Before the founding in 1982 of the Young Writers Workshop at the University of Virginia, residential programs for young creative writers didn’t exist.

From the Blog

Dangers for the Teenage Novelist

Writing a lot—and presumably a novel is a lot, since even a short one is around 50-60,000 words—doesn’t mean of course that the writing is any good. And yet it’s becoming clear to me that writing a novel may be something young fiction writers think is expected of them, especially in an age when they can self-publish.


As a recommending teacher of students who attend Young Writers Workshop, I get to witness the drastic changes within each camper I send. Either students find me with interest in the program, or, as a former member of the program's residential staff, I seek out students who could benefit from the experience that I describe to be the most formative of my life. Students leave with high expectations based on my high praise. Students return the next school year with an individualized adoration that far exceeds their expectations. Most of all, students make major discoveries that shape their identity. One student in mind left as a prose writer and returned transformed as a poet and is now studying poetry at Pratt University, thanks to his summer awakening.

Carly Nicholson

Recommending Teacher