Writing Camp

Writing Camp

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Writing CampWriting Camp provides an in-depth introduction to all four genres of creative writing: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and writing for stage and screen.  Modeled on Gettysburg College's highly successful gateway course, Introduction to Creative Writing, and taught by the college's own senior faculty in creative writing, Writing Camp offers a constantly engaging, hands-on experience in how to write and how to talk about writing.

We believe talent can be taught! Developing writers need technique and inspiration.  This is why we, at Gettysburg College Summer Writer's Camp, have created an intellectual and physical space for high school students to gather around texts, to study with publishing writers, to learn the art of inspiration, and to write and perform their own work with new friends and peers.


Each day is divided into three 75-minute sessions, to offer students brief models in each of the four genres of creative writing, to provide ample opportunity to write in these genres, and to give helpful and inspiring feedback to their new work.  

Writing CampThe first four days are divided by genre, with the first day's instruction focusing on writing poetry, the second on writing nonfiction, the third day on writing for stage and screen, and the fourth on fiction writing.  A fifth day will offer the students a chance to give and receive feedback on their written work.  Throughout the week, students will write creatively, share work in class, and get inspired not only by what is going on in the classroom, but through activities such as readings, films, field trips, and a special open microphone event for all participants.

Mid-afternoons are reserved for free time to explore the College's extensive recreational facilities.

Cost: $1250

Dates: June 19-24, 2016

Application: Apply online.
There is a $50 application fee due upon submission of your application.

Sample Schedule

Sunday: Arrival

5:00 p.m. Orientation and Campus Tour

6:15 p.m. Welcome BBQ with Camp Faculty and Staff

8:30 p.m. Film Showing

11:00 p.m. Return to Residence Halls



8-9:00 a.m. Breakfast

9-10:15 a.m. Session 1

10:15-10:30 a.m.  Morning Break

10:30-11:45 a.m. Session 2

Noon-1:00 p.m. Lunch in Dining Hall

2:00-3:15 p.m. Session 3

6:00-7:00 p.m. Dinner

8:30 p.m. Gettysburg Ghost Tour

11:00 p.m. Return to Residence Halls



8-9:00 a.m. Breakfast

9-10:15 a.m. Session 4

10:15-10:30 a.m.  Morning Break

10:30-11:45 a.m. Session 5

Noon-1:00 p.m. Lunch in Dining Hall

2-3:15 p.m. Session 6

6:00-7:00 p.m. Dinner

8:30 p.m. Faculty Reading

9:30 p.m. Ice Cream Social

11:00 p.m. Return to Residence Halls



8-9:00 a.m. Breakfast

9-10:15 a.m. Session 7

10:15-10:30 a.m.  Morning Break

10:30-11:45 a.m. Session 8

Noon-1:00 p.m. Lunch in Dining Hall

1:30 p.m. Depart for Hershey Park

10:00 p.m. Depart from Hershey to Gettysburg College

11:00 p.m. Return to Residence Halls



8-9:00 a.m. Breakfast

9-10:15 a.m. Session 9

10:15-10:30 a.m.  Morning Break

10:30-11:45 a.m. Session 10

Noon-1:00 p.m. Lunch in Dining Hall

2-3:15 p.m. Session 11

6:00 p.m. Pizza Party

7:30 p.m. Open Mic Night: Student Readings and Performances with Dessert Buffet

11:00 p.m. Return to Residence Halls



9-Noon Feed Back Session with Morning Break

Noon- 1:00 p.m. Farewell Lunch with Presentation of Certificates

1:00 p.m. Departure

Camp Director and Faculty

Writing CampFred Leebron, Gettysburg College Professor of English since 1997 and an award-winning novelist and short story writer, is the director of Writing Camp. Professor Leebron has published three prominent novels and fifty stories in most of the country's top literary magazines, and he regularly presents at national and international conferences on writing. In addition he has designed more than a half-dozen graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education writing programs, and has taught creative writing in Europe, Latin America, and across the United States. Read some recent examples of his work: Epithalamium, 1989 on the Barcelona Review, On Craft: Escaping the Paradigm on Superstition Review, and Mr. Hysteria on Superstition Review.

Kathryn Rhett, Gettysburg College Professor of English since 1997 and an award-winning memoirist and essayist, will also teach at Writing Camp.  Professor Rhett has published two prominent nonfiction books and numerous essays in venues such as the New York Times Sunday Magazine and Real Simple.  In addition she has taught regularly at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and on the MFA Program at Queens University of Charlotte and the Pan-European Low Residency MFA Program at Cedar Crest College. Read some examples of her work.

Nadine Meyer, Gettysburg College Professor of English since 2007, joins the Writing Camp faculty as its resident poet.  Professor Meyer's first book of poems, The Anatomy Theater, won the National Poetry Series and was published by HarperCollins.  Last year alone she published more than twenty poems in national literary magazines, and she has served as a long-time juror for one of the country's most prestigious poetry prizes. Read some examples of her work in Blackbird, Project MUSE, and The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize page.

Fred, Kathryn, and Nadine teach the workshop method of creative writing, where students learn as much from responding to each other's work as they do from writing their own poems, stories, essays, and screenplays. This constantly interactive experience helps all writers learn their craft and take their work to the next level.

Role of RAs/TAs

Campers will live in a college residence hall with resident advisors, recent or current writing minors at Gettysburg College. Resident advisors are selected based on their expertise in creative writing and their maturity and experience. Resident advisors will work with students in and outside of class to support the goals of the camp and all aspects of the campers' experiences.


