Photograph of smiling Young Writers' Camp students in matching t-shirts

Young Writers' Camp

A letter from Mitch Cox, Duke Young Writers’ Camp Academic Director:

Dear Young Writers and Their Parents and Teachers,

Welcome to Duke Young Writers’ Camp, Summer 2017. If you’re new to Duke Young Writers’ Camp or Duke Youth Programs, you’ll want to read on about what our program has to offer middle school- and high school-aged campers. If you’re familiar with the camp, you may want to view the Classes section on this page to see our tentative offerings and course descriptions. In either case, Duke University Continuing Education Youth Programs Director Thomas Patterson and I have prepared an exciting curriculum.

Why do young people choose Young Writers’ Camp? Here are some reasons noted by past campers:

  • It’s not like school: Imagine a place where learning and fun are the same.
  • It’s a stress-free, nonjudgmental, open environment.
  • It gives campers freedom to write on topics and genres that interest campers.
  • It teaches “the rules” for writing, but also ways to break those rules.
  • Even its academic classes allow students to be creative.
  • It’s full of writing exercises that tease the mind and bond you with fellow campers.
  • It’s a place to find and make friends; it’s a place to find people like you.

Why should parents select this camp or teachers recommend it?

  • While campers use the term “fun,” we prefer the term “engaging.” Camp engages its participants intellectually, emotionally, physically:
    • A casual observer dropping into one of our classes might see young people acting out the lives and situations of student-generated characters, rapping and performing poetry and song, walking down Ninth Street in Durham and “listening in on” and recording conversations to develop an ear for dialogue, participating in a round-table discussion of their classmates’ work, taste-testing desserts as a review of the fare at the Mad Hatter Bakeshop and Café.
    • Field trips to local businesses, art museums, gardens, and dance festivals are a regular feature of our classes.
    • While campers are given class time for quiet writing, they also draft, revise, and edit collaboratively.
    • After an academic day of writing classes, many of our extended day and residential campers choose physical afternoon activities such as sports and drama.
  • While they are having “fun,”
    • Campers learn the basics of composition:
      • Show, don't tell. Show, don't tell. Show, don't tell. Whether you're writing a narrative, informational, or argumentative essay (Common Core English Lang. Arts Standards Alert!), this is the one rule everyone needs to know.
      • Write about what you know: even if one writes fantasy, one always draws on personal experience.
    • Campers learn to initiate, plan, develop, organize, and revise and edit their writing.
    • But do campers learn “grammar” parents ask?
      • While grammar is not the primary focus of our camp or classes, we do recognize the importance of editing one’s writing for errors.
      • In fact, as part of instruction, our teachers offer campers various editing tips.
      • However, the core “rules” of writing involve finding and developing a writer’s focus, purpose, and individual voice; learning techniques for developing and organizing one’s work; gaining a sense of the structure of various genres of composition; and fostering an awareness of audience.
      • Once campers come to see themselves as writers, then the mechanics and grammar have a context, begin to matter and make sense from within.
    • Many campers become more comfortable with public speaking.
      • We begin each morning with a writing activity in which the whole camp participates and at the end of which, 10 to 15 volunteers have the opportunity to share their writing orally.
      • During classes, instructors regularly invite campers to share their works-in-progress orally with classmates.
      • Every academic day ends with a time called Readers' Forum, where 15 to 20 volunteers share from their self-composed texts.
      • During the second week, a group of 15 to 20 campers are selected by their instructors to read from original works at the Regulator Bookshop on 9th Street in Durham, NC.
      • On the last night of camp, 35 to 45 campers volunteer to share their writing in a Readers' Theatre called Final Celebration.
      • While no camper is ever forced to read in front of other campers, instructors strive to create a nurturing environment that encourages campers to share work.

Our instructors are professional teachers who write and professional writers who teach.

Because our class sizes are small, our instructors are able to give concrete, specific oral and written feedback as to what campers are doing well and on what they need to work.

As I said previously, past campers noted how unlike school, camp was, not because they weren't learning about writing, about how to write, about how to write better. Rather, the whole experience of camp goes toward helping students see themselves as writers and as a community of writers. Campers learn from each other as well as their instructors and professional writers how to craft real writing for authentic purposes and audiences. In this way, campers make the rules of writing a part of themselves. Such internalization and such community building do not usually occur in schools. Young people leave our camp, seeing it as a second home, a place and people acknowledging each camper’s creativity and individuality.

I encourage you to examine the Classes section on this page for a full course list. Each session offers fiction and poetry writing classes as well as college admissions essay and journalism courses. Whether campers are taking Paper Cuts: Words that Wound and Win (an argumentative essay writing class) or Fan Fiction (where they write narratives about their favorite comic book character), they are engaged in developing skills identified in the Common Core State Initiative of English Language Arts Standards; but more important, they are on their way to becoming lifetime writers.

I cannot wait for the summer and the prospect of meeting and working with young writers and their parents. Until then, have a wonderful start of this new year.

Sincerely,

Mitch Cox, Duke Young Writers’ Camp Academic Director

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Schedule

Important Dates for Session I

Sunday, June 18, 2017

  • 2:00 - 4:00 pm -- Check-in for Residential Students a the Blackwell Residence Hall
  • 5:15 pm -- Living Group Meeting
  • 6:00 pm -- Dinner
  • 7:00 pm -- Orientation & Evening Activities

Monday, June 19, 2017

  • First day of classes
  • 9:00 am -- 9:30 Day and Extended Day Students check in at the White Lecture Hall

Thursday, June 29, 2017

  • Final Day of Class
  • 7:30 pm -- Final Celebration (Readings & Reception) at White Lecture Hall. Parents are encouraged to attend!

