Summer Weekly Workshops

Teen Intensives
2015 Intensives Recap
2014 Intensives Recap

2013 Intensives Recap

Also See...

  2016 Summer Creative Writing Intensives Recap 2016 Feedback and More


(just trapped in kids' bodies -
but not for long!)

See what a bunch of passionate young writers
got up to at The Writers Circle's

2016 Summer Creative Writing Intensives.



Every day began with mind-bending and laughter-inducing prompts.

morning prompts morning prompts
We wrote 8-word bios to introduce ourselves - a Summer Intensive tradition!

morning prompts
Surreal images sparked imaginations on the first morning of each week.

morning prompts

We followed the inspiration of
lyrics scattered on the floor.

morning prompts

We started arguments - on purpose -
via notebook and text!


And then there was Wiffle-ball Words:

morning prompts

First, throw.

morning prompts

Third, wait while our interns write it all down
as fast as they can!

morning prompts

Second, catch and compose.

morning prompts

Fourth, share the wacky results of our stories!



Inside and OUT!

Each morning we broke out for our three genre workshops:


Fiction with Christina Kapp, Jennifer Walkup, Judith Lindbergh and Michelle Cameron,

Sci-fi/Fantasy with Paul Witcover (Week 1), Creative Nonfiction with Lisa Romeo (Week 2),
Poetry with Catherine Doty (Week 3), Screenwriting with Carol Forbes (Week 3),
and our brand new Creative Writing Samplers - three genres in one -
with Lisa Romeo and Laurie Albanese (Weeks 1 and 2).


And don't think we sat inside at desks all day. That's not The Writers Circle way!






Teen Writers Circles

Tuesday afternoons we introduced peer critique groups led by our
insightful and experienced interns.

The kids were THRILLED share their thoughts on each other's work and
to get the adults out of the way.



And there were always those gigantic Writers Circles out on the lawn
with prompts led by TWC Directors Judith and Michelle.



Food, Friends, and FRISBEE!

Time for lunch, socializing and some running around! Does the brain and body good.
And, hey, no matter how talented, they're still kids!

Food Friends, Frisbee
Food Friends FrisbeeFood Friends FrisbeeFood Friends Frisbee
Food Friends FrisbeeFood Friends, Frisbee

Time for


Our afternoon free-write is the most valued and beloved part of our program.
Imagine 30-40 kids spread out on the grass, under trees, tucked on benches in the shade
or on a comfy couch inside, tapping or scratching away at their words for a full hour.
If it sounds like writer's heaven, then you truly understand what the Summer Intensives are all about!

getting to know you



getting to know you
getting to know you

getting to know you



Monday afternoons we welcomed three terrific guest speakers:

Blogger Stacey Gill
Blogger Stacey Gill explained how blogs give us a platform to speak our minds.
Journalist Joe Amditis
Journalist Joseph Amditis challenged students to question real world events and
dig into reporting.
Novelist Mia Siegert
Novelist Mia Siegert talked about "raw writing" and the value of
not shying away from subjects that move you.



On Wednesdays, we shook things up with special off-campus excursions and all-day group projects
guided by some very special guest artists.


Week 1: Return to the Deserted Village of Feltville

The subject was "MURDER!" and it was happening - or happened - somewhere in the woods.

Deserted Village

We explored the ruins, from broken down porches to a mysterious cemetery.

Deserted Village Deserted Village
We jotted down notes on everything we witnessed, then started to
piece together the "evidence."

Deserted Village Deserted Village

Finally we broke into groups and got writing. At the end, we shared our murder mysteries and mysterious murders, including a little bit of set design and acting!


Week 2: All Day Poetry Extravaganza with award-winning poet BJ Ward.

Poet BJ Ward
BJ started the day with wild words that opened up our minds to
possibilities of language.
All Day Poetry

Simon Says became a lesson in really listening, as all poets must.

All Day Poetry

Blindfolds helped us pay attention to our senses beyond sight.

All Day Poetry


All Day Poetry

Finally, we took our notebooks to Drew University's Arboreteum to
breathe our thoughts onto the page.


 Week 3: The Cloisters Museum - our first visit to New York City -
where we slipped into the medieval past or the dystopian future,
depending on how we chose to interpret this incredible setting!

Cloisters Museum
We explored,
Cloisters Museum
Cloisters Museum

Cloisters Museum

and absorbed.
Cloisters Museum

and wrote

Cloisters Museum


Cloisters Museum

Then we wrote,

Cloisters Museum

and wrote some more.


