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NYS Summer Young Writers Institute

2011 young writers group

Experience the Institute!

The 16thannual New York State Summer Young Writers Institute (SYWI) will be held July 2 – 12, 2014 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and Skidmore College, this well-established creative writing workshop for high school students provides opportunities to work one-on-one with professional writers and editors. Participants will receive instruction in poetry, fiction, and imaginative non-fiction from nationally recognized writers who are also skillful teachers. The SYWI provides young authors with not only opportunities to develop professionally, but also with recognition, respect, and invaluable peer support. The SYWI is open to any high school student entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade in the fall of 2014.

Based on creative writing samples submitted by applicants, 40 students will be chosen to participate from across the country. Last year, students attended from 13 states, including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, and Maine. Full and partial financial aid awards are available for participants based on need.

SYWI students are expected to write extensively and complete one piece of work in each of the three genres. There will be three workshops every day, except Sunday, July 6th, when the students will travel to Lake George for a chaperoned field trip to the Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom amusement park. Students will present readings of their writings at the end of the second week, and selected poems, essays and stories will be published in an anthology. Computers and printers will be available, though participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops and flash drives.

The SYWI runs concurrently with the New York State Summer Writers Institute, a workshop for college and post-college writers. In 2013, SYWI students attended afternoon sessions and evening readings by such prestigious writers as Frank Bidart, Elizabeth Benedict, Ann Beattie, Robert Pinsky, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Robert Polito, Campbell McGrath, Paul Auster, and Siri Hustvedt. In addition, exclusive Q and A sessions with celebrated authors are held. During past programs, William Kennedy, Gregory Maguire, Ann Beattie, Russell Banks, Alix Ohlin, Philip Lopate, Elizabeth Benedict, Darrin Strauss and other well-known writers have conducted seminars specifically for the SYWI students. 

The vibrant Skidmore campus is alive with creativity during the summer season: a Pre-college Program in the Liberal and Studio Arts as well as a jazz institute, dance Institute, and summer theater company are all in residence here during the summer. Skidmore is located in Saratoga Springs, perennially short-listed as one of the most interesting and vibrant small towns in the U.S.

The New York State Summer Young Writers Institute gratefully acknowledges the support of our sponsors, without whom the program would not be possible. Thank you!