Friday, June 30, 2017

  • Check out for Residential Students.
  • Must depart by noon.

Important Dates for Session II

Sunday, July 9, 2017

  • 2:00 - 4:00 pm -- Check-in for Residential Students at Blackwell Residence Hall
  • 5:15 pm -- Living Group Meeting
  • 6:00 pm -- Dinner
  • 7:00 pm -- Orientation & Evening Activities

Monday, July 10, 2017

  • First day of classes
  • 9:00 - 9:30 -- Day and Extended Day Students check in at White Lecture Hall

Thursday, July 20, 2017

  • Final day of classes
  • 7:30 pm -- Final Celebration (Readings & Reception) at White Lecture Hall. Parents are encouraged to attend!

Friday, July 21, 2017

  • Check-out for Residential Students.
  • Must depart by noon.

Important Dates for Session III

Sunday, July 23, 2017

  • 2:00 - 4:00 pm -- Check-in for Residential Students at Blackwell Residence Hall
  • 5:15 pm -- Living Group Meeting
  • 6:00 pm -- Dinner
  • 7:00 pm -- Orientation & Evening Activities

Monday, July 24, 2017

  • First day of classes
  • 9:00 - 9:30 -- Day and Extended Day Students check in at White Lecture Hall

Thursday, August 3, 2017

  • Final day of classes
  • 7:30 pm -- Final Celebration (Readings & Reception) at White Lecture Hall. Parents are encouraged to attend!

Friday, August 4, 2017

  • Check-out for Residential Students.
  • Must depart by noon.

Day Camper Schedule (all sessions)

9:30 am Day Campers arrive at White Lecture Hall on East Campus
10:00 am Morning gathering
10:30 am Free-writing
11:00 am Morning Class
12:45 pm Lunch in the East Campus Marketplace
2:00 pm Free-writing
2:30 pm Afternoon class
4:00 pm Readers' forum
4:30 pm Day camper pick-up from White Lecture Hall on East Campus

 

Extended Day Camper Schedule (all sessions)

9:30 am Extended Day Campers arrive at White Lecture Hall on East Campus
10:00 am Morning gathering
10:30 am Free-writing
11:00 am Morning class
12:45 pm Lunch in the East Campus Marketplace
2:00 pm Free-writing
2:30 pm Afternoon class
4:00 pm Readers' forum
4:30 pm Extended Day Camper to Blackwell Residence Hall
5:00 pm Afternoon activities for residential and extended day students
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening activities
9:00 pm Extended day students depart from Blackwell Residence Hall

 

Residential Camper Schedule (all sessions)

9:00 am Breakfast - Residential Campers
10:00 am Morning gathering
10:30 am Free-writing
11:00 am Morning class
12:45 pm Lunch in the East Campus Marketplace
2:00 pm Free-writing
2:30 pm Afternoon class
4:00 pm Readers' forum
4:30 pm Extended Day Campers to Blackwell Residence Hall
5:00 pm Afternoon activities for residential & extended day students
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening activities
9:30 pm Residential Campers in the Residence Hall
10:00 pm Living group meetings, free time
10:30 pm Middle School students in room, lights out, door locked
11:30 pm High School students in room, door locked
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Classes

2017 Instructors and Classes by Session

Session 1 Morning Middle School Classes

Instructor: Mark Alford     Course: With Great Power: Superhero Fiction
What is the one thing that all great superheroes have in common?  They all need a great writer.  This class will explore every type of superhero fiction.  Thanks to a grant from Stark Industries and Wayne Industries, we’ll build the finest heroes and super teams.  Lexcorp and Oscorp have each funded opportunities for us to make the deadliest villains.  Plus, we won’t just write prose, but also comic book panel style and we’ll take a look at what it takes to write the storylines for video games.  Remember, with great power, there must also come great storytelling.

Instructor: Michael Beadle     Course:    Speculative Poetry

Myths, folk tales, legends and other stories can be great inspiration for writing new poems… with a twist. Imagine what might happen if Cinderella worked at a shoe factory or if Cupid lost his arrows. Books, movies, and TV shows such as the Percy Jackson series, Shrek, and Once Upon a Time have introduced us to whole new worlds by speculating what might happen if these familiar characters and stories took a strange turn. Learn how to re-imagine and create fabulous stories through narrative poetry.
Instructor: Justine Daniel Course: Quest: A Hero’s Journey
Create your own original journeys with adventurous heroes, unforgettable sidekicks, and villains that serve as worthy opponents. What is it your hero is looking for and how far will they go to find it? We will investigate heroes through time and what makes them appealing to audiences, from mythological heroes to modern day superheroes, and outcasts to “chosen ones.” Writers will draw inspiration from real-world problems and heroes as well as fieldtrips around Duke’s campus (art museums, dance performances, gardens, local businesses, etc.). Students will experiment with independent writing, paired writing and group writing as well as analyzing excerpts from texts and films with strong heroes. Those ready to take their hero through enemy land, hostile territories and numerous obstacles all while sharing your stories and ideas in writers’ workshops with others, this is the class for you!

