Young Writers' Workshop

Young Writers WorkshopYoung Writers' Workshop 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, Young Writers Workshop 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 Young Writers Workshop, 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.

Young Writers WorkshopThe 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.

Cost: $1350

Dates: July 12-17, 2020

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



Arrival and Orientation

Time Events
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Arrival & check-in. Meet YWW faculty and RAs, and move in!
4:00 p.m. Orientation w/ RAs and faculty
4:30 p.m. Campus Tour w/ Admissions Office tour guides
6:00 p.m. Welcome Dinner with YWW faculty and staff
7:30 p.m. Film Screening & Discussion


Writing the Lyric Narrative Poem: Weaving Our Storytelling Impulse with the "Deep Image," With Professor Nadine Meyer

Time Events
7:45 - 8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9 - 10:15 a.m. Poetry Session 1
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Morning Break
10:30 - 11:45 a.m. Poetry Session 2
11:45 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Lunch in Dining Hall
1:00 - 2:15 p.m. Poetry Session 3
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Q&A w/ Mark Drew, Editor, The Gettysburg Review
5:00 p.m. Dinner, Faculty Reading & Ice Cream Social
8 - 9:30 p.m. Optional Swim Time, with RAs, Jaeger Center for Athletics


Creative Nonfiction: Litany, Scene, Manifesto, with Professor Kathryn Rhett

Time Events
7:45 - 8:45 a.m. Breakfast in the Dining Hall
9 - 10:15 a.m. CNF Session 1
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Morning Break
10:30 - 11:45 a.m. CNF Session 2
11:45 - 12:45 p.m. Lunch in Dining Hall
1 - 2:15 p.m. CNF Session 3
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. College Admissions Demystified, w/ Mary Wilkes Smith, Senior Associate Director of Admissions
5 - 6:15 p.m. Dinner in the Dining Hall
7:30 p.m. Bookbinding workshop, Waldo’s on Lincoln Square


Writing for Stage and Screen: Imagining Your Words Heard and Seen, with Professor Nadine Meyer and Kathryn Rhett

Time Events
7:45 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9 - 10:15 a.m. S&S Session 1, Kline Theatre
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Morning Break
10:30 - 11:45 a.m. S&S Session 2, Kline Theatre
11:45 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Lunch in Dining Hall
1:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Special Events and Excursions


Why There Are No Rules in Fiction Writing, with Professor Fred Leebron

Time Events
7:45 - 8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9 - 10:15 a.m. Fiction Session 1
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Morning Break
10:30 - 11:45 a.m. Fiction Session 2
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch in Dining Hall
1 - 2:15 p.m. Fiction Session 3
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Editing Session, w/ RAs, for Friday workshops
6 - 9:00 p.m. All-Program Dinner and Open Mic Night


Creative Writing Workshop: Giving and Getting Helpful Critiques, with Professors Fred Leebron, Nadine Meyer, and Kathryn Rhett

Time Events
7:45 p.m. Drop off luggage before breakfast.
7:45 - 8:30 p.m. Breakfast in Dining Hall
8:45 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. Workshopping Creative Writing
9 - 10:15 a.m. Workshop 1
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Morning Break
10:30 - 11:45 a.m. Workshop 2
12 - 1:00 p.m. Farewell Lunch
1:00 p.m. Departure

Workshop Directors and Faculty

Writing CampFred Leebron, Gettysburg College Professor of English since 1997 and an award-winning novelist and short story writer, is a co-director of Young Writers’ Workshop, for admissions and outreach. 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.

Nadine Meyer, Gettysburg College Professor of English since 2007, and an award-winning poet, is a Co-director of programming for the Young Writers’ Workshop. In 2017 Nadine Sabra Meyer’s second book of poems, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, was published by New Issues Poetry and Prose, winning the Green Rose Prize. Professor Meyer's first book of poems, The Anatomy Theater, won the National Poetry Series and was published by HarperCollins. Read some examples of her work in Blackbird, Project MUSE, and Verse Daily.

