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​This summer writing program for teens offers a curriculum designed to develop and support students’ imaginative and academic writing across literary genres. Courses every year range from humor to horror, writing plays and playing with writing, making arguments and making memories, all taught by teachers versed in instruction and publication. The Teen Writers Institute features guest presenters, authors and various workshop choices for 8th to 12th graders.​

Image by Solen Feyissa

Teen Writers Institute

Program Overview


Grades 8-12

  • Novel Writing taught by Hannah Jayne

  • Flip the Script taught by Arcadia Conrad

  • June 17 - June 21, 2024*

9:30am - 2:30pm

*Juneteenth, June 19, will be an optional off-campus coffee shop writing day


San Jose State University
1 Washington Square, San Jose, CA, 95192


Novel Writing

with Hannah Jayne

This course is taught by our author in residence, Hannah Jayne, and will cover everything you ever wanted to know about writing a book—and culminate with you writing one! We’ll tackle concepts, first lines, chapter structure, those sagging middles, and punch-powerful endings. While writing, we’ll work on ways to keep up motivation, tackle writer’s block, and avoid creating another unfinished work. Students should have a working knowledge of genre and basic story structure prior to taking this class and will be expected to write. Laptops equipped with WORD preferred.


Flip the Script

with Arcadia Conrad

Want to write for film, theatre or television? In this genre-bending  class you will learn to turn your poetry, short stories, and novel chapters into scripts. You’ll learn basic formatting and how plot, character, dialogue, imagery and sound effects fit into a script to tell compelling stories that can be brought to life as plays, animation, tv, film and web content. Star in your own story or learn how to work with partners,  build a writer’s room, or bring a script to a production team. Come learn a new storytelling form and take your writing journey to the next level!


  • 75% refund will be given until June 1

  • 50% refund will be given with written notice up until a week before camp.

  • No refund after


  • $50 sibling discount available

  • $75 Round 1 early bird discount until April 15 at 11:59pm

  • $50 Round 2 early bird discount from April 16 to May 15 at 11:59p

  • Discounts available when you purchase two or more eligible events!

Refund and Discount Information


Once Upon a Novel

with Jane Gilmore

Any novelist knows the hardest part of writing is sitting down in the chair and working out your creative muscle by practicing your craft every day. It is not the most brilliant-minded people who become published, but rather those who tone their writing through regular word workouts. This class will support students in creating a writing routine by providing prompts and inspiration on a daily basis, Monday-Friday, for three weeks - the same amount of time it takes to form a habit - in an online setting. From “Once upon a time,” through the major plot line of a story, this is the perfect course for those students looking to enroll in our Novel Writing Program, or simply for those looking for a creative way to spend their slower summer months. Students will gain access to the online classroom on July 5th and will be able to submit pages through July 22nd.

Please note that this course is entirely online and asynchronous, meaning that students will NOT be meeting with the instructor at a set time everyday. Students will be working online entirely at their own pace. Each morning a new writing prompt will be posted for students in the online classroom. Students will work in their own time to write pieces inspired by the daily prompt and will post in the online classroom by the end of each day. Students are welcome to post the pages they wrote or they may choose to simply update the class on their writing for the day. The intention of this course is to foster a love of writing and to take the beginning steps of drafting a novel. As such this will be a low-stress, high-inspiration environment and while students will be encouraged to share their work they should feel no pressure to do so. This course is priced lower than our other Teen Writers Institute classes as there will be no formal lectures and it will be run with a simplified format of daily writing exercises for students to engage in and share with a community of peers. Please note that while the instructor will regularly write quick notes of encouragement to students, there will be no formal extensive feedback in the basic package for this course. Students may purchase an add on to submit up to 2500 words for detailed instructor feedback after the first week of the course.

Please note that many of the students admitted into our Teen Novel Writing Program begin with this class as well as Novel Writing (taught in person in Session 1 of the Teen Writers Institute). Students will walk away from these courses with more than enough pages to get them through the application process for the Novel Writing Program!

Note: San Jose State University will be closed in observance of Juneteenth, we will be having an optional coffee shop writing day for students to write alongside authors on that day.

2024 Registration Now Open!

About the


Jane Gilmore

Year 1 instructor Jane Gilmore is an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing Project. She is a teacher with over a dozen years of experience in both the classroom and leading professional development for teachers. She has a Masters in education and two teaching credentials (in English and Social Studies) from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University Continuing Studies. Aside from working on her own manuscripts, Jane’s favorite endeavor is supporting students in developing their own novels and creative talents. More likely than not, your students have played her original creative writing games at a Saturday Seminar, and she looks forward to helping nourish and flourish the careers of some of our brightest young writers.

Hannah Jayne

Instructor Hannah Jayne is the author of seventeen published books, including THE UNDERWORLD DETECTION AGENCY CHRONICLES from Kensington books and the young adult thrillers TRULY, MADLY, DEADLY, SEE JANE RUN, THE DARE, SEE JANE RUN, and WHAT HAPPENED ON HICKS ROAD available from Sourcebooks, Inc. When she’s not battling the demons of the Underworld or tackling a murderer at Hawthorne High, Jayne kicks her feet up in her San Francisco bay area home with her rock star husband, daughter, and their three enormous cats.


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