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

The Lion King Eats Hamlet

Fairy tales, fables, and folklore – were they invented just to control the behavior of children? To allow for the possibility of happy endings? To give voice to our greatest desires and fears? Pure flights of fancy? Regardless of their purpose or aims, these archetypal stories are ingrained in our cultural consciousness, and wield power over us. What happens when we seize the power, and re-imagine these stories?

Cultivate Your Community, Cultivate Your Craft

When I arrived back in Pittsburgh after my first time as a counselor at YWW, I had two feelings. The first was one of elation, and went something like this:


I felt energized to write and experiment and create art. This lasted for a couple days. But then another feeling emerged. Panic.


I have attended the UVA Young Writers Workshop three years in a row, and each time, the experience has gotten better and better. I was a member of the infamous, ill-fated, derecho-doomed 2012 first session, which was cut in half by the monster storm. It was a fantastic week nonetheless, and, come next summer, I applied again for the same two-week session. I was actually leaning towards not submitting, and it was only under the gentle pressure of my mother that I caved and sent YWW what they needed. And I am incredibly glad I did, for towards the end of that 2013 session, I decided that – and I speak no hyperbole when I say this – I no longer had a best day of my life, I had a best two weeks. I was worried, in a way, when I tried for my third fiction workshop, about how in the world 2014 could possibly compare to 2013 – worries quickly realized to be unfounded by an experience that changed my best two weeks into my best four weeks. Impossibly incredible people; the suite counselors, the workshop instructors, the faculty, and, lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the young writers themselves. It’s a dense accumulation of dedicated writers, artists, friends, being guided by the brilliant minds of their instructors and counselors. The camp has shaped my life, informing it in unique ways during and after each session, and even though I call myself a writer, I have no words to describe the enormity, the essence, or the exhilaration of the UVA Young Writers Workshop.

Chris Drucker

YWW Alumnus