Writer’s Week: A Creative Writing Workshop

Contact

E-mail

914.395.2205

July 2 - 7, 2018

Program will not meet July 4

Directed by distinguished faculty members, this program allows high school students to explore writing in a non-competitive and non-judgmental environment that values the risks and adventure of the creative process. Each day, participants attend writing and theatre workshops led by prose writers, poets, and performance artists. Included in the week are mini-workshops taught by program faculty and guest artists. Rooted in the Sarah Lawrence College tradition of one-on-one interaction, the program offers students the opportunity to meet individually with workshop leaders. Classes are limited to 18 students, with three faculty members per workshop. The program also includes faculty and student readings and a celebration of student work on the final day of the program.

We welcome students entering the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades the following fall. Students must be age 14 or older at the start of the program. Students must commute; a residential option is not available.

Sponsored by The Writing Institute and the Office of Professional & Summer Programs at Sarah Lawrence College and the Greater New York Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

The Writer's Workshop

The day's work begins with a creative writing workshop, giving students the chance to investigate what defines a poem, a story, and the best way to communicate ideas through writing. This course is a place for students to write, to read one another's work, to learn to observe what is familiar and what is not, and to transform what the writer sees into words. Members work as professional writers do: generating material, collaborating, and talking, revising, and rewriting.

The Writer's Theatre

The work of the writer and theatre professional are similar—both investigate storytelling, character performance, narrative, and more. When studied together, these two related disciplines can produce holistic and more informed writers capable of creating work that reaches broad audiences. In this course, the creative process is explored in an intuitive and spontaneous fashion through improvisation, group projects, and games. Faculty and students participate together to give form and shape to both individual and collective expression. No prior theatre experience is necessary. Students select their theatre specialty. Past offerings have included stand up, comedy, improvisation, performance art, puppetry, and film shorts.

Sample Schedule

8 - 9 a.m. Drop-off
9 a.m. - Noon The Writer’s Workshop
Noon - 1 p.m. Lunch/Conferences/Readings
1 - 3 p.m. The Writer’s Theatre
3 - 3:15 p.m. Break
3:15 - 5 p.m. Activity
5 p.m. Pick-up

Faculty

Marcia BradleyMarcia Bradley is a writer, a teacher, and a reader. From Chicago, she earned her BA in Creative Writing at Antioch University in Los Angeles and her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She love thoughtful words, intentional sentences, and stories that immerse readers in the magic of everyday lives. She believes everyone is a character … and each character is wondrous. She has completed a novel that takes place on the South Side of Chicago and has short stories published in Two Hawks, Hippocampus, and an honorable mention from Glimmer Train. She has received scholarships to Writers in Paradise at Eckerd College and to Community of Writers Squaw Valley. In addition to teaching Beginning Novel Writing for The Writing Institute, she teaches Creative Writing for Middle and High School students from the Bronx, Yonkers, and at Sarah Lawrence. She has lived a lot of places and does not mind packing boxes. For now, she has a place she calls her own in the Bronx that she shares with her books, coffee, and an imaginary dog.

Teaching Approach

  • Marcia Bradley: I actually believe that everyone can write. Not just some people. Not only gifted creative folks. In my workshops, I facilitate finding one’s point of view. I help motivate writing the story or novel or poem or essay that lives within a student’s thoughts. Want to write a book? Let’s do it. Do you have one very, very long sentence you can’t let go of? Try it out on us. Only want to write dialogue? We’ll listen. Most anything goes and the results are always wonderful.

Workshop Descriptions

  • Marcia Bradley: Are you a Heart Stopper—a person who yearns to tell a story that is so deep inside yourself that only the word “I” can begin the first sentence? Or, are you a Crowd Sourcer—a more cerebral observer who watches the world from a distance and can write the story of one of the people in the crowd—please tell us the dancer’s, or the baker’s, or the lonely child’s tale. Perhaps you are the Found Voice—the writer who knows that in second person “YOU” reigns supreme—start a piece with the word “YOU.” We can’t wait to see where you take us. Students write, read aloud to each other, give and receive feedback, and write some more.

