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 12 – 15, 2023

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, Author, Founder of Society of Young Inklings 

June 19 – 22, 2023

World Creation

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

Whether you want to create a magical land, a futuristic dystopia, or an alternate universe, the world of your story 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 that feel real and alive to your readers. Campers will support each other in giving the right amount of information at the right time to make our worlds interesting places for our plot to unfold. This camp is designed to create a world from the ground up so no prior writing is required. Participants will be invited to share their creations in a supportive environment This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

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

Intro to Publishing

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

Once your story is written, where does it go? Really, just what happens when you put your pen down or when you close your laptop? In our time together, we’ll take a deep dive into answering those questions!

Campers will learn hands-on about the basics of publication, from publishing other people’s work to getting our own writing published. Class activities will introduce us to different forms of writing and how they get published. We’ll spend time exploring ways to get our stories published. We’ll even work together to learn how to start and run a literary magazine. This camp is designed to help older campers build knowledge and confidence in the lives of their writing. Group collaboration will be encouraged. No prior knowledge of publishing is required. This class is for writers ages 12 – 16.

Instructor: Carmela Furio, Production Coordinator, Stone Soup

June 26 – June 29, 2023

An Introduction to Poetry: The Image and the Line

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

“Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.” – Marianne Moore

Consider this a brief immersion in the populating imaginary gardens with real toads. Together, we will closely read poems from the past and present as we attempt to understand what a poem is and what it can do. Then, in a supportive and dynamic creative community, we will also write our own poetry. We will employ imitation and use frequent writing prompts to shake us out of established modes 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, Editor, Stone Soup 

Genre 101

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

Genre fiction is everywhere! From aliens and fairies to princesses and pirates, these new and exciting worlds make up some of our favorite stories. But what makes a princess, well, a princess? What’s the difference between a fairy and the fey? And, most importantly, could an alien and a pirate ever actually meet?

In this camp, we’ll explore works of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, and magical realism. Campers will be introduced to new tools and techniques to strengthen their confidence in writing different genres. We’ll work together to define the invisible rules of genre and learn new ways to use themes and archetypes in our own writing. In-class time will be devoted to writing and students will be encouraged to share their work in a welcoming environment. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Carmela Furio, Production Coordinator, Stone Soup

July 10 – 13, 2023

The Art of the Personal Essay

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

Creative nonfiction often seems like the “Cinderella” of literature—the step-sister who’s been tucked away in the attic—while poetry and fiction bask in the limelight. Well, not in this class!

Together, we will read flash essays and excerpts from longer works as we consider what creative nonfiction is and how it differs from other genres. 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”?). Finally, and most importantly, we will experiment in the form with daily in-class writing prompts, sharing our work in a supportive environment. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Emma Wood, Editor, Stone Soup

 The Plot Thickens

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

A ticking time bomb. A secret in danger of being revealed. A mess of your character’s own making. How can we push the stakes in our stories to make them more compelling?

Whether your favorite genre is fantasy, realistic fiction, or adventure, whether you write short stories, are working on a longer piece, or prefer to craft graphic novels–this camp will focus on intensifying your storyline through a variety of engaging techniques. Our activities will help you to generate new stories or deepen stories you are already working on. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Sonja K. Solter, mentor with the Society of Young Inklings, author of the middle-grade novel When You Know What I Know (2020)



July 17 – July 20, 2023

Advanced Novel Writing

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

This course is going to teach you how to write a novel. We will focus on the basic techniques and tools of good storytelling: voice, description, setting, character, plot, conflict, and dialogue. Soon, you will be able to write a narrative that keeps the reader hooked and excited from start to finish. The course will consist of brainstorming activities, in-class writing exercises, readings, and workshops. By the end of our time together, you will be ready to outline, draft, and polish your novel.This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Conner Bassett, creative writing instructor, Stone Soup

Character Lab

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

What drives your characters? What kinds of trouble will their choices lead them into? Bring an ongoing project, for instance your project from Design a Novel, to this workshop. Or, come with an open mind, ready to build a brand new cast of intriguing, full-of-potential characters. Your peer writers will collaborate and support you as you develop your characters past ink-and-paper ideas into vibrant life. This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Sonja K. Solter, mentor with the Society of Young Inklings, author of the middle-grade novel When You Know What I Know (2020)



July 24 – 27, 2023

Freedom through Constraint: Experiments in Poetry & Prose

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

In this generative workshop that emphasizes the importance of play, we will use constraints in order to maximize our untapped potential as well as the potential of literature itself. We will read the work (prose, poetry, and theory) of some of the most playful and paradigm-shifting authors in literary history—Raymond Queneau, Georges Perec, Anne Garréta, Italo Calvino, to name a few. Our goal will not necessarily be to make sense, but to excite the senses. Each day of the workshop will be dedicated to different exercises of constraint writing such as: Lipogram (the omission of specific letters, like Perec’s novel A Void, which avoids using the letter “e”), the Erasure technique (crossing/blacking out the words of a found text—newspaper, magazine, novel paragraph, etc.—in order to create a distinct work of your own), Stile (in which each new sentence in a paragraph begins with the last word/phrase of the previous sentence), and Exercices de Stile (the rewriting of the same piece in at least 5 different styles (changing POV, genre, etc.), the idea being that we would choose a piece written from one of the previous workshops to rewrite.  This class is for writers ages 9 – 14.

Instructor: Caleb Berg, blog editor, Stone Soup

Anthropology of the Everyday: The Art of Creative Nonfiction

1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 pm (ET)

In this Zoom writing camp, students will learn to write “autoethnography,” a creative, nonfiction method of personal writing sometimes used by anthropologists in their research. We will use the techniques of autoethnography to help young writers construct their own personal narratives of aspects of their everyday lives.

This class can be described as part memoir writing, part early introduction to social science research. Students will learn how anthropologists approach their research settings while exploring a writing technique that emphasizes personal narrative exploration and storytelling. We will use personal experience, memory, gathered observation, interviews, textual and media investigation, and self-reflection to help students locate their own experiences within a broader cultural framework. This class is appropriate for writers ages 11 – 14.

Instructor: Laura Moran, director of the Refugee Project with Stone Soup

August 7 – 10, 2023

Write a Story in Verse

9 – 11 am (PT) // 12 – 2 pm (ET)

Are you a poet interested in making your poems into a story? Or are you a story writer who’d like to try a story in verse? During our four days together, we’ll explore how poetry can bring the voice and themes of your story to life, as well as how to develop a storyline in poems. Each day will include exercises or prompts, with plenty of time for brainstorming and writing. The focus will be on storytelling in general, not only for short stories, so feel free to bring novel in verse ideas as well. We will primarily be working with poetic techniques in free verse but will also cover how to include tighter poetic forms. This class is for writers ages 9-14.

Instructor: Sonja K. Solter, mentor with the Society of Young Inklings, author of the novel in verse When You Know What I Know (2020)




1 – 3 pm (PT) // 4 – 6 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

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!