Young Writers Camp

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Build writing skills and unleash your creativity in a unique environment of like-minded individuals with a passion for writing. Explore the beauty of poetic style and the power of your own voice on paper. Language is at the core of life and our campers learn new and liberating ways to express themselves through the written word.

Our instructors are teachers and working writers—people who understand the challenges of the writing process. Our teaching assistants, who live with the campers in the dormitory, are drawn from the college ranks and are often students who are majoring in writing. Featured presenters also add depth to our young writers’ experiences by working with them, sharing their published works, and providing a constructive audience to student endeavors.

YWC culminates in the production of a literary magazine where new works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are published by campers. This impressive volume is a keepsake of the unique YWC experience.

July 11-23, 2021

​​​​​​​Open To:
Ages 11-16, coed

Commuter After 3/15/21: $1,400
Residential After 3/15/21: $1,800

Meet the Director

Maggie Hess

Maggie Hess is a former YWC camper returning for her ninth year of involvement with the program. Her favorite part about the Young Writers Camp is watching participants grow in their confidence as writers and in their friendships with each other. Currently, she is a graduate student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, pursuing her second master’s degree (for English literature). Go Vols!

What to Expect

By combining an exciting range of writing activities with traditional camp experiences, our participants have incredible fun while also learning to think and write creatively. Mornings at camp are dedicated to the exploration of specialty classes— such as fiction, poetry, and writing for the Internet—that are chosen by campers and taught by professional writers and teachers.  Afternoons are open to thematic workshops and recreational activities that include rock climbing, swimming, whitewater rafting, and trips to the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area. The camp culminates with a student reading of new works in the Hale Studio Theatre.

A Day at Camp

No two days are alike, but a typical day at Young Writers Camp looks like this:

Living at Camp

This is overnight camping?

Attendees live in a modern, air-conditioned dormitory with two to four participants per room. Carpeted hallways lead to tiled bathrooms, with showers that have privacy curtains.

Bring your trunk and personal necessities, and you are set for dorm life, Mercersburg style.

Counselors live in adjacent rooms and our open-door policy ensures comfort and safety for every attendee. An emphasis on respect, courtesy, cooperation, and consideration enables campers to live and thrive with others to make dorm life enjoyable for all.

Weekend Stayover 

A weekend stayover option is available for the weekends in between sessions for campers who enroll in multiple sessions of camp. The cost of this weekend is $250. The weekend stayover is not an opportunity for participants to arrive early for the program. We prefer that participants arrive on the advertised start date of the program.

Financial Assistance

Our financial assistance provides students displaying strong desire, high merit, and financial need the opportunity to attend our programs. Download the Financial Assistance Application along with your registration. Contact our office via email or phone if you have any questions.