 11th and 12th graders interested in all areas of writing.

The writing instruction includes an introduction to peer review and workshop-style manuscript evaluation, multi-genre master classes and guided writing sessions.

Teenager on a climbing wallExcursions
With residential and day options, the program incorporates plenty of social activities to feed the writer’s mind and body. 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 and tours. 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 Bryn Athyn College’s turf under the lights. All of our experienced staff are lit-loving professionals excited to engage and connect with their Young Authors and Boot Campers.

Master Classes
Young Authors attend seven 50-minute craft based master classes in multiple genres. The master classes are suitable for any teen who loves to write and wants to learn more, including hopeful novelists, fan fiction enthusiasts, bloggers, musicians and poets.

two female students smiling and laughing as they sit on a blanket in the sunny meadow with their textbooksGuided Writing
These one-hour sessions encourage pen-to-paper writing time, with staff support and inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.

Manuscript Workshop
Afternoon sessions include group manuscript critique. The writing sample submitted with each Young Author application will be distributed in advance as a packet to all participants, for reading and generating discussion of the work and craft. In addition, each packet comes with critique guidelines and forms. Young Authors learn about the value of peer review from both sides of the table. Each writer receives detailed manuscript notes at the macro and micro level from the workshop leader Erica Cantley.

Additional Program Option
Rising juniors and seniors may choose to stay and participate in the Crush Your College Essay Workshop. This two day one night program is only $150 for those enrolled in either Young Authors or Writing Boot Camp.

residence hall cottage family roomHousing/ Meals
Young Authors may choose to live at home and attend the program from 9 am – 9pm, or they can immerse themselves in the full overnight experience. Partnered with our Writing Boot Camp 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.

• $680 all-inclusive with lodging and meals
• $475 day rate includes everything except overnight lodging
• Optional: add on the extra Crush Your College Essays for $150

50% is due on acceptance into the program, with the remaining balance due by July 15, 2019.

2019 Schedule

Thursday, August 1

  • 1:00pm arrival and check in at cottages
  • 2:00 Welcome
  • 3:00-4:30 Workshop—instructions and writing warm up  (Friends Room) Erica Cantley
  • 5:30 Dinner
  • 6:30 Evening walk around historic district
  • 7:30 KEYNOTE SPEAKER (event open to public) Julianna Baggott
  • 9:00 Meditation*
  • 10:30 Lights out

Friday, August 2

  • 8:00am Breakfast
  • 9:00 –9:50 Morning Master Class 1 E.C. Myers Diversity in YA
  • 10:00-10:50 Morning Master Class 2 Amy Ferris “TURNING OUR MISTAKES INTO OUR MISSIONS: Writing/Righting Our Lives”
  • 11:00 Guided Writing Amy Ferris 
  • 12:00pm Lunch
  • 1:00-3:00 Workshop session 1 Erica Cantley 
  • 3:00-5:00 Counselor-led activity or yoga*
  • 5:30 Dinner
  • 6:30-9:00 Philly Rock Gym Excursion*
  • 8:00 Guest author/participant readings
  • 9:00 Meditation*
  • 10:30 Lights out

Saturday, August 3

  • 8:00am Breakfast
  • 9:00-9:50 Morning Master Class 1 Merry Farmer “Romance and Relationship”
  • 10:00-10:50 Morning Master Class 2 POETRY/Autumn Konopka “Nothing Like the Sun: Writing the Beauty We Struggle to See”
  • 11:00-11:50 Guided Writing Chandra Hoffman
  • 12:00pm Lunch
  • 1:00-3:00 Workshop Session 2 Erica Cantley
  • 3:30 Counselor activity or Glencairn Museum tour
  • 5:30 Dinner
  • 7:00-9:00 Ultimate Frisbee under the lights or movie night at cottages
  • 9:00 Meditation*
  • 10:30 Lights out

Sunday, August 4

  • 8:00 Breakfast
  • 9:00-9:50 Morning Master Class 1 Abbey Nash “Find Your Voice, Find Your Story”
  • 10:00-10:50 Morning Master Class 2 Merry Farmer “Alternative Paths to Publishing”
  • 11:00 Morning Master Class 3 Industry/Publicity
  • 12:00pm Agent/editor lunch panel Q&A Heather Flaherty, Rebecca Gyllenhaal, Amanda Miska 
  • 1:00-3:00Final Workshop Session Erica Cantley
  • 5:30 Dinner
  • 6:30 Van to Altitude Trampoline Park
  • 7:00-9:00 Altitude and Cold Stone Creamery
  • 9:00 Meditation*
  • 10:30 Lights out

Monday, Aug 5

  • 8:00am Breakfast
  • 9:00 College Essay  Mary Heinrichs Williams
  • 10:00 College Essay
  • 11:00 College Essay
  • 12:00pm Lunch
  • 1:00 Afternoon session 1
  • 2:00 Afternoon session 2
  • 3:00-5:00 Counselor-led activity
  • 5:00 Dinner
  • 6:00-9:00 Counselor-led activity
  • 9:00 Meditation
  • 10:30 Lights out

Tuesday, Aug 6

  • 8:00am Breakfast
  • 9:00 College Essay
  • 10:00 College Essay
  • 11:00 College Essay
  • 12:00pm Lunch, closing remarks
  • 1:00 Check out/departure by 2:00pm


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

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

How To Apply



Writing Submission
Interested participants are asked to submit a writing sample. This work is copied and distributed to fellow participants in advance of the retreat for study in the afternoon writing workshop. Workshops are designed to accommodate both experienced writers and those in the earlier stages of honing their craft. Please email your writing submission to

Writing Sample Guidelines
• Poetry—up to 10 pages of poetry, 12 pt font, single spaced.
• Fiction, Young Adult and Creative Nonfiction—up to 20 pages, 12 pt font, double spaced
• All submissions must include a header with the author’s name and page number. (ex Smith, 7)
• All submissions must include a cover sheet (PDF)
• Electronic document name must include applicant’s last name.
• Applicants must have completed 8th grade by the time of admission.

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