Online Student Program on the Craft of Writing Fiction

The Common Young Writers Program welcomes high school students passionate about creative writing to join a two-week intensive course on the craft of fiction. Offered by Amherst College, this virtual summer course includes daily synchronous and asynchronous work for students excited to learn the building blocks of fiction (scene, character, plot, image) and to write and revise their own stories in a short period of time. 

In the course, students will engage with their peers as they learn to read like a writer by closely examining short stories published in Amherst College’s literary magazine, The Common. By the end of the jam-packed program, students will emerge with original pieces of writing, more confident in their skills, and connected to a supportive writing community. 

Taught by the editors and editorial assistants of The Common, the summer courses (Level I and Level II) will run Monday–Friday, July 22 to August 2. Applications are open until May 17, 2024.

The Level I introductory fiction class guides students through the process of writing a short story. No prior writing experience is necessary. Students who have already completed a creative writing class or workshop may apply for Level II, a collaborative fiction workshop in which students share their work and provide feedback to each other under the supervision of experienced teachers.

Flexible, tiered pricing is offered in an effort to ensure qualified students can attend. Need-based tuition waivers, beyond the discounts described on the site, are also available for both levels.

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