Sailing From This to That: A Youth Writing Workshop
In this workshop, high school-aged conference attendees will explore the craft of the personal essay, short story, and poem. Participants will develop the intimate tone that is the hallmark of good nonfiction and its interplay of summary, musing, and scene. We will also explore the building blocks of a solid short story: plot, characterization, setting, and dialogue. There will be several writing prompts and exercises to practice developing these elements. While we will also generate new material, participants are encouraged to bring poems, essays, or short stories to be workshopped.
Instructor: Eva Freeman
How much does the youth workshop cost?
The cost is the same as for the general conference. However, high school students can limit their participation to just the daily Youth Workshop for a discounted price. You can find the lowdown under Fees and Registration.
Where will I stay?
All participants in the Youth Workshop will stay in Dorchester Hall, one of the traditional residence halls at St. Mary’s. All rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with a bed (twin XL), a desk, a dresser, and a closet or wardrobe. You will have another same-gender Youth Workshop participant as your roommate for the week. One of the Conference scholars, a student at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, will serve as a Resident Assistant to take care of any needs and concerns at night. Bathrooms (including showers) are separated by gender.
You can find most of the information you need about where you’re staying and what to bring on our Staying On Campus page. Note, though, that you will not have an individual kitchen in your room.
How will I get there?
Directions to campus can be found here. There will also be a shuttle on the first day of the Conference that can pick you up from Baltimore Washington International, Reagan National, and Dulles International airports, or from Alexandria, Union Station, and BWI Airport train stations. This shuttle can also take you to any of those locations on the last day of the Conference.
What is dining like on campus?
Youth Workshop participants will eat at the same times as regular Conference participants. If you choose to purchase a meal plan, you will eat in the Great Room, the main dining hall at St. Mary’s. The Great Room offers a number of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food options, and is flexible in what it offers those with food allergies.
The Daily Grind, a small coffee shop and convenience store located in the Campus Center, downstairs from the Great Room, offers coffee, smoothies, and snacks.
Who are the faculty?
The Youth Workshop will be led by acclaimed writer, cartoonist, and performer Matthew Henry Hall. However, Youth Workshop participants will have a chance to meet and talk with all faculty members. You can find more information about Conference faculty here.
What will the week be like?
In addition to the daily workshop (the participants in which will be exclusively high school students and recent high school graduates), those participating in the Youth Workshop will have opportunities to participate in the same events as our adult Conference-goers. You can find a schedule of events for the week here and descriptions of all workshops, craft talks, and lectures here.
Throughout the week, you will have ample opportunities to talk to other Conference-goers, faculty, St. Mary’s students and alumni, and literary agents and publishers about creative writing in college and beyond.
In addition to all regular Conference events, we encourage Youth Workshop participants to take part in Youth Workshop-specific evening activities, including a youth open mic, hikes, movies, games, and social time.
How does the “Youth Workshop Only” Option Work?
We now offer an option that allows high school-age students to take just the youth workshop by itself–primarily for local residents. Tuition for this path is $400 (versus $800 for the entire conference). In this option, a student would not participate in any conference events beyond the daily, 3-hour workshop. This could be an attractive option for local high school students. It is worth noting, though, that the richness of the larger conference certainly feeds into the youth workshop experience–and vice versa–so taking only the workshop limits this augmentation.
How do I apply?
You apply through the Chesapeake Writers’ Conference Application.
Do I need to include a writing sample with my application? And if so, what kind?
Yes, we’d like to see a glimpse of your writing. It doesn’t matter which genre you send. It helps us know what you’re up to as a writer.
What if I have other questions?
All other questions and concerns may be directed to Crystal Oliver, Conference director, at email@example.com