Creative Writing Camp works because it’s where writing is an exploration. It’s where one day your child will create their own map to a planet they’ve just discovered, and the next day they’re writing the ending to a 3-act play with a group of friends. It’s where they’ll publish their first poem. It’s where they’ll begin to see what they can become. Whether they’re not sure how to get started or they already write a million pages a day, they’ll feel at home writing here. This is where the spark of invention begins.
The Only Place Where Children Learn from Talented Educators & Writers
In addition to being accomplished educators working in classrooms year-round, many have Masters and Ph.D.s in writing and education and are published authors. Our instructors are experts at this, and they’re ready to help your child shine.
How We Measure Up
For 20 years, Dr. Carl Scott of the University of St. Thomas has evaluated the success of the program and found students improved in writing skills, creativity and self-confidence.
How Creativity Leads to Success
According to Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us about Raising Successful Children (Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff), what children most need for 21st-century learning are the 6Cs: collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence.
Creative Writing Camp is where 21st-century learning happens.
Creative Writing Camp 2023 Pre-Registration open from Jan. 30-Feb. 10. Registration opens Monday, Feb 13!
Creative Writing Camp (CWC) has made some updates to our registration system for 2023! We encourage you to read through the information below to make the process as smooth as possible.
We have created a 3-step process to help guide you through the Family Account setup (Step 1) and pre-registration application (Step 2) for your student. It is recommended that you complete the Family Account setup and parent permissions application during the “Pre-Registration Period,” Jan. 30-Feb. 10, to help save time on Registration (Step 3), which begins Feb. 13.
Note: Completion of Pre-registration does not guarantee your student(s) place in camp.
Video tutorials for each step are coming soon!
- How to Set Up a Family Account – Step 1
Step 1 of 3 – A Family Account is required to register a student for our 2023 Creative Writing Camp. To register a student for camp, a parent/guardian must create a Family Account using their own name in order to successfully begin the pre-registration application process. Once you have set up your account, you will be able to add your student(s)/member(s) to the Family Account. You will be able to manage all members in your Family Account.
- How to Pre-Register for Creative Writing Camp – Step 2
Step 2 of 3 – Once a student(s)/member(s) is added to your Family Account, you are now ready to complete the parent permissions application for each student; click “New Application” in the menu options, then “More Information” and “Apply Now.” You will now be able to “Start” CWC pre-registration for your student(s)/member(s). During the application process, there are six “To Do” pages to complete for each student. As you complete each page, you will see the Application Status for each “To Do” page change to reflect your progress. Once completed, a green circle and a note that shows “Complete” will appear. To move to Step 3, Registration, you must complete all “To Do” items in order to submit the parent permissions application. Completing these “To Dos” will take approximately 10 minutes per student/member.
Before you begin Step 2: “Pre-registration”, you will need the following:
- Medical Insurance Information
- Emergency Contact Information
- Contact Information for alternate Authorized Pick-Up Arrangements, if applicable.
Note: If registering for virtual camps, a unique email address is required for each student you plan to register.
- How to Complete Registration for Creative Writing Camp – Step 3
Step 3 of 3 – Once you have successfully completed all six “To-Dos” in the Pre-Registration Application and they reflect “Complete,” you will be able to register and complete the payment process for your student(s) starting on Feb. 13.
Virtual Camp Single Student - $495
On-Campus Single Student - $525
Sibling Discount (Two or more) - 5% discount per student
The sibling discount will be applied automatically to your cart during Step 3: Registration. You must register two or more at the same time to be eligible for this discount.
- Camp Descriptions
Just Write It!
Our signature camp experience for incoming K – 12th grade students, in-person and online
Jump into the magic of creative writing! This course offers an array of fun, interactive writing activities and customized exercises designed to help students develop their unique voices, broaden their imaginations, and boost their confidence as writers. With the help of professional writers and teachers, students will explore a range of poetry, prose, and creative nonfiction as they use their writing to investigate their worlds and examine issues that are important to them. During the week, students will peer review each other’s work, and receive feedback from their instructors. Students will share their creations at a celebration on the last day of camp and take home a portfolio of their collected work.
Magical Worlds (6th/7th)
Do you enjoy folklore, stories with magical settings, characters with superhuman abilities? As far back as ancient times, people have lived by the phrase, “Life is what you make it so make the best of it.” In this playful course, you will do just that—build your own world! Guided by your writing coaches you will learn the basics of worldbuilding and create, explore and develop your own original world. You will delve into narrative genres such as science fiction, fantasy, and superhero fiction as you explore writings with a fantastical edge. You will leave with the tools needed to help you create new worlds in a variety of genres.
