Summer 2021 Programming

Elementary-aged and teen writers will work with acclaimed writers, try new things, get inspired, and have fun.

Teen Programs

2021 Junior High Writing Conference
Instructor: TBD
Ages: 11–15
Dates: May 15, 2021 – June 15, 2021
Time: Asynchronous
Place: Online
Cost: Free

Middle school students are invited to sign on to our online portal between May 15, 2021 and June 15, 2021 and engage with material from world-reknowned writers. Working at their own pace, they will watch a series of exciting videos and complete writing exercises. Students will have the opportunity to submit their work for publication to a conference anthology at the close of the month. After participating in the conference, middle-school writers will feel more confident in their creative abilities and inspired to keep expressing themselves through storytelling. Participation is free and open to everyone ages 11–15.

Anne Frank at her writing desk
Anne Frank Sapling Workshop
Instructor: Allison Baumann, Kirsten Kumpf Baele, Meghan Maleri
Ages: 11–15
Dates: June 13, 2021; June 20, 2021; June 27, 2021
Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm CDT
Place: Online
Cost: Free

Join the Iowa Youth Writing Project for this powerful workshop series, designed to honor a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Thanks to the work of University of Iowa German professor Kirsten Kumpf Baele, the University will receive, in spring 2022, one of a handful of saplings grown from the beloved chestnut tree described in Anne Frank's diary. The IYWP, along with the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and students from Dr. Kumpf Baele's Anne Frank class, will be hosting a three-part workshop series for junior high students in which we will welcome the sapling through reflective reading, writing, and discussion. Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to participate! Together, we will contemplate the legacy of Anne Frank, write creative work inspired by her diary, and draw parallels between her struggle and the manifold challenges we face today. Students will also be invited to enter an essay contest whose winner will give a public reading at the planting of the sapling in April 2022.

A teen sitting at a classroom desk writing in a notebook
Summer 2021 Teen Writing Camp
Instructor: Julia Wohlstetter (June), Valentina Romero (July)
Ages: 13–18
Dates: June 7, 2021 – August 15, 2021
Time: Asynchronous
Place: Online
Cost: Free

Teen students will engage with online creative writing content created just for the IYWP by one of our acclaimed writing instructors. In an online environment, teen writers will learn how to hone their craft through a series of fun and engaging videos, writing exercises, and inspirational activities. At the end of camp, teens will feel more confident in their creative writing abilities and will be inspired to keep writing.

This digital camp will take the form of a series of five video modules which will appear on our UI Learn site the week of June 7, 2021. A second five-hour module block with a different theme will be uploaded the week of July 5th. This registration automatically covers both camps. Once posted, videos will remain accessible to registered campers until August 15th. All students must be registered in order to participate. 

June camp theme: Wild Writing

Instructor: Julia Wohlstetter

Julia WohlstetterWild Writing is a camp about experimentation and play. Rather that focusing on a single genre, we will explore the work of visual artists and hybrid-arts movements, to bring their techniques into our writing. Each week will consist of both short and long form generative prompts, a short lecture on an artist, work, or movement, an experiment, and a larger prompt for students to investigate outside of class. Our divigations will include: Hilma Af Klint, the tarot and writings of Leonora Carrington, Sound Translation, Magritte, Robin CosteLewis, Ted Berrigan, Automatic Writing, Collage, Exquisite Corpse, N+7, Sister Corita Kent, Sound Poems and Found Poems, the Theory of Colors, Georgia O’Keeffe, and so much more. Come prepared to write, and to write wildly!

Julia Wohlstetter (pictured left) is a poet and visual artist living in Iowa City. She is the creator and host of Poetry Practice Space at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is currently an MFA candidate in Poetry, and Truman Capote Fellow at The Iowa Writers’ Workshop.


July Teen Camp // Chosen Family: Friendships

As we venture into discovering who we are and who we hope to become, our friendships become grounds to try on new selves, to seek support and validation, to have fun and be able to safely explore who we are. Friendships are spaces where we can safely encounter conflict, ideas that are different from ours, and what we want out of relationships. This course will explore the concept of Chosen Family, the people we find and choose to play a significant role in our lives. We will examine this concept as a literary tool that allows for us to develop our characters and complicate their perspectives by exploring the rich, dynamic relationships that exist between this type of friends.

Valentina Rios Romero

 

Valentina Ríos Romero (she/they) is a queer writer from Mexico City. They have worked in the museum industry for several years, at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Oxford Modern and the Shelburne Museum.  This fall they will attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop MFA program  for fiction.  They like to write about the art world, birds, transnationalism, queer friendship and ghosts.

Elementary Programs

Boy sitting with notebook and pencil
Summer 2021 Elementary Writing Camp
Instructor: Cindy Ok (June), Jeremiah Jenkins (July)
Ages: 7–12
Dates: June 7, 2021 – August 15, 2021
Time: Asynchronous
Place: Online
Cost: Free

Elementary-school-aged students will engage with online creative writing content created just for the IYWP by one of our acclaimed writing instructors (TBA –– check back soon!) In an online environment, youth writers will learn how to hone their craft through a series of fun and engaging videos, writing exercises, and inspirational activities. At the end of camp, young writers will feel more confident in their creative writing abilities and will be inspired to keep writing.

This digital camp will take the form of a series of five video modules which will appear on our UI Learn site the week of June 7, 2021. A second five-hour module block with a different theme will be uploaded the week of July 5th. This registration automatically covers both camps. Once posted, videos will remain accessible to registered campers until August 15th. All students must be registered in order to participate.


June camp theme: Myths and Futures

Instructor: Cindy Ok

Cindy Juyoung Ok

In Myths and Futures camp, you'll consider big questions about life and storytelling. Have you heard the same story about yourself as a baby over and over again? Are you confused when learning about how Covid spreads or interested in how Peppa Pig lives? In this class, we'll think about what stories are and where they come from, drawing on everything from folktales to climate narratives. We will identify the myths and fables around us and reinvent them in creative ways that put you in charge of the story and where it goes next! Our class's writing will wonder about known narratives of the past and make new imaginations of the future.

Cindy Juyoung Ok (pictured left) is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was awarded Truman Capote, Meta and George Rosenberg, and Rydson Fellowships. A former K-12 educator, she has also taught creative writing through nonprofits, libraries, and festivals.


July camp theme: Non-human Narrators

Instructor: Jeremiah Jenkins

Jeremiah David

Non-human Narrators camp, as its name suggests, will explore writing from fun and exciting points of view. Stories start with imagination. How far can your imagination take you, if you let it? Can you imagine your way into the mind of a pet dog, cat, or turtle? How about a tree outside, or a crystal deep underground? This camp is all about stretching your imagination to see the world from another point of view. We’ll read together and share our writing along the way!

Born in Canada and raised in North Africa, Jeremiah Jenkins (pictured left) considers himself an International Man of Mystery. Can he really speak thirteen languages? Did he actually invent the world’s first dishwasher-safe lava lamp? Is "Jeremiah" even his real name??