Young Writers Camp

This summer Young Writers Camp will offer four online workshops for high school writers, facilitated by fantastic local writers and camp staff. High school students can register for all four workshops ($75) or single workshops ($20).


Zoom links will be sent with details after registration and payment is complete. We hope to return to camp on campus in 2022!

Summer 2021 Workshops

Workshop 1

"I Could Tell You What This Workshop Is About... But I'd Be Lying."

Tuesday, June 15, 3:00-4:15 pm
Led by: Jen Long
Genre: Fiction

In this workshop, we will examine the ways 6th-grade cafeteria culture repressed our creative muse. Actually, that’s not true. (Which is not to say that it didn’t.) It’s a poetry workshop for people realllllly into spoon collecting. JK. Seriously though - it will help you write killer scholarship application essays. JOKING! Ok, ok, ok. Actually - and I’m being serious now - it’s a fiction workshop about that tricky little fella known as the UNRELIABLE NARRATOR. Is he a liar? Are they just young & naive? Maybe she has amnesia and has honestly forgotten what we thought she just didn’t know, you know? Nothing makes for a juicier plot twist than a storyteller who doesn’t tell the whole story. I promise to tell you the many, many ways to write your own Unreliable Narrator! Or do I...?


Jen Long

About Jen Long: Unpopular opinion warning: Jen Long did not hate quarantine life. PANDEMICS!? HAW-rib-le! Hate those! But long, dreeeeeeeeammmmy mornings spent in the living room fort with her cats and her kids and her glitter pens, writing poems and stories and making collage art with them, and listening to the gifts from above that are Taylor Swift's last two albums (the two before Fearless (Taylor's Version) which is such a complete queen move, amiright?)... those were good days. Teaching high school writing and literature makes for good days too, though, which is what she did before going into the Q, and what she's doing again now. So either way, life is pretty good if you're Jen Long.

Workshop 2

“Writing Your Memoir with Poetry”

Thursday, June 17, 3:00-4:15 pm
Led by: Claire Jimenez
Genre: Poetry

Have you ever wanted to write a book about your life, but in verse? Then this is the class for you. During this workshop, we will read selections from Elizabeth Acevedo's Poet X and explore how to write an autobiographical narrative about ourselves through poetry. First, we will visually map important parts of our lives and then we will bring them to life using poetry.


Claire Jimenez

About Claire Jimenez

A longtime Staten Islander, Claire Jimenez is a PhD student in English with a concentration in Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her BA in English from Colby College and her MFA in creative writing from Vanderbilt University. Her first book, Staten Island Stories, was published by John Hopkins University Press.

Workshop 3

“Music, Meter, & Form”

Tuesday, June 22, 3:00-4:15 pm
Led by: Jordan Charlton
Genre: Poetry

The relationship between music and poetry is intimate. Just think of your favorite song—it’s probably a poem with an instrumental. Still, how much is there to learn from this relationship? Hip hop, Rock, the Blues, and other forms of music have been great influences on the poetic form. In this workshop, we will look at how one can mature their prosody from looking at such music. Writers interested in this workshop need not be able to play an instrument, but the understanding of rhythm will help!


Jordan Charlton

About Jordan Charlton

Jordan Charlton is a PhD student at the University of Nebraska. He also works with the Nebraska Writers Collective, working with both high school youth poets and incarcerated writers through the programs "Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains" and "Writers' Block." Jordan's poems have been published recently in The Adroit Journal, Atticus Review, and Typehouse Literary Magazine.

Workshop 4

“Human, Inhumans - Writing characters with depth to populate your deep universe”

Thursday, June 24, 3:00-4:15 pm
Led by: Derek Funk
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Fiction

Don’t you hate it when your characters, like, suck? Do you have a great idea for a fictional universe, but you’re having trouble pairing it down into one particular story within that universe? OR, do you have a great fictional universe, and an idea for a story within it, but you’re struggling to flesh out your characters and keep them consistent? This workshop focuses on “iceberging” your characters and slowly revealing who they are to your audience.


Derek Funk

About Derek Funk

Derek Funk is a high school English teacher at Lincoln East and a Master’s of Arts, Creative Writing, Fiction student at UNL. He has a wife, Lauren, a son, Leo, and two dogs, Satchmo and Pete. In his spare time, Derek enjoys thinking about the eventual heat death of the universe, and watching baseball. These things are related. He also recently learned what a “non-fungible token” is. He has no idea what to do with this information.

Reflecting on YWC 2016

Video by Allison Hess

It's really exciting to see teenagers become unafraid.

YWC Anthologies

Every year, our young writers compile their work into a single camp anthology. You can read anthologies from past years using the links below.

Photo Credits:

  • Diana Weis
  • Allison Hess