Instructor: Andrew Coffey-Hanlin    Course: Guts and Glory: Action Adventure Writing

WANTED: person(s) to commit selfless acts of heroism and bravery. Must be willing to travel to exotic locales (deserts, ice tombs, jungles, bizarre planets, etc.). Prior experience fighting archenemies is unnecessary. Multiple language proficiencies are optional. Applicants must provide their own bullwhips and laser-swords. Team members, sidekicks and romantic interests can be acquired on the job. Death? Likely. Possible Rewards? Endless. Gather your heroes; assemble your team. Dark forces are out there. Let’s go find them! Before they find us…

Instructor: Tracie Fellers     Course: Fiction Writing: Behind the Scenes

Compelling scenes in fiction are every bit as vivid as scenes in movies. In this class, you'll use strong sensory details like sights, sounds and smells to pull readers into moments that make or break your characters. Add dialogue between characters, their gestures, physical reactions and thoughts and, voila, you've got a scene!  Your charge for this course is creating these fictional points in time that show readers more than you could ever tell them.  Ready to build a memorable fictional world? Crafting scenes is how you do it. Get set for a fantastic journey as we work on bringing your worlds and characters to life on the page, scene by scene.

Instructor: Ting Lam     Course: Tabletop and Interactive Storytelling: Are You a Dungeon Master?

Pretend. Take Risks. Imagine. Design. Improvise. If you love to do all the above AND you’re LFG (Looking for Group), then look no further. You are ready to accept the role of dungeon master. In this class, we’ll dabble in a little bit of everything: game theory, game design, tabletop games, storytelling-based board and card games, interactive point-and-click games, and collaborative writing. Be ready to invent worlds, fill out character sheets, and roll a D20. Please note that not all games will be set in a fantasy world.

Instructor: Maureen Sherbondy     Course: Multi-genre Writing: Finding the “Write” Form

It takes a little practice and exposure to find the “write” form--the one we feel most comfortable with and that brings out our best craft. In Multi-Genre Writing, we’ll experiment with science fiction, fantasy, narrative, and descriptive poetry and use various writing exercises to piece together products that mix and overlap genres. Campers will collaborate and rely heavily on peer workshops for inspiration and constructive feedback. Multi-Genre Writing will give you the opportunity to create action romance, fantasy mystery, and other unexpected combinations--be a part of the course that embodies it all.

Session 1 Afternoon Middle School Classes

Instructor: Mark Alford     Course:    Myth, Magic, Monsters: Making a World
Become a god and take your seat on the pantheon.  Together with your fellow deities you will create the world around the small port town of Redemption.  Communally, you will design the magic system that this world operates on as well as the political conflicts, the world history, and the monsters and creatures that inhabit it.  Then design characters that will interact with the other characters created in the class.  Along the way, we’ll explore elements of fantasy fiction and what it takes to write convincing and intriguing fantasy stories.

Instructor: Ting Lam     Course:    Weird Fiction: Readers, Beware!

Photographs, nightmares, and folktales: what do all of these have in common, you ask? Oh, they’re just inspiration for some of the best horror and weird fiction out there such as Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. We won’t need a medium to find out what ghosts haunted these writers and directors to document their fears. See what inspires YOU to scare the pants off your readers!
Instructor: Naima Coster Course: Characters in 3D: Observation and Imagination
Writers greatest tools are paying close attention to the world around them and then taking the details they observe and bringing them to life through imagination. In this class, our goal will be to create well-rounded, rich, believable characters. We will do this by getting out into the world and using our senses to observe how people walk, how people talk to one another, what they put in their grocery carts, how they look, and then we’ll use what we notice to imagine a whole life, a complicated mind, and an interesting situation for original characters. Bring a notebook and be ready to combine what reality has to offer with your own imagination to create a character you’ll get to know as well as you know your best friend.

Instructor: Maureen Sherbondy     Course: Paper Cuts: Words That Wound and Win
Influential leaders more often win with words than weapons. Learn how to write like a victor in this class as we explore argumentative writing. In this argumentative writing course, you will learn how to form a convincing argument leaving your opponents speechless. Come discover the alchemy of argument.

Instructor: Justine Daniel     Course: TV Writing: Writing for the Small Screen

Ever wonder what it would be like to write for TV? TV isn’t only successful because of the actors—the writers make the magic happen! This class will provide students the opportunity to experiment with screenwriting in multiple genres including comedy, drama, and horror. We will explore elements and structure of effective screenplays, experiment with transforming favorite scenes from literature into screenplays and ultimately drafting our own 30-minute pilot episode of an original television show that will be “pitched” to the class. Independent writing, paired writing and group writing will help guide this course as well writers’ workshops to gain useful feedback from peers. What good would any screenwriting be without some acting? Be prepared to share your ideas, share your drafts and perform various scenes from one another’s writing!

Instructor: Tracie Fellers     Course: Fiction Writing: The Power of POV

Part of the magic of fiction is in taking on multiple personalities and seeing how they play out on the page. You'll do just that in this class through experimenting with various points of view, otherwise known as POV, to write your stories. From first-, second- and third-person to reliable and unreliable narrators, we'll explore the power of choosing the POV that best suits your piece, whether it's a fledgling short story or novel excerpt you've been working on for a while. Ever wanted to be omniscient, to write in the voice of someone who's totally different from you, or to be so close to a character that you can reveal his or her innermost thoughts as if they were your own?  In this class, you'll have a chance to do all three — and more!
 

