Find creative writing camps near you
OurKids.net lists camps and programs in dozens of cities across the country. Find your city in the list below and find writing camps near you.
More than just day camps
For kids who love creative writing, there are other ways to indulge this passion. See related options below:
What children learn in creative writing camps
Creative writing camps teach kids teens numerous skills. Many of these apply well beyond the realm of writing and even academics. Some of the main skills you can expect your child to learn at a creative writing camp are discussed below. Consult with programs above to learn specifics of what they teach.
Spelling and grammar. Correct grammar and spelling is one of the foundations of good writing. Creative writing camps give children to help them understand the rules of grammar and spelling. This will enable them to write more effectively and produce polished work.
Good work habits. Homework is typically assigned to kids in creative writing camps. Students are expected and urged to hone their writing skills and habits at home and in school. Among other things, this forces them to balance their academic priorities and use their time wisely, in camp, school, and at home. This can help them develop strong study skills and a robust work ethic.
Storytelling skills. Within various creative styles and genres, kids are taught to paint vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. To help them accomplish this, they’ll learn characterization, various literary devices, dialogue, setting, conflict, and description.
Self-expression. Instructors normally give students plenty of freedom to write about topics that excite them. This enables them to express themselves through the characters or worlds that interest them, and to disclose personal feelings and thoughts to readers. This can be a powerful creative outlet and help nurture children’s passion for writing.
The writing process. The three main stages of the writing process are brainstorming, writing, and editing. Kids will receive in-depth practice in each stage. This includes conducting research, preparing outlines, drafting, redrafting, self-editing, and peer-editing. Learning the writing process will help kids produce more powerful and polished work.
Organization. Longer written pieces, such as short stories or personal essays, require planning and organization. Kids will learn how to organize their ideas and put them in the proper order, for instance, through outlines. This makes for more effective plot and character development.
The benefits of creative writing camps
Creative writing camps provide a wide range of benefits for kids. Below are some of the most important ones.
Explore multiple writing styles and genres. Various writing styles such as poetry, short stories, personal essays, and plays are explored during camp. Kids and teens will learn different writing styles, skills, techniques, and concepts. They’ll explore various genres like adventure, mystery, drama, and fantasy. They’re also given the flexibility to find and develop their own writing style and voice.
Improve writing through workshops. Writing workshops require kids to read, dissect, and edit one another’s work. Mistakes in structure, spelling, grammar, and tone often become more evident when students share their work with others and receive feedback. This can teach kids the collaborative part of writing and build their skills and confidence.
Improve academic performance. During camp, kids will analyze texts, brainstorm ideas, research information, and edit their work. This will help improve their critical thinking, problem-solving, reading comprehension, and organizational skills. These skills can boost kids’ academic performance as well, not just in English, but in other subjects as well, such as history, social studies, math, and science.
Build mentorships. In creative writing camp, classes tend to be smaller and more intimate. This allows students to build mentorships with their instructors. Instructors work closely with each camper, ensuring they’re comfortable, supported, and continuously improving their skills.
Prepare kids for the future. Kids receive professional-level instruction in creative writing. They’re also assigned plenty of assignments to practice their skills and showcase what they can accomplish. Students often build creative writing portfolios in these camps. These portfolios can strengthen post-secondary applications as well applications for jobs that involve creative writing.
Improve communication. Good communication is direct, clear, and cohesive. Kids are taught various techniques to write clearly, using sharp, concise, and powerful prose. They’re also given reading and writing exercises in creative writing camps to help expand their vocabulary. A larger vocabulary can help them more accurately articulate their emotions, ideas, and opinions. This can significantly improve their written, but also verbal, communication skills.
Questions to ask before enrolling in a creative writing camp
You’ll want to ensure you find a good creative writing camp for your child. It’s important to ask camp directors and teachers questions before you make your choice. Here are some vital questions you should raise.
- How often are children expected to write outside of camp?
- How much time do instructors spend working with kids one-on-one?
- How much freedom are kids given in creating and developing their stories?
- What are the instructors’ qualifications for teaching kids creative writing?
- How many pieces are likely to be completed by the end of camp?
- Do you have a specific emphasis on a writing style, genre, form, or set of skills?
- What level are most of the kids at in class?
Creative writing camps are ideal for kids and teens interested in writing. In addition, there are many other types of camps they may be a good fit for. Below are just a few of the options you might consider.
Journalism camp gives budding writers a new and exciting way to develop their skills. Kids learn to research and report events and stories in these camps. They’ll also learn about the importance of the unbiased written word in non-fiction writing.
Academic writing camp students are mainly taught to write different types of essays. A major focus is on writing academic essays that construct logical arguments, or try to persuade or educate the reader. This can improve various writing skills, such as organization, clarity, reflection, and concision. It can also improve one’s written and verbal communication skills.
Drama camp provides activities and exercises that can harness children’s writing and storytelling skills. An important part of drama camp is playwriting, where students are given the chance to apply their creative writing skills. Storytelling is also an important part of drama camp, as kids tell stories through performances such as plays.
Public speaking camp focuses on improving children’s oral communication, they provide kids with the opportunity to verbalize their writing skills (often in front of an audience). Also, as they write and prepare speeches, kids will practice brainstorming, writing, and editing their work (the three main parts of the writing process).
Combine this with more advice from OurKids.net
Sources and further reading
"Why learn creative writing?" Sean Glatch. Writers.com
"Why creative writing is important." James Bellamy. Paragraffs.com
Frequently Asked Questions
How many Creative writing camps are there?
There are 26 programs offering creative writing as an activity. Use the filters to narrow by age and program type, then click on matched programs to see daily activities, dates, rates and registration information.
What are the fees to attend Creative writing camps?
Fees for programs offering creative writing as an activity range from $50 to $21,000 per program (program types and lengths vary). Use the filters here to narrow programs by age and type.
Where can parents meet with Creative writing camps?
Meet with program directors and staff at the Our Kids Camp & Program Expo. The Expo is held annually in February, and is a fun and informative day for parents, kids, and teens. Find event details and free tickets here.