And at every step of the way, every single day, there was


Listening and Sharing

Listening and Sharing
Listening and Sharing
Listening and Sharing


Listening and Sharing

Listening and Sharing



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

a reading for invited family and friends.


Ready for a crowd.



Each student shared a short piece, then introduced the next reader using
our 8-word bios from the first day.

Reading Reading



The Summer Intensive wouldn't be intense without our truly awesome and inspiring instructors:

Catherine Doty
Catherine Doty - Poetry
Chris Kapp
Chris Kapp - Fiction
Paul Witcover
Paul Witcover -
Lisa Romeo
Lisa Romeo - Creative Nonfiction and Sampler
Carol ForbesCarol Forbes - Screenwriting

Jenn WalkupJennifer Walkup - Fiction

Laurie AlbaneseLaurie Lico Albanese - Creative Sampler Judith Lindbergh
Judith Lindbergh - Fiction
Michelle Cameron
Michelle Cameron - Fiction

Group Shots

Week 1


Week 1 2016


Week 2


Week 1 2016


Week 3


Week 1 2016


Everything ran smoothly, thanks to our fantastic staff:


Chantal - Program Coordinator

Chantal - our INCOMPARABLE Program Coordinator!


and our multi-talented, up-for-anything interns:

Jaris  Abbie Adam
Bhupinder April William

Charlie Maddy

Jaris, Abbie, Adam, Bhupinder, April, William, Charlie and Maddie!

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

Publishing in early September 2016!

Join our email list to receive our publication announcement.


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!

Publishing in early September 2016!

Join our email list to receive our publication announcement.






"I don’t get to be around others writers much at all, at school. It is so great to be with people all doing the same thing."


"When my mom told me about the writing intensive, I wasn’t sure. I write all the time, but just for fun. I was worried my stories wouldn’t be very good and people would think I was terrible at this. But then I got here and everyone is just so nice and so helpful, so it was cool to share my stories and hear what people had to say. It was really helpful!"


“The writing prompts are awesome! The teachers are passionate! I also loved Frisbee!”


“The most valuable part of my time at the Intensive was hearing the opinion of other writers.”


"It was so nice to be around other writers on the same level or higher because at school not many people are as interested in writing as I am. It was great to get to hear so much great writing that everyone was doing and just so many good ideas. And I got a lot of great feedback on my writing."


“Fiction workshop was extremely helpful. Learning about dialogue and plot was interesting and I felt safe and that everyone could relate to the same things.”




"I like writing, but I was unsure when I heard I was going to be writing six hours every day, for five days straight. I wasn’t sure how I could write that much or if it would get boring. But it was amazing and I can’t believe I ever doubted it! I liked writing before, but coming here really made me realize how much I love it.


“I really loved how I stuck with my story and added elements of description, action, dialogue, and character.”


“I love the environment of this place and all of the useful critiques that I get.”


"The balance between compliments and critiques was great."


“I loved the poetry day. I liked how BJ helped us go out of our comfort zone and helped us see poetry in new ways”


“The creative atmosphere inspired me”


“I can’t describe how much my poetry class helped me. I am not the best at poetry but now I feel more confident.”


“Fiction workshop was impeccable. I learned so much in my favorite facet that it’s not even funny.”


“Going to the Cloisters was so inspiring and interesting, it was great!”


“Poetry was one of the best classes I have ever taken. Cat’s amazing and it was perfect for poets who have been writing poetry for a while or newbies.”


”I really liked the critiques groups. It was nice to get honest feedback on something I’d been working on.”






"My daughter LOVES this camp! Had I known she would have liked it so much I would have signed her up for another week!"


"My daughter really enjoyed listening to the guest speaker, who opened her mind up to journalism. She also loved the student critique groups because it gave her the opportunity to share her work with others."


"She really loved the Poetry Extravaganza. She enjoyed writing poetry outside of her comfort zone and the various activities used to inspire her."


"The most valuable part of the Intensive for her was that she was surrounded by others that also shared her passion for writing, and received their feedback on her work."





All this awesomeness
happened at


Brothers College
Drew University, Madison, NJ




Check out memories from previous summers:

Summer 2015

Summer 2014

Summer 2013



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

Interested in information for our 2017 Summer Intensives?


We plan to hold the 2017 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.