This 6-week immersion program, conducted over the summer, is based on Columbia University’s highly acclaimed writing program. This workshop celebrates the triumph of the individual voice across the framework of time, and considers the social, political, and personal motivating factors that propel writers to create. We offer a broad exposure to new authors, forms, strategies, and philosophical considerations inherent in the creative writing process.
Students will develop work samples within different genres such as epic, narrative and free verse poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, novella, creative non-fiction and autobiographical narrative. They will have the opportunity to analyze professional samples, brainstorm ideas that will expand the scope and impact of their writing, and hone their authentic voice and point-of-view. At the end of the workshop, they will emerge with a portfolio of their collected works, suitable for use in college and/or private school admissions.
A Unique Approach to Finding the Voice
Modeled after the Columbia University Writing Program, The Ivy League Creative Writing Intensive offers students the following benefits:
- Small-group mentoring, with extensive access to one-on-one project development time with the teacher
- Introductory framing of the “why?” for each genre — how it evolved historically, and the distinct purposes of each type of communication
- Utilizing this framework to excavate each student’s unique perspective and narrative voice within a wide variety of forms
- A celebration of the individual voice of each writer, while using imitative exercises and warm-up activities to release any inhibition to express creative thoughts truthfully and fearlessly
- Strategies for addressing writer’s block, perfectionism, and somatic awareness during the creative process
A Weekly Break-Down of the Program
Week 1: Poetry
What is poetry? Who gets to define that anyway? Join us for a week full of cool, contemporary poetry pulled from various traditions including rap and spoken word. Not everybody writes like Emily Dickinson, and that’s okay!
Week 2: Journalism
Oscar Wilde once said, “In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs forever and ever.” There is no doubt that in today’s technological, media-driven culture we are influenced every hour of every day by the information delivered to us through our TVs, smartphones, iPads, and computers. Learn to lend your voice to that conversation and become a guiding force in shaping the information we receive!
Week 3: Creative Non-Fiction
Every summer our great-grandmother would regale us with tales of her youth in Hilton Head, North Carolina. That mythical place lives on in the collective family memory, but few are left who can still remember the magic and wonder of those summers. Learn how to conduct meaningful interviews that focus on the narrative, and to retell the stories of others lest they become lost forever.
Week 4: Autobiography/Memoir
Nobody can tell your story better than you, because they haven’t lived it! Focus on your experiences that have been important or transformative, and then turn them into vibrant stories that show not only where you’ve been, but who you are!
Week 5: Short Story Fiction
“If I had the time, I would have written a shorter letter.” – Blaise Pascal ca. 1656
Brevity is an art of itself, and fitting a full story into a few pages can prove much more difficult than you might imagine. Join us as we explore the beauty of short form fiction.
Week 6: Comedy/Satire
Everybody loves to laugh and to make others laugh! Even though laughing comes easy, comedy often does not. This week will prepare you to set your newsfeed atwitter with “LOL”s and to have your family in stitches around the cranberry sauce next Thanksgiving!
This workshop will allow students to partake in the entire program OR sign up for specific curriculum modules, as space permits. Please contact Merry at 310-892-0383 for dates, details and/or to reserve a spot.