Goals for Young Writers

  • Marcia Bradley: In our first workshop, I ask each writer to think about their goals (not mine). If they want to write a story, a series of poems, a social justice essay, or a book, or something else. I offer structures for the time we will be together so that the students can achieve what they want. Students have left my classes with pieces to submit to contests and magazines. Others have taken home the outline of a book, the chapters titled, and the first pages ready to go. Some stay in touch with me.

Facilities

The program takes place on the Sarah Lawrence campus in Yonkers, a 10-minute walk from the Metro North Railroad stations of Bronxville and Fleetwood—30 minutes north of Midtown Manhattan. The 44-acre wooded campus provides an ideal setting for young writers. Throughout the week, students have reading privileges at the College’s Esther Raushenbush Library.

Student Testimonials

  • “I loved the Sarah Lawrence Summer High School Writer's Week! The creative energy around me was truly inspiring and helped me to write new pieces. The students and instructors empowered one another to step out of their comfort zones, by sharing work and feedback. It was great to meet so many kind and supportive writers. This program gave me the insight on how to create an idea and follow through with it.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you house my student on campus?

Unfortunately, we do not offer housing for students participating in Writer's Week. Th workshop offers the ideal opportunity to visit the NYC and Hudson Valley area. Most of our out-of-town participants stay with family and friends or at one of our area hotels. If you are interested in a residential program, please explore the other summer programs we offer for pre-college students and adults.

Do you have a list of available housing in the area?

While we do not offer housing or have a list of available housing, we do have a list of hotels in the area. Many offer discounts to Sarah Lawrence College visitors. When booking the hotel, be sure to inform them that you will be participating in a Sarah Lawrence program and would like to take advantage of any discounts offered.

Do parents need to accompany students to check-in?

Parents and families are invited to attend the welcome orientation on the first day. While not required, we do hope you join us. At the orientation, you will hear from our directors, faculty, and staff, as well as receive additional information about your student’s time with the program. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and take a tour of the campus. There is no need for you to accompany your student to morning check-in for the remainder of the program.

Can my student receive school credit?

We do not offer college credit for this program, though, if requested, we can send a letter to your student’s school confirming their participation in our summer program.

Will my student have homework?

Students typically do not receive homework, but may be asked to come prepared for the next class with fresh ideas. It is important to note that each workshop is run independently and the work they will be asked to do is dependent on the faculty members.

How many students per class?

Each workshop/group has 18 students that work closely with three faculty members.

What is the age of the students in the classes?

The program is open to students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades the following fall. Each group consists of equally distributed ages to bring a range of different voices and experiences to the class.

Does my student need to be an advanced writer?

This program is for anyone who has a desire to become a writer—to discover or fine tune the skills they already have. Whether the student is a beginner or an advanced writer, the faculty works with each student to create and move toward individual goals in a supportive, noncompetitive environment.

What is the theatre component of the program?

In The Writer’s Theatre workshops, the creative process is explored in an intuitive and spontaneous fashion through improvisation, group projects, and games. Faculty and students participate together to give form and shape to both individual and collective expression. No prior theatre experience is necessary.

Does my student need a computer?

Students are not required to bring computers and will have access while on campus to our Electronic Classroom in the Esther Raushenbush Library. Individual student requests to use a computer should be discussed and arranged on the first day with workshop faculty members.

What should my student bring to campus?

Students are provided with a notebook and pen at orientation. Nothing else is required. Please do not bring valuables. We cannot be responsible for items that are lost or stolen on campus.

Who are the instructors for the program?

Our courses are taught by dedicated education professionals and Master of Fine Arts Writing Program candidates from Sarah Lawrence College. We also have a large support staff available to you and your student to assist with any questions that may arise.

When will I hear back about scholarship acceptance?

Scholarships are offered on a first come, first serve need basis until all scholarships have been allocated.

What transportation options are available for my student to get to campus?

Sarah Lawrence College is located in proximity to various transportation systems. Students can take the Metro North railroad to the Bronxville train station and take a 10 minute walk or three minute cab ride to campus. The Bee-Line Bus operates from Bronx subway stations to campus and throughout Westchester County. For complete schedules of the local train and bus services, please refer to the links above.

Program Costs

Registration fee $50
Deposit $250
Remaining tuition $543
Meal plan

$85 (lunch only)

A limited number of partial scholarships are available.