Session 1 Morning High School Classes

Instructor: Emmalea Couch     Course: Writing College Admissions Essays: Standing Out, Getting In

One of the most intimidating parts of applying to college can be writing your college essays. After all, how can you capture who you are in such a short space? This course is designed to teach you how to write an effective college entrance essay by relating a personal narrative that both reveals your character and reflects on a larger question (often specified by the university/college).  You'll learn to present your abilities and accomplishments in a unique way, practice with real application questions, and research colleges. We will also have guest speakers who work in college admissions give you insider advice on what they look for while reading essays for their representative schools.

Instructor: Scott Michaels     Course: Journalism

Want to become a journalist, interview people, write a story, have a byline and get published in an online newspaper? That's what we'll do. You'll learn the tricks of the reporting trade, plus how to make a seemingly bland story pop with excitement. We will operate like a mini-newsroom: reporters work their stories while getting help every step of the way to make sure they submit a quality piece ahead of our publishing deadlines.  Along the way we'll bring in a guest speaker on video conference, so budding journalists can get some Q and A with a 25-year veteran of newspaper reporting.

Instructor: Naima Coster    Course: Experimental Fiction: Make It Weird

In this course, we will write fiction that surprises. We will play with point of view, language, plot, genre, and form. Prepare to write micro-fiction, a Twitter story, a story without a plot, a story with an unconventional narrator, a story in the second person, and more. As we try different approaches to fiction, you’ll push the limits of what you know and what you believe yourself capable of creating.

Instructor: Barry Yeoman     Course: Writing for Multimedia Performance

Working collaboratively, we will write and then present a multimedia performance that combines words, music, and photography to bring alive a moment in history or the news. This is a full-on team effort. Everyone helps choose the topic. Everyone writes. Everyone critiques. Everyone helps craft the material into a script. And everyone performs. Whether you’re a theater newbie or a Broadway star, there’s a place for you on this stage if you’re willing to work hard.

Session 1 Afternoon High School Classes

Instructor: Emmalea Couch    Course: The Grimdark Side of Fantasy

Once upon a time, before adorable woodland animals talked and cheerful fairy godmothers solved all the problems with the wave of a magic wand, fairy tales were darker – much darker. In this course, we’ll start exploring the “grimdark” side of speculative fiction by looking at those original fairy tales, but also through an examination of more modern works of dark fantasy, such as Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising. We will discuss how to “darken” a work of fantasy in realistic ways, without relying solely on the genre of horror. But be warned: there will be no fluffy unicorns or dancing leprechauns in this class!

Instructor: Andrew Coffey     Course: In the Flicker: Dark Fiction

This course will explore the mysterious, the terrifying, and the grotesque: corruption, injustice, gnawing unease, the maddening effects of evil forces lurking just beyond perception.  The works we’ll strive to create will often be bleak or unsettling. Are there elements of the supernatural, barely comprehensible, at work in the fringes of society? Or are the terrors we discover entirely the product of human design? Are the heroes we know and love really the monsters we sought all along? Let’s create and answer these questions together.

Instructor: Michael Beadle     Course: Kaboom Poetry Performance

Do you have a flair for the dramatic? Are you interested in competing at open mic events, festivals or SLAM competitions? Perhaps you just want to feel more comfortable reading poetry in front of an audience. Learn to write poems you can perform with poise and polish. Then learn how to use gestures, improv, and dramatic techniques that will help you feel like a rock star when you’re sharing your poetry. Information includes how to enter Poetry Out Loud, a nationally recognized high school recitation contest where you could win up to $20,000!

Instructor: Scott Michaels     Course: Creative Nonfiction: Mining Great Life Stories

Find your passion, find your voice, create your masterpiece. Students will pick a topic, and then pick a canvas. Compose a movie, music, restaurant review, memoir, feature story on someone at Duke or in Durham, etc. We’ll turn it into a blog post, podcast or submission in the DYWC online newspaper. You’ll use the facts as a jumping-off point to write pieces that also show who you are.

Instructor: Barry Yeoman     ourse: Writing Men

Come join the band of brothers who find themselves transformed each summer by this one-of-a-kind class. We’ll be exploring many of life’s big issues—sports, romance, social pressures, violence, parents, competition, and adulthood—through fun games, serious conversations, and of course lots of writing. We’ll create a community of male writers that will outlast the two weeks of camp. And we’ll push the limits of both honesty and creativity.

 

Session 2 Morning Middle School Classes

Instructor: Mark Alford    Course: With Great Power: Superhero Fiction

What is the one thing that all great superheroes have in common?  They all need a great writer.  This class will explore every type of superhero fiction.  Thanks to a grant from Stark Industries and Wayne Industries, we’ll build the finest heroes and super teams.  Lexcorp and Oscorp have each funded opportunities for us to make the deadliest villains.  Plus, we won’t just write prose, but also comic book panel style and we’ll take a look at what it takes to write the storylines for video games.  Remember, with great power, there must also come great storytelling.

