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Youth programs

Interested in our 2020 summer youth camps? Click here so we can email you when registration opens!


2019 Summer Youth Camps

MWP is excited to facilitate summer youth writing camps for students entering 5th through 8th grade (in fall 2019). Our enthusiastic summer camp leaders are currently practicing licensed teachers who bring energy and experience to the teaching of writing. Each camp is limited to 16 participants. The camps will run five days for three hours at a time and will be held at Nicholson Hall (UMN east bank).

The voices of teachers and parents of 2018 camp participants were recently featured in a UMN College of Liberal Arts story. Check it out to learn more about our camps!

Click here for our printable flyer.

Cost: $200 per camp.

All available scholarships have been awarded.

Sponsor a student camper by donating to our scholarship fund!

Have you already registered? Click here for scheduling, camp drop-off and pick-up times, and other details.

June 17–21, 2019

  • Argument Artists (9:00 am to 12:00 pm)

  • Interactive Fiction (9:00 am to 12:00 pm)

  • Graphic Novels in America (1:00 to 4:00 pm)

  • Flash Fiction (1:00 to 4:00 pm)

June 24–28, 2019

  • Argument Artists (9:00 am to 12:00 pm)

  • Flash Fiction (9:00 am to 12:00 pm)

  • Graphic Novels in America (1:00 to 4:00 pm)

  • Interactive Fiction (1:00 to 4:00 pm)

Need a full-day option? For students attending both morning and afternoon camps, a supervised lunch hour from 12:00–1:00 will be available for no additional charge. Students need to bring their own lunches. Morning drop-off is 8:30–9:00. Afternoon pick-up is 4:00–4:30.

For students enrolling in the morning session only:
Morning session drop-off time: 8:30–9:00
Morning session pick-up time: 12:00–12:30

For students enrolling in the afternoon session only:
Afternoon session drop-off time: 12:30–1:00
Afternoon session pick-up time: 4:00–4:30

2019 Camp Descriptions

Argument Artists!

Learning to argue well, in speaking and writing, is important at any age! If you want to strengthen your debate and argument skills, and have fun doing it, then this camp is for you. Participants will practice the art of arguing well, on topics of their choice. Lively discussion, moving around, collaborative work, and challenging critical thinking are all a part of this experience of playing with the art of argument. Offered June 17-21 (morning session) and June 24-28 (morning session)

Teacher: Jess Emery is a teacher at Henry Sibley High School. She teaches writing to English Language Learners, and co-teaches across content areas with other teachers at her school. She is passionate about her students, running, cooking, reading, and spending time with the people she loves.



Flash Fiction

What happens when two writers meet? What happens when their characters meet in a story? Writing a short story has never been this fun AND easy! Work with a partner or work on your own to craft a piece of original fiction in a step-by-step process that is sure to result in a wonderful piece of writing. Offered June 17-21 (afternoon session) and June 24-28 (morning session)

Teacher: Jonathan Nelson is a 7th grade Language Arts teacher at Minnetonka Middle School West. In addition to helping students learn, he also loves reading, coffee, disc golf, and podcasts about history and law.



Graphic Novels in America

Calling graphic novelists of the future! Join fellow writers to read graphic novels together and then create, design, and write your own! Offered June 17-21 (afternoon session) and June 24-28 (afternoon session)

Teacher: Jacob Juliar is a bilingual writer and middle-school teacher who spent a decade living in Seoul, South Korea—a bustling city of 20+ million people. He spends his days reading Calvin and Hobbes anthologies to his two small children and the rest of his time searching for and reading graphic novels like Threads, The Best We Could Do, and anything by Gene Luen Yang.





Interactive Fiction

Create and share interactive fiction in this workshop! Whether it's about an epic adventure, navigating the daily drama of middle school, or wherever else your imagination might take you, interactive fiction lets you create a story that your reader can play like a game. Offered June 17-21 (morning session) and June 24-28 (afternoon session)

Teacher: Bryan Coyle is a 10th grade Language Arts Teacher at Irondale High School in New Brighton. When he's not teaching, he loves reading, running, playing video games, traveling, and cooking.




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Scholastic Writing Awards

MWP congratulates local high school student Ben Lee for his national Scholastic Writing Award! Ben was chosen as one of five 2017 National Student Poets and read his poem at the Library of Congress in August 2017. Read about this award. Ben was also featured on Fox 9 with Leah Beno:

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Click here for details on the 2019 Scholastic Writing Awards! 

Click here to see the 2019 Minnesota writing region award winners!

Click here for the 2019 Scholastic National Award Winners!  

Young Writers Conference

The Young Writers Conference is offered through an expanded cooperative partnership with area schools/districts. The Conference provides an opportunity for schools to inspire some of their best student writers by bringing them to the University of Minnesota campus, fostering interaction with other student writers, and encouraging critical response to a variety of creative stimuli at the Weisman Art Museum or the Bell Museum of Natural History. 

In 2013, the Minnesota Writing Project hosted a Young Writers Conference at the Weisman Art Museum for the entire ninth grade class at the North Academy of Arts and Communications (NAAC) in Minneapolis. Over a period of three days, students and teachers viewed, learned, and wrote about aspects of identity inspired by the photography of Xavier Tavera; spoken word artist, Desdamona; and the artwork of the Weisman.

Centered on the theme of sustainable shelters, the 2011 conference in the Bell Museum of Natural History encouraged students to incorporate elements of environmental awareness in their writing. Each student was given a notebook to fill with words, images, ideas, and reactions to the various dioramas and and models in the sustainable shelter exhibit, including the Icon Solar House. Click here to see the anthology of words and images created by these young writers.

To kick off the 2010 event, based on the exhibit, Common Sense: Art and the Quotidian at the Weisman Art Museum, the students were immersed in creative practices of everyday art through focused drawing and collage making. They were each given a notebook to fill with words, images, ideas, and reactions to the art of the Weisman Museum. Click here to see the anthology of words and images created by these young writers.

In spring of 2009, students and teachers studied and wrote about the exhibit Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam. Click here to see these young writers at work in Weisman Art Museum.

During the 2008 Young Writers Conference, students and teachers viewed, learned, and wrote about the photography exhibit, Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power.

In 2007, sixty students and their accompanying teachers were invited to participate in a cross-disciplinary writing experience at the museum using the exhibit, Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966.

Gopher Writing Camp

The Gopher Writing Camp is currently not running, but we hope to bring it back soon. Go here to see the audiovisual compositions that students in the 2006 Gopher Writing Camp created while visiting the Weisman Art Museum.