The Reynolds Young Writers Workshop at Denison University offers an inspiring creative writing experience for up to 36 rising high school juniors and seniors from across the country and the world. (We do not admit rising sophomores.) Financial assistance is available based on need.
The Reynolds Workshop
For over 20 years, the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop at Denison University has been one of the premier summer creative writing programs for high school students. In workshop groups of no more than 12 students, beginning writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction get the chance to develop their talents and refine their skills in a close-knit community of like-minded friends.
Participants spend mornings in small writing workshops led by our accomplished faculty members. In afternoon classes, students focus on their choice of two genres (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction), supplemented by interactive sessions with visiting writers and our staff. All students contribute to the Reynolds Workshop Anthology, published by the week’s end!
Our extensive 8-day program is limited to 36 rising high school juniors and seniors. Participants are housed alongside Teaching Associate staff in residence halls on the campus of Denison University. located in the village of Granville, Ohio (22 miles east of Columbus). There’s also time for swimming, hiking, and a range of other activities, including an excursion to the Columbus Museum of Art or the Wexner Center for the Arts.
At the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop, we meet daily in small morning and afternoon workshops (limited to 12 students per group). In addition, sessions led by visiting writers, individual conferences, and structured writing time further enhance your skills.
Daily morning workshop groups, each taught by a core faculty member, introduce you to the fundamentals of creative writing across the genres. Classes may include writing exercises, short reading assignments, and discussions of technique and craft. Most importantly, you’ll share and critique (“workshop”) each other’s drafts. Workshops help you learn to recognize your strengths and explore a variety of approaches to revision in a positive, supportive learning environment.
Daily afternoon workshop groups, also taught by core faculty members, give you an opportunity to delve in greater depth into two genres of your choice (poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction). Writing exercises and craft discussions are designed to help you develop your skills and explore elements of craft and literary form.
On select days we also oer a choice of fun, interactive workshops led by our TA sta that will take your creativity in new directions—even out of the classroom, for a visit to a local thrift shop or walk in the bio-reserve. Recent topics include “The Poetics of Death Cab for Cutie,” “Archetypes and Fairy Tales in Modern Stories,” “Writing the Wardrobe,” and “Writing and Mindfulness: The Roles of Mind and Body in Creativity.”
It’s one thing to read the words of published authors; it’s another to hear those words directly from them and to have the opportunity to spend time with them in person. The Reynolds Workshop brings acclaimed poets and writers to campus to conduct workshops and give readings. Faculty members and TAs, all practicing writers, also give readings from their recent work.
Quality writing time is central to the Reynolds Workshop experience. You’ll have daily opportunities to put into practice the things you learn. TAs lead structured writing activities in the evenings and are on hand informally to critique your work. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet individually with faculty members to discuss your work, aspirations, writing goals.
Cultural and recreational opportunities in the Granville and Columbus areas abound. Each week typically includes an afternoon’s excursion to the Columbus Museum of Art or the Wexner Center for the Arts at OSU. Other activities may include hiking in Denison’s 350-acre bio-reserve, swimming, volleyball, movies, bowling, and trips for Whit’s frozen custard (a local treat)! There’s also free time for socializing and, of course, for writing! We celebrate the end of the week with a Sunday banquet for participants and their families.
Each day at the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop is packed with activity! Workshop groups meet each day from 9 am to 2 pm. Sessions with visiting writers, TAs, and/or individual conferences take up the remainder of the afternoons. Evenings are devoted to readings, followed by recreation and other informal activities. On our last evening, workshop participants read from the work they have produced during the week.
9 am to 12 noon
Morning workshop groups
12 noon to 1 pm
1 to 2 pm
Afternoon workshop groups
2 to 4 pm
Visiting writer workshop
4 to 5:30
Free time, individual conferences
5:30 to 7 pm
7 to 8 pm
8 to 11:30 pm
Writing time, recreation, and other activities with TA staff
Denison’s 1,200-acre hilltop campus features a mixture of historic and contemporary buildings, and includes a 350-acre biological reserve. All buildings–academic, residential, and athletic–are within walking distance of each other as well as of the quaint Village of Granville, which helps build a close-knit sense of community.
Denison’s library and technology resources are available to Reynolds Workshop participants. The library’s collection of over 418,000 volumes is part of the Consort Library group, with over 2,650,000 volumes available on short notice. Students have full access to Denison’s recreational facilities, including basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts and a swimming pool.
Workshop participants live in one of Denison’s residence halls. All rooms have online access in addition to campus-wide Wi-fi. Lounge areas, laundry facilities, and computer labs with printers are all nearby. Our six Teaching Associates reside in the residence halls along with program participants.
SUMMER IN GRANVILLE
Denison University overlooks the town of Granville, a quaint New England-like village of 4,800 residents. Just a short walk from campus, Granville’s main street offers a number of shops and cafes to explore. Located within a 45-minute drive from Columbus, Granville provides a beautiful and safe community that has nurtured writers for generations.
How to get to Denison
How close is Denison to...?
Cleveland - 2 1/2 hours
Cincinnati - 2 1/2 hours
Pittsburgh - 3 hours
Indianapolis - 3 1/2 hours
Chicago - 7 hours
Washington, D.C. - 7 hours
St. Louis - 8 hours
New York City - 9 hours