Instructor: Justine Daniel    Course: Fiction: Let the Story Tell You

Fiction writing stems from our wild imaginations, but many times can be rooted in elements and experienced from our very own lives. In this course, students will gain inspiration for story ideas both from our imaginations and life experiences. We will develop plots, characters, and writing techniques from multiple sources. Music, film clips, art and fieldtrips are among the opportunities students will have to spark ideas to develop their own completed story (or stories). Whether you have little or much experience with writing stories this course will help develop your story and your writing style. Emphasis will be placed on learning techniques that push the writer out of their comfort zone and into more dynamic storytelling. This will provide exploration into literature students hadn’t considered and ways of developing stories not yet imagined. This course will use a writer’s workshop model for campers to share, critique and revise stories while engaging in discussion.

Instructor: Kevin Dublin    Course: Poetry and Zines

We will explore many kinds of poetry and a few other forms of journal writing! Poetry in different forms, from different places, and about different subjects. We’ll also look at what makes up print and digital zines, then we’ll write and complete short sequences of poetry essays and journals/letters which we will publish into personal, limited edition zines. Expect writing, some doodling, collage, and maybe even stamping in class!

Instructor: Ting Lam    Course: Character Factory

What’s the difference between Snow White and Moana? How about the Pink Ladies and Mean Girls? Lex Luthor and Gru? Why, the evolution of subverting archetypes, of course! Learn all sorts of different terms and techniques dealing with characterization and create your own original characters. No need to reinvent the wheel when the basic prototype of our classic characters need only a little tweaking: round them out, make them three-dimensional, and liberate them from the page. Your head may already contain the design for the next Percy Jackson, Hermione Granger, or Augustus Waters.

Instructor: Cassie Rooney     Course: Horror Fiction: Playing with Our Fears

H.P. Lovecraft, one of the most significant 20th-century horror writers, once argued, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”  This class will encourage students to tap into the dark and ominous abyss of their imaginations in order to craft novel tales devoid of cliché that are sure to make anyone shudder.  Come join us this summer as we explore the frightening works of some of the best in the genre and skillfully write original stories meant to be read around a campfire on a chilly night.  Just remember, this class is certainly not for the faint of heart!

Instructor: Leslie Schwartz     Course: LOL: Comedy Writing in the 21st Century

There is a rich history of comedy writing across the ages. From Ancient Greek actors "falling" off stages to modern YouTube sensations pranking unsuspecting victims. This course will investigate several types of comedy, from stories to stand up to quickly evolving internet media, and then students will write and perform comedies of their own, again spanning various formats. Campers who love to laugh and are comfortable being the butt of a good joke are encouraged to sign up. Selfie-stick not required.

Instructor: Maureen Sherbondy     Course: Multi-genre Writing: Finding the “Write” Form

It takes a little practice and exposure to find the “write” form--the one we feel most comfortable with and that brings out our best craft. In Multi-Genre Writing, we’ll experiment with science fiction, fantasy, narrative, and descriptive poetry and use various writing exercises to piece together products that mix and overlap genres. Campers will collaborate and rely heavily on peer workshops for inspiration and constructive feedback. Multi-Genre Writing will give you the opportunity to create action romance, fantasy mystery, and other unexpected combinations--be a part of the course that embodies it all.
 

Session 2 Afternoon Middle School Classes

Instructor: Mark Alford     Course: Myth, Magic, Monsters: Making a World

Become a god and take your seat on the pantheon.  Together with your fellow deities you will create the world around the small port town of Redemption.  Communally, you will design the magic system that this world operates on as well as the political conflicts, the world history, and the monsters and creatures that inhabit it.  Then design characters that will interact with the other characters created in the class.  Along the way, we’ll explore elements of fantasy fiction and what it takes to write convincing and intriguing fantasy stories.

Instructor: Justine Daniels     Course: Jump Starting Fiction: Scene Building

Never underestimate the power of a single scene! Each scene in a work of fiction holds the dramatic tension of plot and is a mini-plot of a novel. Each day of this session student will utilize multiple art forms as well as exercises created by the instructor to inspire the writing of fictional scenes in multiple genres. Utilizing the rich cultural resources of Duke’s campus, inspiration will stem from film, music, visual art, nature, dance performances and common everyday places. Students will engage in writer’s workshops to build, discuss and revise scenes to use later in longer works of fiction or as a compilation of vignettes. Analysis of various authors’ writing styles will help students emulate and develop imagery, characterization, mood and theme.

Instructor: Ormand Moore     Course: TV Writing: Writing for the Small Screen

They say we're living in a TV golden age.  This golden age isn't happening because the actors are better looking or the cameras more high-definition: the WRITERS are making incredible TV happen today.  In this class, you'll learn how to shape an entire story arc--serious or funny--into a 30-minute (actually less: commercials!) show.  In addition to traditional narrative genres, we'll explore genres like variety shows (SNL), late night talk shows (Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show), and that monster, REALITY TV.  We'll kick back and watch some great television, but mostly we'll write, experiment, act (yes, we will act!), and make hilarious laugh tracks. 

Instructor: Maureen Sherbondy     Course: The “Grimm” Side of Fiction

Once upon a time, before adorable woodland animals talked, before cheerful fairy godmothers solved all the problems with the wave of a magic wand, fairy tales were darker – much darker. In this course, we will start exploring the “grimmer” side of fantasy by looking at these fairy tales, as well as some other well-known works of darker fantasy such as Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Lois Lowry’s The Giver. We will discuss how to “darken” a work of fantasy without slipping into horror, focusing on what unsettles and scares us. But be warned: there will be no fluffy unicorns or dancing leprechauns in this class!

