We live in a creative world where ideas, collaboration, and adaptability are a must–and writing is essential. So how do we prepare our children for their future? How do we ensure that they become thoughtful leaders for change, passionate learners, and curious thinkers we need to improve our world? Through Creative Writing Camp, young people discover the power within themselves – to create, innovate, and connect with others.
Creative Writing Camp works because it’s where writing is an exploration. It’s where one day your child will create their own map to a planet they’ve just discovered, and the next day they’re writing the ending to a 3-act play with a group of friends. It’s where they’ll publish their first poem. It’s where they’ll begin to see what they can become. Whether they’re not sure how to get started or they already write a million pages a day, they’ll feel at home writing here. This is where the spark of invention begins.
The Only Place Where Children Learn from Talented Educators & Writers
Many have Masters and Ph.D.s in writing and education. Our instructors are experts at this. And they’re ready to help your child shine.
How We Measure Up
For 20 years, Dr. Carl Scott of the University of St. Thomas has evaluated the success of the program and found students improved in writing skills, creativity and self-confidence.
How Creativity Leads to Success
According to Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us about Raising Successful Children (Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff), what children most need for 21st-century learning, listing the 6Cs: collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence.
Creative Writing Camp is where 21st-century learning happens.
For the first time ever, 2020 camp will be offered online during three sessions.
June 1–12, 2020
1st to 5th grade: 8:30 – 12:15
6th to 8th grade: 9:00 – 12:45
June 15–26, 2020
K to 5th grade: 8:30 – 12:15
6th to 8th grade: 9:00 – 12:45
July 20-24, 2020
Grade Levels: For students entering 6th-12th grades in fall 2020
Course structure: 2 hours per day, 10 total instructional hours
Course Content: Subject matter varies per grade level. Descriptions can be found below.
Camp is offered in two blocks:
Block One: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- 6th-7th; Just Write It
- 8th-9th; Just Write It
- 10th-12th; Just Write It
- 6th-7th; Writing and Art
- 8th-9th; Digital Storytelling
- 10th-12th; Know Thyself Essay
- 10th-12th; The Power of Poetry - Writing for Social Change
Just Write It (6th-7th; 8th-9th; 10th-12th)
Jump into the magic of creative writing! This course offers an array of fun, interactive writing activities and customized exercises designed to help students develop their unique voices, broaden their imaginations, and boost their confidence as writers. With the help of professional writers and teachers, students will explore a range of poetry, prose, and creative nonfiction as they use their writing to investigate their worlds and examine issues that are important to them. During the week, students will peer review each other’s work, and receive feedback from their instructors. Students will share their creations at a celebration on the last day of camp and take home a portfolio of their collected work.
Writing and Art: A Self-Portrait (6th-7th)
How can writers use visual art to spark new creative energy and enliven the details of their thoughts, feelings, and experiences? This course focuses on poetry and creative nonfiction, inviting students to explore how texts and visual art can work together to forge vivid, meaningful accounts of a writer's inner life and unique perspective on the world. Students will read work from a spectrum of artist-writers who model how art can animate, elevate, and transform the written word. Using virtual field trips to museums around the world as inspiration, students will practice using their own visual art to invigorate their own writing. At the end of camp, students will host a showcase featuring pieces from their unique portfolios of written and visual work. Students will need basic art supplies for the course, and we invite students to use what they have available at home.
Digital Storytelling (8th-9th)
In this hands-on multimedia workshop, students will utilize digital apps and online platforms to bring their stories and poems to life. Through technology-infused writing activities and small group projects, students will explore how creative writing and technology can work hand-in-hand to persuade, inform, or inspire an audience. With support from professional writers and teachers, students practice skills such as character development, world-building, and dialogue creation as they learn new, innovative approaches for shaping and sharing their writing. Using tools such as Adobe Spark and Pixton, students will design and create digital writing projects to share with family and friends at a culminating celebration.
