Best Summer Writing Programs for High School Students

Best Summer Writing Programs for High School Students: With Advice from a Former Admissions Officer

Pioneer > News > Best Summer Writing Programs for High School Students: With Advice from a Former Admissions Officer
writing programs

There are many summer writing programs available to students. Some programs focus on the foundations of writing. Others focus on a single discipline, such as comedy writing or character development.

Narrowing down such an extensive list of writing programs is a time-consuming and daunting task that requires a lot of critical thinking.

Fortunately, Pioneer Academics used its meticulous standards to hand-select the best summer writing programs for high school students. You’ll also learn helpful tips from an admissions officer.

Brett Fuller 1
Advice from a Former Admissions Officer

Brett Fuller

Academic Development Manager | Pioneer Academics
Former Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Wake Forest University
Former Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

Important note: The “best” program is always going to be the program that best fits your needs, goals, and interests. Check out my thoughts on things to consider when selecting a summer program here: College Application: Tips on Selecting a Summer Program Meeting Admission Officers’ Standards.

You will often hear writers describe their most important skill as something akin to developing their “voice.” A strong writing program will both reinforce the basics and help you tease out who you want to be as a writer. Some programs will be geared toward journalism, others aspiring authors, and others still be less interested in steering you in any particular direction than they will be in helping you develop your craft. Prioritize finding a program that will provide mentorship above all else. Learning what it means to discover your “voice” will not only aid your writing but will also pay dividends when crafting your college applications.

Pioneer Academics

Pioneer Academics is a research program offering a carefully crafted and finely honed curriculum that identifies students’ needs while constructing solutions around these demands. This research program teaches students how to conduct research at an undergraduate level, increasing their critical thinking and analytical skills. Students can also access to multimedia material that strengthens their understanding of research-related concepts. Throughout this fully accredited online program, students explore subjects of interest with the aid of experienced Pioneer Academics faculty. This program culminates with each student writing an undergraduate-level research paper submitted online.
FormatOnline
Cost6,650 US dollars
Program DatesJune - August (Some Students May Extend to September)
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: April 9, 2023
FormatOnline
Cost6,650 US dollars
Program DatesJune - August (Some Students May Extend to September)
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: April 9, 2023

Princeton Summer Journalism Program –  Princeton University

The Princeton Summer Journalism Program combines online and in-person learning. Students first take part in an intensive, multi-week online learning experience. During this time, students focus on current events by writing samples, attending virtual daily workshops, and watching lectures from Princeton’s esteemed professors. Then, students spend the final 10 days of this course attending a residential program at Princeton’s world-renowned campus. This program’s participants also take a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing of the Princeton Summer Journal – Princeton University’s annual newspaper. Princeton also pairs students with personal advisers, helping them navigate college admissions, applications, and other aspects of college life.
FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJuly 28, 2023 - August 7, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: February 27, 2023
FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJuly 28, 2023 - August 7, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: February 27, 2023

The School of New York Times Summer Academy –  The School of New York Times

The School of the New York Times, named after the renowned newspaper, offers various summer writing programs. This program’s course cover topics such as photojournalism, podcasting, playwriting, video storytelling, editing, and reporting. Each of this school’s writing programs last two weeks, with students having the option to attend one or multiple classes. Leading these classes are industry experts, including several award-winning journalists working at the New York Times. Academy participants also get a unique chance to explore New York City with other students participating in graduate programs in field trips and special site visits.
FormatIn-person
CostProgram Cost (Tuition + room and board): $5,975
Materials Fee: $245
Health Fee: $100
Processing Fee: $150
Program DatesSession 1: June 5, 2023- June 17, 2023
Session 2: June 19, 2023-July 1, 2023
Session 3: July 3, 2023- July 15, 2023
Session 4: July 17, 2023- July 29, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: April 3, 2023
FormatIn-person
CostProgram Cost (Tuition + room and board): $5,975
Materials Fee: $245
Health Fee: $100
Processing Fee: $150
Program DatesSession 1: June 5, 2023- June 17, 2023
Session 2: June 19, 2023-July 1, 2023
Session 3: July 3, 2023- July 15, 2023
Session 4: July 17, 2023- July 29, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: April 3, 2023

Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program

Founded in 2010, The Adroit Journal is an organization that showcases emerging artists, poets, performance artists, and writers. This organization’s Summer Mentorship Program pairs high school students eager to learn about creative writing with professional writers. The focus of this self-proclaimed informal program is for each student to have individualized and flexible guidance. This program covers many writing subject areas, including fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction writing. Students regularly share their work with peers and mentors throughout this program. Students also get to speak with a valuable network of peers interested in creative writing. This program also offers financial aid to select students.
FormatOnline
Cost$450
Program DatesJune 19, 2023- July 31, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 15, 2023
FormatOnline
Cost$450
Program DatesJune 19, 2023- July 31, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 15, 2023