Instructor: Cassie Rooney     Course: Paper Cuts: Words That Wound and Win

Influential leaders more often times win with words than weapons.  After this course, you’ll no longer be accused of fallacious reasoning, for you’ll learn how to write like a victor as we explore the craft of argumentative writing.  This argumentative writing course will expose you to debate and speech, along with personal essay writing and even poetry! Come discover the alchemy of argument.

Instructor: Leslie Schwartz     Course: Heroics

Saving the world has always been "all in a day's work" to the heroes of the universe. Yet, they always seem to stumble at the most importune times. This course will encourage students to read and write about all types of heroes. We will investigate the traits that make our favorite heroes so appealing, and throw them into situations where they get to show off and save the world. We know that great power brings great responsibility, but not all of us have found our superpowers yet. All seventh sons, radioactive middle class children, half-mortal demi-goddesses, and unassuming pedestrians are welcome! Bring your cape.
 

Session 2 Morning High School Classes

Instructor: Naima Coster    Course: Making the Unreal Real: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Magical Realism

Gabriel García Márquez once said, “If you say that there are elephants flying in the sky, people are not going to believe you. But if you say that there are four hundred and twenty-five elephants flying in the sky, people will probably leave you.” Whether your stories are science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, or just plain weird, in this course we’ll discover the many technique we can use to make readers believe the unreal. We’ll read compelling unreal fiction, including stories about an old woman who must care for a prehistoric creature, a frog who must save Tokyo, and, of course, a young boy admitted to a prestigious school for witchcraft and wizardry. Be ready to expand your imagination and write beyond the boundaries of our reality!

Instructor: Ormand Moore    Course: Journalism

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Campers enrolled in Journalism will get a crash course in interviewing, news writing, editorial writing, copy-editing, page layout, and design. We will collaborate to create an online newspaper, complete with news, sports, and features articles, as well as editorials, columns, and cartoons. In addition to honing their writing skills, campers will have the chance to bring their perspective to local or global issues and voice their opinions. Come get the full journalism experience (press pass not included).

Instructor: Tracie Fellers    Course: Writing College Admissions Essays: Standing Out, Getting In

If you want to set yourself apart from thousands of other applicants to the colleges of your choice, your essay needs to show admissions officers who you are beyond the statistics (test scores, grades, class rank, etc.) Creating effective and compelling personal narratives — stories with a point — is the goal of this course.  In this class, students will write at least one complete draft of a college admissions essay. Through daily writing activities, they will generate material they can mine for additional suitable essays, and begin at least one additional essay draft by the end of the camp.  In addition, students will practice with actual application questions, role-play admission interviews, and hear from a guest speaker who will provide insider advice and tips about the admissions process.

Instructor: Crystal Simone Smith    Course: Stranger Than Fiction: Go Ahead, Break the Rules

In Stranger Than Fiction, new ideas are what matter. Writers are free to play with characters, plot, forms, addressing the reader, perspective, time sequence, and other writing elements. In this course, you can break the rules! The goal of the experimental author is to challenge the reader’s expectations in unusual ways. We will review the conventional ways, the one rule is you need to know the current rules before you break them, and we will construct original work though methods of unique expression. Students will learn the elements and strategies of experimental fiction. Through examples of nonlinear storytelling and writing exercises students learn to exaggerate their writing by mixing up the characters, chronological order, settings, and point of view.

Instructor: Meg Williamson     Course: Writing Women

Writing Women is designed to help young women pull expression up from their core and bring it forth in writing. Through poetry, fiction, and personal essay we will move past barriers of polite-silence and sometimes restrictive expectations often imposed on women by society. We will utilize writing exercises that give precedence to individual experiences, that bolster self-worth, and that explore the significance of women as a creative force. We will discuss relevant current events. We will choose as role models female writers who embody these strengths. We will boldly go where every woman ought to. Expect to be challenged and supported in a class where you will join a rich history of women who know they have much to say. 

 

Session 2 Afternoon High School Classes

 

Instructor: Naima Coster     Course: Experimental Fiction: Make It Weird

In this course, we will write fiction that surprises. We will play with point of view, language, plot, genre, and form. Prepare to write micro-fiction, a Twitter story, a story without a plot, a story with an unconventional narrator, a story in the second person, and more. As we try different approaches to fiction, you’ll push the limits of what you know and what you believe yourself capable of creating.

Instructor: Kevin Dublin     Course: Writing Rap as Poetry 101

Even if you don’t write rhymes, you will learn how. “Rap is rhythm and poetry, cuts create sound effects / You might catch up if you follow the records he wrecks.” We’re going to learn to keep the poetry in rap and analyze lyrics and poems and strategies to produce bars in the forms of narrative ballads, braggadocio cyphers, party and humorous rap songs. Expect to look at the work of Rakim, LL Cool J, Tupac, Chance the Rapper, Logic, Andre 3000 and more. If you want to take the class but are nervous, then you should definitely take it.

Instructor: Ting Lam     Course: Experimental Fiction: Diverse Characters

Are you interested in representing marginalized characters as main characters in your next work of literature? Not sure how to write a character who is a different race or gender from you without perpetuating stereotypes? In this class, we’ll have frank and honest discussions about stepping into other people’s shoes, learn from diverse authors such as N. K. Jemisin, Malinda Lo, and Daniel José Older, and step outside of our own comfort zones. This class will be a safe environment for you to take risks.