Nature: A Writing Inspiration (6th/7th)
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts…" -Rachel Carson
A wooded pass covered in freshly fallen leaves, or perhaps a thunderstorm rolling in through the evening sky. Nature has a way of capturing the eye, and inspiring those who gaze upon its natural beauty. Through this course, students will have a chance to experience writing that centers nature as its inspiration. By using outside writing time as well as prompts and mentor text that show how other artists around the world have crafted writing for and inspired by the great outdoors. Your young writer will be able to capture the beauty from their eyes while enjoying nature.
Art: What It Says to Me (8th/9th)
Art has been inspired and created in observation of various modes of artistry. Whether it be the painter who is inspired by the poems of a blooming writer, or a sculptor who carves into life a moment from a song. Art, at its center, is inspiration with an infinite amount of possibilities. In this session, you will discover how viewing paintings, photographs, and architecture can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer you a powerful way to experience art and discover more about yourself, your emotions, and the world around you. Using art installations across the Rice University campus and virtual field trips to museums around the world as inspiration, students will practice using art to invigorate their own writing.
Page to Stage: Spoken Word (8th/9th)
Spoken word poetry is powerful. It makes a difference. Spoken Word can create new worlds and allow us to understand the world we are in. It opens doors and closes doors. It can create illusion or magic, but most importantly it can change the world. This session is designed to teach you how to write and perform original poetry and stories about the issues that are important to you. Award-winning Spoken Word poets will serve as coaches to help you explore current events, your community, and your own truths. You will learn the tricks and techniques to make your words more powerful and develop your writer’s instinct, gain confidence, and improve your public speaking skills. You will explore how writing on paper takes on a different life when spoken on stage. At the end of camp, you’ll broadcast your message to the world with a performance of your own work.
The Art of the Essay (10th/12th)
The history of the essay finds its origins in the core Renaissance ideal of “rebirth.” This course will allow you to give “new life” to the art of essay writing by asking you to examine your personal story and connect it to a broader world of concepts and ideas. We’ll analyze this important and passionate literary form that will take your writing beyond familiar boundaries. We’ll experiment with fun, contemporary non-fiction forms like flash non-fiction, recipe writing, humor, and even lampoon to expand and sharpen your essay writing skills. This course is especially important for those of you who are preparing to write college entrance essays and to write personal statements for scholarship applications. Through the writer workshop model of peer review, you will work with your fellow writers to hone techniques and approaches, and you will leave with a portfolio of several completed essays.
Dates, Locations and Grade-levels for
Creative Writing Camp 2023
Choose among five in-person camp locations, or an online option for campers anywhere!
Holy Spirit Episcopal School – 12535 Perthshire Rd, Houston, TX 77024
June 5–9 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Incoming K - 5th grade
St. Anne Catholic School - 2120 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
June 12–16 | 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. | Incoming K - 5th grade
Rice University – 6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005
June 12–16 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Incoming 6th - 12th grade
Virtual Camp – Canvas Online Learning Platform
June 20–23 and 26-30 (9 days total)
Incoming K - 5th grade: 9 a.m-12:15 p.m.
Incoming 6th - 12th grade: 12:45-4 p.m.
Rice University – 6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005
June 26–30 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Incoming 6th - 12th grade
St. Francis Episcopal School - 335 Piney Point Rd, Houston, TX 77024
July 10–14 | 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. | Incoming K - 5th grade
Annunciation Orthodox School – 3600 Yoakum Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
July 17–21 | 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. | Incoming K - 5th grade
Rice University – 6100 Main St, Houston, TX 77005
July 17–21 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Incoming 6th - 12th grade
Frequently Asked Questions
For questions about Creative Writing Camp programming – Please leave a voice message at 713-348-5333 or 713-523-3877. Your message will be answered as soon as possible. For technical help with registration, please contact 713-348-4803.
- All Participants - What if the class I would like to register for is full?
Seats may become available due to cancellations or the opening of new classes. Please check the website often to see if any seats have opened at a particular campus. Creative Writing Camp does not have a waitlist.
- All Participants - What is the refund policy?
