Arts and Communication Pre-College Studio Programs

Creative Writers Workshop

Creative Writers Workshop offers rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors an opportunity to develop writing skills in an intensive pre-college writing program. Applicants selected for the program attend classes designed to help young writers concentrate on fiction or prose, screenwriting, graphic novel writing, and magazine writing. During the five-week program, students write, workshop, revise and develop a portfolio of their work. Students who complete the program will have an opportunity to participate in a final reading to demonstrate the writing skills they have learned. The final reading is scheduled for Saturday, August 13, 2016.

Please note: This program is designed for students who want intensive training in creative writing, have respect for the writing process, and understand how to manage their time and complete assignments both in and out of the classroom.

Program Features

Creative Writers Workshop focuses on developing and strengthening creative writing skills through various forms of writing. Students who participate in this program:

  • Explore fiction and nonfiction and their various subgenres
  • Focus on language, techniques, and traditions in three chosen genres
  • Learn revision through the workshop process
  • Write and read their original work
  • Create a portfolio of their work
  • Hear the work of classmates and pre-college faculty
  • Attend lectures by guest writers and publishers
  • Learn about writing careers and the literary life

Creative Writers Reading Series and Final Reading

At the end of the program, students will have an opportunity to participate in a final reading of their work for parents and friends. Final Reading: August 13, 2016.

Program Dates and Costs

Program Dates (including required orientation): July 10–August 13, 2016
Final Reading: August 13, 2016
Move-out day for on-campus students: August 14, 2016–by noon

Creative Writers Workshop is offered as a noncredit program.

Creative Writers Program Costs per student:

  • Residential: $6,531
  • Commuter: $3,236

Lunch, Monday through Friday is included. The residential option includes room, linens, breakfast and dinner on weekdays, and brunch and dinner on weekends.

Non-refundable application fee: $60. The application fee is separate from program cost.

Creative Writers Workshop Priority Application Deadline: May 2, 2016

Who Should Apply

Students entering grades 10, 11, and 12 during the 2016-2017 academic year, who have the desire and maturity to receive constructive criticism about their work and give helpful feedback to others during the program are encouraged to apply. Each candidate for the Creative Writers Workshop must submit the required application form (completed and signed), a non-refundable $60 application fee, and the following documents.

  • Student Statement of Purpose: In one or two pages, please describe: 1) what you hope to achieve during the studio program, and 2) an event that you feel has prepared you for the pre-college program. In your statement, please indicate which Fundamentals, Elective, and Breakout sessions courses you would like to take.
  • Essay: In one or two pages, discuss a book and/or writer that you believe has most influenced or inspired you and your work.
  • Teacher Recommendation: Please submit at least one recommendation, completed by a teacher who knows your work. If possible, the teacher should know your work in the field to which you are applying.
  • Creative Writing Samples: Submit one of the following creative writing samples that best illustrates your interests and writing ability. Write your name on each page and submit no more than 10 pages:

    a. Prose of either fiction or nonfiction (two to five pages, double-spaced)
    b. Two to four poems, single-spaced
    c. Mixed samples of both fiction and poetry

We will accept applications through June 13, 2016. Admission to Emerson College's Arts and Communication Pre-College Programs is on a rolling basis. We suggest applying early, as space is limited. Admission decisions are made frequently.

The priority application deadline for Creative Writers Workshop is May 2, 2016.

International Student Applicants
The final deadline for international student applicants is May 23, 2016. Visit international student information to learn about additional required application materials and find out more about applying to pre-college programs.

Creative Writing Classes

Fundamentals Classes

Each student will choose a fundamentals class that will focus on the basic language, techniques, and traditions in the chosen genre.

The Art of Fiction
In the Art of Fiction class students practice the basics of writing fiction including description, dialogue, tone, and plot. By discussing and analyzing contemporary published fiction, students identify narrative techniques and strategies. In addition, students examine the workshop process as well as different genres that exist within fiction.

The Art of Prose: Fiction and Nonfiction
In the Art of Prose class students discover the universal elements of writing: style, clarity, image, and language. They also discuss and analyze contemporary writers in fiction and nonfiction, as well their own work, while examining the workshop process.

Breakout Sessions

Students will explore other aspects of writing and publishing by choosing between one of two breakout sessions.

The Graphic Novel: Creating a Visual Story
This course focuses on developing and structuring a story to fit the graphic novel form. Through reading graphic novels and writing exercises, students learn to write an effective script for the graphic storytelling format. No artistic experience is necessary to take this course.

Scriptwriting: Creating fo Stage and Screen
Students learn the structure to write both a one-act play and screenplay. Students read scenes from short plays and view excerpts from films to learn character development, story arc, and dialogue. Students choose to focus on a one-act or screenplay for the final project.

Elective Classes

Each student will choose an elective course that demonstrates how the fundamentals of writing play out in particular genres.

Introduction to Magazine Writing
This course will help students develop, research, and write feature stories, editorials, reviews (books, music, and movies), and personal essays. Students will also learn how to submit their work to magazines.

Slam Poetry: Form, Voice, and Performance
Students learn the basics of writing poetry including poetic elements such as rhythm, imagery, diction, and tone. Students explore different poetic forms: blank verse, free verse, and spoken word. Student learn to effectively use their voice and body language to deliver their poems to an audience.

Other Program Highlights

Creative Engagement
Students cover weekly themed topics relating to writing and the writing life. Themes may include, but are not limited to Using Social Media as a Writer, Revising Your Work, Public Speaking and the Creative Writer, and How to Promote Your Work. Students also use this time to work on their assignments.

Literary Excursions
During this time students step outside of the classroom and visit various city sites. With the continued focus on creative writing and location, students use location as a way to be observant writers and also use elements of active learning to provide a visual language to incorporate into their work.

Creative Writers Workshop Reading Series
A weekly reading series featuring faculty and students. A brief question and answer session takes place at the end of each performance.

Writers Salon
Students meet published writers or editors who address related topics such as: publishing, careers in writing, and the literary life.

Creative Writers Workshop Literary Magazines
During the program, students will be encouraged to submit their work to online literary magazines, The Elm and The Split Infinitive, and Imprinted Emerson, written by members of the Creative Writers Workshop.


Get an idea of what your schedule will be like as a pre-college creative writing student: Sample Creative Writing Schedule. Schedule is subject to change.


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