Instructor: Crystal Simone Smith     Course: Creative Nonfiction: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Creative nonfiction is meant to amuse, as well as inform readers of true stories. From the humorous to the deadly serious, nonfiction writers make connections with what’s happening in the world by cataloging history, accounts, and personal experiences. In this course, we will look at methods of crafting essays and memoirs, along with the acclaimed works of Malala Yousafzai, Jacqueline Woodson, Don Brown, and others alike. Students will produce one close-to-complete work of creative nonfiction that are generated from classroom writing exercises and instruction. They will learn first-hand experience in using storytelling techniques commonly associated with fiction writing, including dialogue, point of view, conflict, character, scene and setting, to tell a story rooted first in facts.

Instructor: Meg Williamson     Course: Finding Your Voice

Some of the most common complaints we hear from young writers are “I don’t know what to write” or “I don’t know what my strengths are.” In this class, students rarely say that after the first day. One of the most exciting things we get to do as writers is to experiment with how we tell the stories we choose to tell. Using a mixture of exercises in short story, poetry, journaling, and personal narrative, we will challenge ourselves to explore the variety of narrative voices that we each have. How are we most comfortable expressing ourselves, our experiences, and our ideas? How are we least comfortable, and why? When we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones as writers, we often produce our most intimate and interesting work.  The goal of this class is to discover our most resonant voices—be they proud, happy, embarrassing, funny, or surprising—and share them.

Instructor: Tracie Fellers     Course: Fiction Writing: Behind the Scenes

Compelling scenes in fiction are every bit as vivid as scenes in movies. In this class, you'll use strong sensory details like sights, sounds and smells to pull readers into moments that make or break your characters. Add dialogue between characters, their gestures, physical reactions and thoughts and, voila, you've got a scene!  Your charge for this course is creating these fictional points in time that show readers more than you could ever tell them.  Ready to build a memorable fictional world? Crafting scenes is how you do it. Get set for a fantastic journey as we work on bringing your worlds and characters to life on the page, scene by scene.
 

Session 3 Morning Middle School Classes

Instructor: Mark Alford     Course: With Great Power: Superhero Fiction

What is the one thing that all great superheroes have in common?  They all need a great writer.  This class will explore every type of superhero fiction.  Thanks to a grant from Stark Industries and Wayne Industries, we’ll build the finest heroes and super teams.  Lexcorp and Oscorp have each funded opportunities for us to make the deadliest villains.  Plus, we won’t just write prose, but also comic book panel style and we’ll take a look at what it takes to write the storylines for video games.  Remember, with great power, there must also come great storytelling.

Instructor: Christy Bechtel     Course: Humor Fiction: LOL

As Dr. Seuss said, “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” Humor and writing are both skills to develop. In this course, students will flex their funny bone and crack up readers with their writing. We’ll be writing and sharing our humorous short stories, cartoons, riddles, puns, etc. Turn sentences into smiles!

Instructor: Emma Duvall     Course: Plotting Your Course: The Art of Writing Short Fiction

A powerful story can be told in a thousand pages or as little as one sentence.  While the length of a piece of fiction may put it in one genre or another, one thing all fiction writing has in common is plot.  In this course, we will explore the art of plot in short fiction.  We will consider the traditional short story alongside experimental forms of short fiction, all the while asking what is plot, and what makes a plot good?
Instructor: Maureen Sherbondy Course: Multi-genre Writing: Finding the “Write” Form
It takes a little practice and exposure to find the “write” form--the one we feel most comfortable with and that brings out our best craft. In Multi-Genre Writing, we’ll experiment with science fiction, fantasy, narrative, and descriptive poetry and use various writing exercises to piece together products that mix and overlap genres. Campers will collaborate and rely heavily on peer workshops for inspiration and constructive feedback. Multi-Genre Writing will give you the opportunity to create action romance, fantasy mystery, and other unexpected combinations--be a part of the course that embodies it all.

Instructor: Bridgett Wiley     Course: Before Lights, Camera, and Action: TV Writing

What happens before Lights, Camera, and Action?  Good Writing of Course!  In this interactive workshop student will explore the story development behind the hit shows “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Adventure Time.”  Students will develop their own spec scripts, or pilot script using skills learned and enhanced in class. Both writers and actors are needed.

Instructor: Sara Hurd     Course: Science Fiction and Fantasy: Building Worlds and Crafting Realities

In his epic work Sandman, Neil Gaiman wrote, “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world...Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds...Hundreds of them.  Thousands, maybe."  It is these secret worlds that give birth to our imaginations and empower us to craft stories that dazzle our fancies and free us from the confines of reality.  In this course, we will tap into our own secret worlds, in addition to exploring those already well-established by some of the greatest world builders in the 'verse.  We will write and share stories that bring to life and showcase all that is truly fantastical within us.  Bring the fragments of every dream you've ever dared to dream, every hope you've ever hoped, and be ready to weave them into reality with vivid, dazzling prose.

 

Session 3 Afternoon Middle School Classes

Instructor: Mark Alford     Course: Myth, Magic, Monsters: Making a World

Become a god and take your seat on the pantheon.  Together with your fellow deities you will create the world around the small port town of Redemption.  Communally, you will design the magic system that this world operates on as well as the political conflicts, the world history, and the monsters and creatures that inhabit it.  Then design characters that will interact with the other characters created in the class.  Along the way, we’ll explore elements of fantasy fiction and what it takes to write convincing and intriguing fantasy stories.