If you are enrolling your child in the 2023 Rice + WITS Creative Writing Camp, you have read and understand the following cancellation and refund policy:
A 10 percent processing fee will be subtracted from all refunds. Due to the high demand for courses, registrations are considered final 30 days before classes start. No refunds will be issued after these dates and credits will not be given for future classes. No refunds will be granted for participants who miss a portion of a program. Refund requests before the deadline must be made in writing to email@example.com. Refunds for credit card payments will be processed as credits to the accounts from which they were paid and may not appear as a credit on your statement for up to four to six weeks. Refunds for enrollments paid by check take up to four to six weeks to be processed and mailed by the Rice University accounting office. There is a $30 charge for any check returned for insufficient funds.
If multiple children are registered and have received the sibling discount, and later one or more registrations are canceled so that only one child remains registered, the remaining child's registration will be adjusted to the full price, and a refund for the appropriate amount will be issued.
- All Participants - How do I access my Family Account after it is created?
After you create your Family Account, please save your credentials. To revisit your Family Account, you can save the link to login or click on the link directly from the Creative Writing Camp webpage. To access your account, use the login username and password credentials and follow the login instructions. If you no longer know or have access to your credentials, please follow the Forget Password instructions directly on the login page.
- For In-Person Participants - What should we expect?
All classes will be team-taught with class sizes capped at approximately 20 students.
- Health and safety protocols for each camp session will be dependent upon campus-based policies in effect at the time camp is offered.
- Participating campers will be invited to bring basic supplies (paper, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers, small watercolor kits) for individual use throughout the week of camp.
- Classes will be divided into age-level groupings that may include students from more than one grade level. Based on enrollment, classes may include students from more than one grade level.
- Creative writing and fine arts activities will be planned by highly qualified teacher/writer pairs and feature low staff-to-camper ratios.
Should you have requests regarding class placements for friends within a grade level, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try our best to honor these requests.
- For Online Participants - What should we expect?
Focus groups of professional writers and highly effective teachers have come together to craft this exciting online approach to Creative Writing Camp, which has received positive reviews from parents and students since its inception in 2020. Wherever possible, student experiences will draw upon our traditional camp model, but we will also embrace this opportunity to explore new approaches and think creatively. Join us as we explore just what is possible in a virtual environment!
All classes will be team-taught with class sizes capped at approximately 20 students. Classes will be divided into age-level groups:
- Morning: Kindergarten -2nd grade and 3rd - 5th grade
- Afternoon: 6th – 7th grade, 8th – 9th grade, 10th – 12th grade
Classes for younger students will include a combination of:
- Live community-building activities
- Live large and small group times that might include anything from the reading of a great children’s book as inspiration for creative writing to a virtual field trip
- Live story dictation activities with a teacher and
- “Center time” featuring pre-recorded activities and a wealth of independent art and extension projects to enjoy at your family’s convenience.
Classes for older students will include:
- Live community-building activities
- Live large and small group times
- Live personalized consultation with experienced writers/teachers and
- Independent pre-recorded activities and extension projects to enjoy at your family’s convenience.
- For Virtual Camps -What equipment and supplies will we need to have at home to ensure a rewarding experience?
- All camp courses will utilize the Canvas learning platform. Each student will need a unique e-mail address to access the system. Emails are to be provided by the parents.
- Students will also need a laptop, tablet or phone to access the course, but we recommend a laptop or tablet. The best user experience is achieved through the Google Chrome web browser.
- Each student will need a notebook, journal, or folder with blank paper and writing implements such as pencils, pens, and markers.
- Extension activities will utilize basic arts and crafts materials such as scissors, colored paper, glue, watercolors, etc. that students typically use at school. Parents will not be asked to buy specific art materials.
- For Virtual Camps - What do we need to know about technology and tech support should it be necessary?
- All families will be asked to complete a “tech check” the week before their virtual camp session. Support staff will be available for assistance that day should families have any challenges logging into the system.
- During “tech check” students will be able to “meet” their teachers as they view pre-recorded videos uploaded by the teachers and writers leading the course. Students will also be asked to record their own introductory video to share with their classmates.
- “Tech check” will also provide an opportunity for parents to receive more detailed information regarding each class’s daily schedule, should they have a need for specifics.
Finally, should families have challenges with technology at any point during the camp experience, they will be able to connect directly with IT support staff via phone or e-mail. (713-348-4803 or email@example.com)
Creative Writing Camp is a collaboration between Writers in the Schools and Rice University’s School Literacy and Culture and has inspired young writers for over 30 years. Our online and in-person camps deep dive into writing topics that hone creativity and prepare students for future success. With low student-teacher ratios and mentorship from professional writers, Creative Writing Camp offers a writer’s workshop experience!