  • When is the camp?
    The camp will take place from June 19-24, 2016.
  • How much does it cost to attend?
    The camp fee is $1,250. This includes lodging, meals, and activities. The number of admitted campers is limited to facilitate close contact with camp faculty (three English professors) and resident advisors (current or graduated English majors).
  • What is the contact information for the camp?
    For questions please contact Fred Leebron the camp director at fleebron@gettysburg.edu
  • Who is eligible to attend Creative Writing Camp?
    Creative Writing Camp is designed for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
  • Is financial aid available?
    Currently no scholarship is actively awarded but individual situations may be reconsidered.
  • When is the application deadline?
    Applications will be accepted until the camp is full and will be considered on a rolling basis. We have limited space so we recommend that you submit an application as soon as possible. We receive applications from many more qualified applicants than we can admit. Once admitted, campers will receive instructions for completing online registration. When the camp is full, registration will close.
  • What is the refund and cancellation policy?
    Full refunds will be issued before May 22, 2016. From May 22 to May 31, there will be a 50% refund. After May 31, no refunds will be offered.
  • Where is check-in and check-out going to be?
    Check-in and check-out will be at Huber Hall (at the intersection of West Lincoln Avenue and Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, PA). Parking on the street is free on Sundays. Check-in time is from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on June 19 and check-out time is at 12:00 p.m. on June 24. Although we know this can be difficult for campers traveling from far away, we urge campers and parents to make every effort to ensure arrival by 4:00 p.m. on June 19 as camp activities will begin that afternoon.
  • My camper will be arriving by plane/train/bus. How do they get to campus?
    Gettysburg College provides safe and convenient transportation to/from local airports and train stations including Harrisburg international Airport, Harrisburg Amtrak Station, BWI & Baltimore Amtrak. The shuttle runs on specific group shuttle times to best accommodate the group.Transportation will require an additional charge of $110 (round trip). This amount reflects the college's standard transportation cost. If transportation is needed, parents must arrange it for their camper by contacting the transportation office directly as soon as possible: phone - 717-337-6923; email transpo@gettysburg.edu. Please note: To guarantee transportation for your camper, reservations must be made by June 5, 2016.

Camp Life

  • Does my camper need to do academic preparation for the camp?
    No. We welcome campers with varying levels of creative writing skills.
  • What does my camper need to bring?
    We will provide linens and towels for each camper (pillow, pillowcase, 2 towels, 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet & a blanket). Each room also has a micro fridge. Campers should bring washcloths, toiletries, clothes, etc. Campers may also bring drinks and snacks to keep in their room if they would like.
  • What are the accommodations for campers?
    Campers will live in an air-conditioned Gettysburg College residence hall. Campers will room in doubles with shared bathrooms.
  • Who will be living with my students?
    Campers will live in a college residence hall with resident advisors, English majors at Gettysburg College. Resident advisors are selected based on their expertise in creative writing and their maturity and experience mentoring younger students. Resident advisors will work with students in and outside of class to support the goals of the camp and all aspects of the campers' experiences.
  • Does my camper need to bring a computer?
    Campers do not need to bring computers. Computer access will be provided for all classroom activities. However, campers are permitted to bring computers if they wish. Wireless access is provided in the residence hall.
  • Can my camper have a cellphone?
    Yes. However, campers will be asked to turn off cellphones and other portable electronic devices during class sessions.
  • What does a typical day look like?
    See the camp schedule above.
  • How much money should I send with my child?
    All camp-related meals and expenses are covered by the camp registration fee except dinner and souvenirs during our trip to Hershey Park. Campers may want to bring additional money for bookstore purchases, snacks, or souvenirs.
  • Can I send mail to my camper?
    Yes. Please send mail to: Creative Writing Camp at Gettysburg College
    Box 2457
    Gettysburg College
    Gettysburg, PA 17325

    In addition, Dining Services has special "spoil-em-long-distance" packages available if you want to send your camper a special treat. More information
  • How do I know my child will be safe and secure?
    The residence hall is locked at all times. Resident advisors live with the campers and will do a bed-check each night at curfew (11:00 PM). Gettysburg College public safety officers are on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week. More information about Gettysburg College Public Safety

Health/Medical Concerns

  • What if my student has food allergies or special dietary needs?
    No problem. Gettysburg College dining services can accommodate many special dietary needs (e.g., food allergies, vegetarian, vegan), though the dining services cannot do completely kosher or completely organic. Campers will be asked to complete a special food allergies form so please let us know about any accommodations at that time.
  • My camper is on prescription medicine. How is that handled?
    As part of the registration process, fill out a medical release form. Depending upon parent/guardian instruction, campers will administer their own medications or resident advisors (chaperones) will keep medicine locked at all times and will administer it as needed.
  • What if my child gets sick?
    Parents/guardians will be contacted in case of illness to discuss how each individual situation will be handled. The nearest hospital, Gettysburg Hospital, is just 2 miles down the road (147 Gettys Street.) Gettysburg College Public Safety officers will ensure safe transport to the hospital if necessary.

College Preparation

  • Will my child have the opportunity to have a campus tour?
    Yes. Each day there will be a free choice period in which campers will be able to choose from a variety of activities. Campers will have the opportunity to do campus tours during these times.
  • Will this camp help my child get into college?
    Creative Writing Camp is designed to give your camper an insider view into creative writing and a glimpse into what college life is like. Our curriculum is designed not only to increase your camper's knowledge of creative writing, but to increase skills and abilities in the field. While any one experience is not a guarantee of admission to an institution, we do believe that this camp can be a great part of a comprehensive college preparatory experience.