JCamp – Asian American Journalist Association

JCamp is a writing program available to a diverse group of high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors interested in journalism. This program’s goal is to resolve the problem of the need for more diversity among working journalists. Students meet with and learn from veteran media executives and journalists. In this program, students also have the opportunity to work behind the scenes creating multi-platform news packages for JCamp Live’s news website. This in-person program has students attend writing workshops, participate in hands-on training, and get the chance to take journalism-related field trips. Courses covered in this program include leadership, the importance of diversity, and cross-cultural communication.
FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJuly 15, 2023- July 21, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 17, 2023
FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJuly 15, 2023- July 21, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 17, 2023

California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) Writing Program

Each summer, the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) accepts about 70 high school students passionate about expressing themselves through writing. These in-person programs let students learn from members of CSSSA’s faculty, covering specialties such as writing prose fiction, memoirs, and poetry. Students also choose how they spend their time at these summer programs by choosing electives covering subjects including fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic writing. At the end of each week, participants also take part in student readings. These summer writing programs also feature nationally renowned authors as guest speakers and weekly collaborative group projects.
FormatIn-person
CostCA State Residents: $4,250
Out-of-state: $6,500
Program DatesJuly 8, 2023 - August 4, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: February 28, 2023
FormatIn-person
CostCA State Residents: $4,250
Out-of-state: $6,500
Program DatesJuly 8, 2023 - August 4, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: February 28, 2023

Juniper Young Writers Writing Lab – University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts offers a one-week residential summer writing program at the Juniper Institute for Young Writers. This residential summer program teaches students writing concepts through lectures, fiction workshops, and writing prompts. Students also attend hour-long talks with the instructors of this creative writing program, having the chance to ask these authors questions. The main focus of this program is its writing labs, lasting two hours per day. Students also get a first-hand look at college life on the University of Massachusetts campus, spending time in dorm rooms and enjoying meals from a nationally renowned dining hall.
FormatIn-person
Cost$2,500
Program DatesJuly 23, 2023- July 29, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: Rolling or until program fills
FormatIn-person
Cost$2,500
Program DatesJuly 23, 2023- July 29, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: Rolling or until program fills

Smith College Creative Writing Workshop – Smith College

Students looking for supportive summer writing programs should learn about Smith College’s Creative Writing Workshop. This summer writing program accepts a small group of high school students excited about creative writing. Instead of this program having a rigid focus on perfection, students participate in expressing the unpredictable sides of brainstorming and writing. This summer program’s courses focus on many writing styles, including poetry writing, screen, and playwriting. Students attending this summer writing program learn from instructors who are also published authors. By the end of this summer writing program, each student will have a strong starter writing portfolio.
FormatIn-person
Cost$4,285
Program DatesJuly 9, 2023- July 23, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: May 15, 2023
FormatIn-person
Cost$4,285
Program DatesJuly 9, 2023- July 23, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: May 15, 2023

Reynolds Young Writer’s Workshop – Denison University

Many high school students passionate about writing want to start fine-tuning their craft before they become college students. That’s the main thought behind Denison University’s summer writing workshop: letting high schoolers hone their writing skills as early as possible. In this eight-day residential workshop, students learn from Denison’s faculty and an ever-changing list of award-winning visiting writers. Students also take part in exclusive writing workshops to let high schoolers explore their creative writing abilities. When not attending lectures, group sessions, or in-program workshops, students also get to discuss the creative writing process with like-minded peers.
FormatIn-person
Cost$1,500
Program DatesJune 24, 2023 - July 1, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 1, 2023
FormatIn-person
Cost$1,500
Program DatesJune 24, 2023 - July 1, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 1, 2023

Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers

High school students interested in writing fictional tales involving elements of science fiction, horror, and fantasy should know about Alpha – The Young Writers Workshop. Alpha selects 20 students to join experienced writers in this 12-day summer writing program. This creative writing program also welcomes esteemed authors to spend a few days lecturing, leading exercises, and eating lunch with students. Students engage in plenty of creative writing, learn about developing innovative ideas, the drafting process, and successfully revising their work. This program also lets student hone their evaluating skills by constructively critiquing their peers’ writing.
FormatIn-person
Cost$1,200
Program DatesJuly 19, 2023 – July 30, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 12, 2023
FormatIn-person
Cost$1,200
Program DatesJuly 19, 2023 – July 30, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 12, 2023

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