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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

Gallery Walk!

Check out these samples from this summer’s Graphic Text labs! Thanks to artist Lydia Conklin and all the students who participated!

The Cartoon You

Graphic memoirs have been in the news a lot in the last few months—from Alison Bechdel winning the MacArthur Genius Grant to Roz Chast’s memoir appearing on the National Book Award Longlist.

One of the building blocks of creating a graphic memoir or a nonfiction graphic essay is creating a persona for yourself—the Cartoon You.


“Who do you think you are? Why can’t you be like everybody else?” This withering evaluation—whether spoken or unspoken—is one that creative kids often endure during their high school years.  I taught a workshop on Performance Reading at YWW, and all three of my children are YWW alumni, so I speak from happy experience when I tell you this:  This workshop is where young writers belong, where they feel safe taking a creative risk. In this environment, a young writer’s nascent talent will be given every opportunity to take root and blossom.  It’s life changing. For real.

Janis Jaquith