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Teen Writers Institute 2021


Grades 8-12 Write Online With SJAWP This Summer!

The Teen Writers Institute will continue to be online for the summer of 2021. While we lament not being able to see our students in person at San Jose State University, our virtual classrooms will also offer students more opportunity and flexibility than ever. We are committed to creating interactive and meaningful content for our students to continue developing as writers and are confident that our online format will provide students with a variety of rich writing experiences. Students will gain access to the online classrooms via Moodle, our Learning Management System, the Friday before each class begins so that they can explore navigating the site, but teachers will not begin posting content until the first day of class for each course.

Summer TWI Schedule

Three Week Program (June 14 - July 3)

Once Upon a Novel with Jane Gilmore

Two Week Programs (July 12 - July 23)

Novel Writing with Hannah Jayne

From Page to Stage with Arcadia Conrad

Three Day Program (July 12 -  July 14)

College Essay with Jane Gilmore

Two Day Program (July 12 -  July 14)

So You Want to Be An Author? with Faith Gardner

Program Details

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Once Upon A Novel

with Jane Gilmore

From “Once upon a time,” through the major plot line of a story, this is the perfect course for students looking to explore novel writing, or simply for those students looking for a creative way to spend their slower summer months.  Students will build the habits of writers while finding joy in exploring their creative sides and putting their ideas to the page in fun and compelling ways.  This is a flex online course so that students may complete writing exercises in their own time each day.  

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From Page To Stage

with Arcadia Conrad

Oh, the drama! Or the comedy! Or both! In this course, students will learn how to write a short play or film script. They will study the elements of drama and how each works in a compelling and interesting story for dramatic production, along with various ways to structure and format a script that actors and directors want to read, whether it stars live people, animated people, or even household objects. 

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Novel Writing

with Hannah Jayne

This course 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, and everything else needed to craft exciting and meaningful worlds for our characters, including the minute details of world building that really make a story come to life. While writing, we’ll work on ways to keep up motivation, tackle writer’s block, and avoid creating another unfinished work. This course is designed as a precursor to our Novel Writing Program. At the end of the month students will have pages ready to apply for our year-round online program.


College Essay

with Jane Gilmore

Now more than ever, it seems that the writing students do in college essays will help them to shape their fate for university admittance. In this course students will dig into the rich tapestry of their experience to pull out the bright shining moments that have shaped them as human beings. Then, we will take these defining moments and narrate them with power and authenticity that will move readers and compel them to deep thought and positive action. This course will make use of the UC and Common Application questions as a base from which to write about our powerful journeys so that students can get a head start on college essays. Students will author their pasts to become agents of their future destiny in this interactive and hands on writing course.


So You Want to Be An Author?

with Faith Gardner, Author of Girl on the Line

So you think you want to be an author—but how do you actually become one? How do you go from writing words on a page to getting published? This class will include a combination of creative writing exercises in different genres (poetry, micro/flash fiction, journaling), information about where to start submitting your work, advice on organizing and planning large-scale projects like novels or screenplays and perfecting the art of the pitch, and practical steps of what publishing looks like. All levels of writers are welcome! Feel free to come with a blank page, some ideas of what you’d like to write, or with a work-in-progress for feedback.