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Oct. 22, 2018

Attention high school seniors and juniors!

Are you passionate about writing?

Then join us for a day of workshops, readings, and information sessions hosted by the Susquehanna University Writers Institute and learn more about what the Huffington Post calls one of the top creative writing programs in the country!

Registration for Creative Writing Day will open September 1, 2018, and will be accessible from the registration link on this page.

Workshop Descriptions

(Workshop genres are subject to change for the 2018 schedule.)

Journalism: Whether you blog, participate in the school newspaper, or just rage against injustice on social media, you need to know the tips for and techniques of opinion writing. This workshop teaches you a common template for persuasive writing, and you'll leave with a publication-ready short opinion piece.

Memoir: Flannery O'Connor said that by age twelve, any human being had enough experiences to fuel a lifetime of writing. Yet without training, it's easy to think, "But nothing important has ever happened to me!" This workshop introduces you to the writer's sublime art of mining their memories for deeper meaning.

Novel: No. We are not going to write a novel in one class. But we can talk about the way novels work in contrast to short stories or short short stories or novella. How do they generally begin? What is the concept for a novel? What does the word "concept" even mean? Ah, the idea of a "Big Breath." But the basics of writing a novel are the same as for a short story: scene, scene, scene! Voice! Character! Exposition, sure. And the big one: plot! So, we will read a bit to sample all that. And then write to show what we've begun to learn. Just a beginning. But kind of cool. A way "in."

Poetry: Poetry connects the body and its breath with the pen or pencil in the hand. From the pen-pencil to the page, into language, poetry is a visual and musical art. Emily Dickinson said: "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry." How does a writer achieve such an effect? In our poetry workshop we will experiment with poetic ways of answering this question!

Screenwriting: Cinema is the story-telling language of the digital age. This workshop gives a basic introduction to writing feature film scripts: how to format scripts, what to include and leave out in set directions, and how to structure and execute a 120 minute visual story.

Short Story: Novels, films, television shows, even video games, have at their heart great characters and, even more importantly, a story. This class will focus on the specifics of constructing worlds—real or imagined—and bringing them to life through great characters and a compelling narrative. I'll include tips and insights that will help you get started on a story or perfect something you've been working on for some time.

Translation: Do you study at school, or speak at home, a language other than English? The field of literary translation is an exciting place for creative writers who love more than one language. In this workshop, you will learn some guidelines for how to bring stories, essays, and poems to new audiences, and you'll produce a translation of a poem or short piece of prose in your chosen language.

Susquehanna's creative writing program is taught by six nationally-recognized writers and supported by a reading series.

We are happy to host students who wish to visit with their parents as well as students who come in small groups with a teacher. (We are not able to accept more than 10 students from any individual school unless by special arrangement. Please contact Codie Nevil Sauers at if you would like to consider bringing more students.)