Kathryn Rhett, Gettysburg College Professor of English since 1997 and an award-winning memoirist and essayist, is a co-director of Young Writers' Workshop, for programming. Professor Rhett has published a memoir, an essay collection, and a poetry collection. A 2007 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellow in Nonfiction, and 2018 Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, she has published essays in Creative Nonfiction, Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and elsewhere. Read more at

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

Participants 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 workshop and all aspects of the participants' experiences.


Writing Camp Students
When is the workshop?
The workshop will take place from July 12-17, 2020.
How much does it cost to attend?
The workshop fee is $1,350. This includes lodging, meals, and activities. The number of admitted participants is limited to facilitate close contact with workshop faculty (three English professors) and resident advisors (current or graduated English majors).
What is the contact information for the workshop?
For questions please contact the Workshop Co-Director Fred Leebron (
Who is eligible to attend Young Writers' Workshop?
The Young Writers' Workshop 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 workshop 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, participants will receive instructions for completing online registration. When the workshop is full, registration will close.
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
Full refunds will be issued before May 22. 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?
The Directors will communicate to all parents and participants the precise dormitory location within three weeks of the start of the Young Writers Workshop. Check-in time is from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on July 12 and departure time is at 1:00 p.m. on July 17. Although we know this can be difficult for participants traveling from far away, we urge participants and parents to make every effort to ensure arrival by 4:00 p.m. on July 12 as workshop activities will begin that afternoon.
My child 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 child by contacting the transportation office directly as soon as possible: phone - 717-337-6923; email Please note: To guarantee transportation for your child, reservations must be made by June 3.

Workshop Life

Writing Camp Students
Does my child need to do academic preparation for the workshop?
No. We welcome participants with varying levels of creative writing skills.
What does my child need to bring?
We will provide linens and towels for each participant (pillow, pillowcase, 2 towels, 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet & a blanket). Each room also has a micro fridge. Participants should bring washcloths, hand soap and a hand towel, toiletries, clothes, etc. Participants may also bring drinks and snacks to keep in their room if they would like.
What are the accommodations for participants?
Participants will live in an air-conditioned Gettysburg College residence hall. Participants will room in doubles with shared bathrooms.
Who will be living with my students?
Participants 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 workshop and all aspects of the participants' experiences.
Does my child need to bring a computer?
Participants do not need to bring computers. Computer access will be provided for all classroom activities. However, participants are permitted to bring computers if they wish. Wireless access is provided in the residence hall.
Can my child have a cellphone?
Yes. However, participants will be asked to turn off cellphones during class sessions.
What does a typical day look like?
See the workshop schedule above.
How much money should I send with my child?
All workshop-related meals and expenses are covered by the workshop registration fee. Participants may want to bring additional money for bookstore purchases, snacks, or souvenirs.
Mail to participants:
Please send mail to:
Young Writers Workshop at Gettysburg College
Participant Name
Box 2457
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA 17325

In addition, Dining Services has special "spoil-em-long-distance" packages available if you want to send to participants a special treat. More information
How do I know participants will be safe and secure?
The residence hall is locked at all times. Resident advisors live with participants 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 child 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. Participants will be asked to complete a special food allergies form so please let us know about any accommodations at that time.
My child 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, participants 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

Writing Camp Student on stage
Will my child have the opportunity to have a campus tour?
Yes, there will be an official tour as part of orientation on arrival day. Students will also meet as a group with an admissions officer, for a behind-the-scenes conversation about the college admissions process. Throughout the week, students will work and play in various campus spaces.
Will this workshop help my child get into college?
The Young Writers’ Workshop is designed to give your child an insider view into creative writing and a glimpse into what college life is like. Our curriculum is designed not only to increase your child'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 workshop can be a great part of a comprehensive college preparatory experience.