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YOUNG AUTHOR’S STUDIO CAMPS

Connect with youth who love to write in creative camps this summer!

Presented by:

Dive into writing camp this summer.

Each of our Young Author’s Studio camps runs Monday-Thursday for 2 hours per session. We’re inviting passionate young writers from around the world–Stone Soup subscribers and Young Inklings alike–to join us on Zoom for writerly learning experiences. Each camp will include lively skill-building activities, time for drafting, and collaboration with peers.

June 10 – 13, 2024

World Creation 101

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

Whether you want to create a magical land, a futuristic dystopia, or a modern day middle school, the world you create for your characters can be anything you can imagine. But how do you make your world feel real to your reader?

During our four days together we’ll practice techniques to build new worlds for your characters that feel real to your readers. Campers will learn to give and get encouraging feedback to help sharpen their creative writing skills and lean into what is working. This camp is designed to create a new world from the ground up so no prior writing is required. This class is for writers ages 11 – 14.

Instructor: Beth Spencewood, Director of Publishing Programs at Society of Young Inklings

I Am the Story

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

In this camp, we will discover ourselves as artists and explore how our selves, our lives, and our dreams serve as templates for our stories. Each of the four days will focus on an element of craft using our own lives as templates to create unforgettable characters, rich settings, authentic points of view, heartfelt themes, and captivating plots. Each day, introspective exercises will translate into writing prompts, resulting in a week’s worth of new writing projects and/or enriched writing for existing projects. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Lisa Frenkel Riddiough, Mentor at Society of Young Inklings

June 17 – 20, 2024

Playwriting

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

The goal of this course is to produce one 10-minute play. To help you do this, we will approach playwriting as a form of craft—grounded in dialogue, character, voice, setting, tone, conflict, action, and plot structure. It will also emphasize a play’s arc: its beginning, turning point, and ending.

Besides writing our plays, we will study drama as an art form. We will ask questions, both practical and philosophical. What is drama? Where does it come from? How does it work? What distinguishes it from other forms of literary and performative arts? This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Conner Bassett, creative writing instructor, Stone Soup

Design a Novel

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

Design a new novel from the ground up, or take your current concept to the next level. In this workshop, you’ll brainstorm options, interview your characters, map your story-world, and shape your plot. Learn new tools and strategies to strengthen your writing craft, be inspired by ideas and writing by creative peers, and walk step-by-step through the process of developing a strong novel concept. You’ll walk away with a few drafted chapters, plus a complete plan to build from this solid foundation through the drafting process. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Naomi Kinsman, Founder and Executive Director of Society of Young Inklings 

June 24 – June 27, 2024

Reality Hunger: An Introduction to Memoir

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

In this course, we will read and write memoir and personal essays—in short form. Together, we will read vignettes, flash essays, and excerpts of longer work and consider how they work. We will ask questions about the ethical aspects of writing nonfiction: What if my mom reads it? What if I hurt someone’s feelings? What if my memory is “wrong”? And—most importantly—we will experiment in the form with daily in-class writing prompts, sharing our work in a supportive, fun community. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Emma Wood, Executive Director, Stone Soup

Literature in Miniature: A Study of Micro Fiction & Prose Poetry

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

Sometimes, the biggest ideas are best expressed in the tiniest of forms. You will learn to condense your horizons into a style of writing perfected by writers like Lydia Davis, Daniil Kharms, Gertrude Stein, and many others. You will write multiple discrete pieces per day and finish the class with enough writing to fill up a chapbook. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Caleb Berg, editor, Stone Soup

July 8 – 11, 2024

Intro to Fiction

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

In this intensive four-day workshop, participants will delve into the art and craft of writing short fiction. Whether you’re a beginner seeking guidance or an experienced writer looking to refine your skills, this workshop offers a supportive and stimulating environment to explore the intricacies of crafting compelling short stories. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Conner Bassett, creative writing instructor, Stone Soup

July 22 – 25, 2024

An Introduction to Poetry: The Image and the Line

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

Consider this a brief immersion in the art of the poem! Together, we will read and enjoy poems, as we attempt to understand what a poem is and what it can do. Then, in a supportive and dynamic community, we will write and share our own poems. Writing can be playful, and we will use (sometimes silly) writing exercises to shake us out of our usual ways of thinking and writing. Students will leave this course with at least five poems as well as a stronger sense of the possibilities of poetry. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Emma Wood, Stone Soup 

Make Your Scenes Sparkle: Writing with Sensory Details

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

We will play our way to the page through activities and experiments using our senses to collect details to enrich our writing. We will collaborate on some assignments and on others we will mine our own experiences for golden nuggets of description. This class is for writers ages 9 – 11.

Instructor: Melody Reed, Mentor, Society of Young Inklings

August 5 – 9, 2024

Filmmaking as Dialogue

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

In this class, we’ll use the camera to facilitate and enrich our interactions with others – friends, family, animals, plants, and the world around us. Writing texts with a partner, recording and sharing short videos, and interpreting their meanings aloud will be starting points for developing individual and collaborative approaches to filmmaking. Over the course of our time together, you will brainstorm, workshop, edit, and present a short film – either in pairs or alone. Discussing and writing about other artists and their work will complement our own filmmaking journeys. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Isidore Bethel, Stone Soup 

Editing and Revising Fiction

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

Learn how to think like an editor and make your stories the best they can be. Writing is so personal that it can be hard to notice areas in your own work that could benefit from revision, but editing is a skill, and the more you practice it, the more comfortable you’ll get applying it to your writing. In this workshop, we’ll discuss first paragraphs, character development, dialogue, story arc, and what makes a great sentence. (Hint: it isn’t always what your teachers told you!) Please come with a first draft of a story or novel you’d like to develop further, and we’ll do some editing together and some independently. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Diane Landolf, Editor, Stone Soup 

About Stone Soup

Stone Soup is a beloved literary magazine and website written and illustrated by kids through eighth grade. Now in its 50th year, Stone Soup has been inspiring children to read, write, and create their own pieces and artwork for publication since 1973.

Subscribers to the print edition of Stone Soup get 6 full-color issues every year delivered to their mailboxes, plus full access to the online edition. Free submissions are included in every subscription.

If you’re not a subscriber, we encourage you to sign up today!