Know Thyself Essay (10th-12th)
The history of the essay finds its origins in the core Renaissance ideal of rebirth. This course will give students a chance to breathe new life into their personal stories with the goal of sharpening their essay-writing skills in a fun and supportive environment. Professional writers and teachers will guide students in learning how to connect and situate their individual stories within a broader world of ideas. By engaging with contemporary nonfiction forms, students will expand their understanding of what makes an essay effective and how they can utilize a fresh and memorable approach in their own essay-writing, especially as they prepare for their college entrance applications.
The Power of Poetry - Writing for Social Change (10th-12th)
Throughout history, writers and artists have always been powerful forces for social change. This course encourages teens to take their place as the voices of our time. Students will examine current events through a literary lens, reading the works of poets, essayists, and writers who inspire action and boldly envision a new future. With literature, history, and activism as their guides, students will develop their critical and expressive skills to engage in a fresh conversation with the world around them. With the help of professional writers and teachers, students will interrogate and examine the issues and movements that are important to them, producing poetry that speaks truth to power.
Before You Register
Please register students for the grade they will enter next school year, fall 2020.
Sibling discounts will be applied at the final step of registration. You will not see this discount until checkout.
Each registration comes with one free t-shirt. You will be asked for your child’s t-shirt size when entering your child’s registration information. Additional t-shirts are available for purchase for $10.
If your preferred class is full, your child’s registration will be put on a wait list. If space becomes available, you will be notified and payment will be transferred upon your approval.
If you encounter any problems during registration, please call (713) 348-5333.
If you are enrolling your child in the Rice + WITS Creative Writing Camp, you have read and understand the following cancellation and refund policy:
- Creative Writing Camp will offer refunds for the full tuition minus a $75 cancellation fee for each child through Thursday, May 21.
- Creative Writing Camp will offer refunds of 50% tuition for each child from Friday, May 22 through Friday, May 29.
- No refunds will be given after May 29. Creative Writing Camp will not prorate tuition for students who cannot attend the full schedule of classes.
What should we expect?
Focus groups of professional writers and highly effective teachers have come together to craft this exciting new approach to Creative Writing Camp. Wherever possible, student experiences will draw upon our traditional camp model, but we will also embrace this opportunity to explore new approaches and think creatively. Join us as we explore just what is possible in a virtual environment!
All classes will be team-taught with class sizes capped at approximately 20 students. Classes will be divided into age level groups:
- Session 1: Primary (1st), Elementary (2nd/3rd & 4th/5th), Middle school (6th/7th & 8th/9th)
- Session 2: Primary (K-1st), Elementary (2nd/3rd & 4th/5th), Middle school (6th–8th)
- Live community building activities
- Live large and small group times that might include anything from the reading of a great children’s book as inspiration for creative writing to a virtual field trip
- Live story dictation activities with a teacher and
- “Center time” featuring pre-recorded activities and a wealth of independent art and extension projects to enjoy at your family’s convenience.
Classes for older students will include:
- Live community building activities Live large and small group times
- Live personalized consultation with experienced writers and
- Independent pre-recorded activities and extension projects to enjoy at your family’s convenience.
What equipment and supplies will we need to have at home to ensure a rewarding experience?
- All camp courses will utilize the Canvas learning platform. An e-mail address provided by the parents will be necessary to access the system.
- Students will also need a laptop, tablet or phone to access the course, but we recommend a laptop or tablet. The best user experience is achieved through the Google Chrome web browser.
- Each student will need a notebook, journal, or folder with blank paper and writing implements such as pencils, pens, and markers.
- Extension activities will utilize basic arts and crafts materials such as scissors, colored paper, glue, watercolors, etc. that students typically use at school. Parents will not be asked to buy specific art materials.
What do we need to know about technology and tech support should it be necessary?
- All families will be asked to complete a “tech check” the Friday before the beginning of their virtual camp session. Support staff will be available for assistance that day should families have any challenges logging into the system.
- During “tech check” students will be able to “meet” their teachers as they view pre-recorded videos uploaded by the teachers and writers leading the course. Students will also be asked to record their own introductory video to share with their classmates.
- “Tech check” will also provide an opportunity for parents to receive more detailed information regarding each class’s daily schedule, should they have a need for specifics.
- Finally, should families have challenges with technology at any point during the camp experience, they will be able to connect directly with IT support staff via e-mail or phone.