Summer Weekly Workshops

Teen Intensives
2015 Intensives Recap
2014 Intensives Recap

2013 Intensives Recap

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  2015 Summer Creative Writing Intensives Recap 2015 Feedback and More

With limitless boundaries to

explore and create,

young writers' minds took flight at The Writers Circle's

2015 Summer Creative Writing Intensives.

Every day began with inspiring prompts and creative warm-ups.

morning messages
Listening deeply to strange music...
morning messages
Sharing our words aloud.
morning messages
Creating stories on the fly - with frisbees!
morning messages
Reading our masterpieces to the crowd.
morning messages morning messages
Observing ordinary moments (in this case, eating clementines)
and making them into some magical words.




Then we broke up into our three genre workshops:

Fiction, Poetry and a special each week -

Playwriting (Week 1), Creative Nonfiction (Week 2) and Sci-fi/Fantasy (Week 3).

classes classes
classes classes





And time for our first day tradition - writing 8-word memoirs!

getting to know you getting to know you
getting to know you getting to know you


Monday and Tuesday afternoons were spent with these very special authors and experts.

getting to know you
Bestselling novelist Caroline Leavitt returned for a second year in a row!
getting to know you
Journalist and Blogger Joseph Amditis challenged the kids to a mock press conference!
getting to know you
Yvonne Ventresca led us through a tough revision workshop.
getting to know you
Then AJ Colucci stirred up our sensibilities to write some truly creepy thrillers.
getting to know you
Allie Dvorin talked about the intricacies of screenwriting.
getting to know you
Alana Benoit inspired all the students to send their work to the nationally recognized Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.





We did plenty of concentrating in class and during our afternoon free-write hour where students spread out, found a comfortable spot and just wrote. It's the quietest hour ever spent in any summer program in history. And if you can sense how much fun we were having, then

you truly understand what the Summer Intensive is all about!

getting to know you getting to know you
getting to know you getting to know you
getting to know you getting to know you


 Being on the Drew campus this year let us use their grounds every day for outdoors and fun!.

getting to know you getting to know you
getting to know you getting to know you




On Wednesdays, we broke up the week taking students around and off-campus to focus on

all-day group projects, guided by some very special guest artists.


SHAKESPEARE DAY with actor Christian Conn
Our first Wednesday was all about the Bard - his life, his poetry, and his love of word play!

Christian Conn
Christian introduces the dyanmics of iambic pentameter.
Shakespeare Day
and chats with the kids about the "Shakespearean" scenes they'll write.
Shakespeare Day
We even indulged in a bit of performance, starting with Romeo & Juliet
Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet
TRADITIONAL or GENDER-BENDING. Wait! Which one is traditional?
Shakespeare's women were played by men, after all!


HISTORICAL TIME TRAVEL DAY at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts
What was life like in Madison, NJ, 200 years ago?

Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
ntern-led groups created Madison, NJ as it was 200 years ago, including crazy families, mischievous apprentices, gossiping opportunitists and secrets - lots of secrets!
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts



TV WRITERS WORKSHOP with guest instructor Chip Davis
Our popular TV Writers Workshop used the Drew campus as a backdrop. Our logline: Why do Drew students keep disappearing?

Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
Chip explains the goal - to create a TV pilot, pitch and 5 season story arc - in a day!
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
Trust makes a truly effective writing team. We went out on the green to practice, then brought our lessons to the blackboard to plan.
TV Writers Room
Students waited anxiously as group-leaders chose a random TV genre for their TV pitch.
TV Writers Room TV Writers Room





Intensive students were challenged by our truly inspired instructors:

Catherine Doty
Catherine Doty (Poetry)
Chris Kapp
Chris Kapp (Fiction/Poetry)
Richard Fulco
Richard Fulco (Playwriting)


Lisa Romeo
Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction)
Paul Witcover
Paul Witcover (Sci-fi/Fantasy)
Judith Lindbergh
Judith Lindbergh (Fiction)
Michelle Cameron
Michelle Cameron (Poetry/Fiction)




On Thursdays, we rehearsed. And on Fridays, we celebrated each week's hard work with

a reading for invited family and friends.

reading reading
reading reading
reading reading


Group Shots

Week 1


Week 1 2015


Week 2


Week 2 2015


Week 3


Week 3 2015


And this year, we share a classic Writers CIRCLE in the perfectly medieval setting

of Drew University's "Castle" where we started Shakespeare Day!


The Writers Circle

(Wow! That's a big circle!)


We couldn't have done all this without the help of our incredible staff:


Chantal - Program Coordinator

Chantal - Program Coordinator Extraordinaire!


and our multi-talented, jump-into-the-deep-end-and-swim interns:

Jaris   Thea   Cindy
Colleen   Abbie  Charlie

Jaris, Thea, Cindy, Colleen, Abbie and Charlie!

Be sure to read some of these young writers' work at
The Writers Circle Journal Online.


Please join us next summer!

For more information, join our email list,
contact us or call (973) 900-0415.

Be sure to read these young writers' work at
The Writers Circle Journal Online!




“I’ve never been more excited to write!”

“The Summer Intensive is 100% awesome.”

“The Intensives helped me open up.”

“The Intensive was a completely unique experience.”

“I’ve been to this Intensive three times now, and it just keeps getting better.”

“I loved the weird, relaxed atmosphere of WRITERS.”



“I loved how comfortable the atmosphere was, the freedom and limitless boundaries.”

“The free write forced me to just write and write.“

“The poetry workshop was transformative… It awakened me to a new way to approach my poetry.”

“The Shakespeare skits were hilarious.”

“Most valuable: making friends who were talented writers and feeling challenged by writing.”

“Most valuable: being pushed out of my comfort zone to share my writing.”



“The most valuable part...finding other kids that take writing seriously.”

“The most valuable part of the Intensive was exploring my own voice.”

“I really found my place as a poet through the poetry workshop.”


“I liked that we were able to use the skills we learned and apply them to our own stories.”

“I think it was cool to make our own TV show.”

“The world building in sci-fi was fun and felt limitless.”

“I really think this made me a stronger writer.”

“It’s perfect! I’m signing up next year!”



"My son loved that he the freedom to write what he wanted without the restrictions that he is always given in school."


"My child loved experimenting with different prompts and ideas."


"Most valuable: being with a group of kids who are passionate about writing and being in a supportive space to share those writings."


"I loved that you emphasized the concept of writing as team."


"My son really enjoyed learning about different types of poetry. It has opened his mind to experimenting with the various styles. He has begun to read more poetry in order to further his learning about different styles."





"My daughter loved the entire experience. The time to write, the tips and techniques from all of the various teachers, the guest speakers and the interaction with other teens who share her passion. She truly enjoys the summer writing intensives!



All this awesomeness
happened at


Brothers College
Drew University, Madison, NJ




Check out memories from previous summers:

Summer 2014

Summer 2013



Yes, we're planning to return to Drew next summer!

Interested in information for our 2016 Summer Intensives?


We hope to hold the 2016 Intensives during the last week of July and

the first two weeks of August.


For more information,
join our email list,
contact us or call (973) 900-0415.