Instructor: Sara Hurd     Course: Action Adventure: Be Your Own Hero

WANTED: a dynamic hero(ine) with undeniable charisma and just the right touch of inner struggle, a villain readers will love to hate, an imaginative and expertly crafted setting, and an action-packed plot to keep readers on the edge of their seats and begging for more. And, GO!  ...What?  It's not that simple?  Of course it isn't!  Classic archetypes and trusty plotlines won't be enough to relate this epic tale. You will not only create an original hero, you must be the hero!  It's up to you to save us all from the imminent threat to our existence, to slay the dragon, to rebuild society, to restore order to the universe!  Be ready to suit up and dive into the arena.  There are no limits.  There will be swordplay, survival challenges, obstacles to overcome, and numerous opportunities for you to showcase your wicked writing skills.  When the bad guys are toast and the day is saved, you'll have all the makings of a strategically paced and artfully crafted tale of action and adventure that only you could tell.

Instructor: Caitlin Prillaman     Course: Outer Poetry: Words Dance

Poetry is the medium that constantly contradicts itself, where limitations and structure give us freedom, where one word can mean more than twenty, where empty space weighs a ton and silence is painfully loud. Poetry can live on the page, or in our ears, or in our throats, or in our hands. In this class we’ll explore every facet of this marvelous contradiction. We’ll hear poetry from Shakespeare, Bob Dylan, William Carlos Williams, Gil Scott-Heron, and many others. We’ll talk about the way our words look on the page and sound in our mouths can mean as much as the definitions of the words themselves. We’ll make single lines pack powerful punches, and we’ll practice performing our poetry so that it has the greatest impact it can. This class will be about exploration, discovery, and pushing the boundaries of our writing.

Instructor: Emma Duvall     Course: What a Character!

Our favorite characters may seem as familiar to us as our closest friends, while a boring character is nothing more to us than words on a page.  As writers, we have to ask ourselves how it is possible to create a character on paper that comes to life in the imagination of the reader.  In this course, we will pursue how, out of words, we can create characters that seem real enough to walk off the page into a reader’s life.
Instructor: Christy Bechtel Course: Horror Fiction: Fantastically Frightening
Do you want to horrifically horrify your readers? Students will construct a horror premise, develop dynamic characters who may or may not fall during the chase scene, and tell a truly terrifying tale.  “It was a dark and stormy night.”  Snoopy started off well.  Where will horror fiction take you?

Instructor: Maureen Sherbondy     Course: Paper Cuts: Words That Wound and Win

Influential leaders more often times win with words than weapons.  After this argumentative writing course, you’ll no longer be accused of fallacious reasoning, for you’ll learn how to write like a victor as we explore the craft of argumentative writing.  This course will expose you to debate and speech, along with personal essay writing and even poetry! Come discover the alchemy of argument.
 

Session 3 Morning High School Classes

Instructor: Kyesha Jennings     Course: Performance Poetry: From Shakespeare to Tupac

Robert Frost reminds us that “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”. In this course you will be introduced to performance poetry through spoken word--an oral art form that focuses on the beauty of word play, rhythm, improvisation and voice inflection. Our goal will be to embody the definition of poetry given by Frost through connecting our emotions to our thoughts. This course offers a diverse experience engaging with poetry. We will examine both traditional and contemporary forms of poetry by interacting with works by Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Browning, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Warsan Sire, Tupac, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and many more. You will be encouraged to both write and perform your own work. You will finish with a greater understanding of analyzing poetry as well as the aesthetics and sensibilities of performance poetry.

Instructor: Caitlin Prillaman     Course: Writing Women: Below the Surface

In this class we will explore the space where our identities as writers and as women intertwine. We’ll delve into the work of extraordinary women writers working in various mediums, including Sylvia Plath, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, and Ani DiFranco. We’ll discuss how these writers articulate their experiences and how we can do that for ourselves. We’ll analyze the labels of “woman” and “girl,” taking a look not only at the way our culture defines these labels in media, religion, and law, but also the way we define them for ourselves on a personal level: the way such labels shape us, push us, hinder us, and inspire us. Students will create personal pieces to explore their own voice but also be involved in a group piece that will be performed during the final celebration.

Instructor: Ting Lam     Course: Wordsmithery: Practical Techniques and Trade Secrets

Words, words, words. That’s really the basic element for us writers regardless of genre and form. So let’s rediscover this fire and see what we can forge from it. All apprentices in this class will learn necessary grammar conventions and rules in order to break them: phonetic symbolism, syntax variety, and even (gasp) diphthongs. Accept the challenge and enter the guild! All kinds of wordsmithery are welcome: prose or poetry. Prerequisite: a love of words.

Instructor: Michaela Papa     Course: Journalism

Extra! Extra!  We've got your hottest stories fresh off the presses.  Well, more like a click away!  We will be publishing an online newspaper full of hard news, features, opinion pieces, quality photography, and much more...all done by you.  Students will pitch stories and learn to work a story from conception, through fact gathering, interviews, and other crucial information, all the way to publication.  You'll learn how to write for a newspaper and figure out how to get an angle that makes even a seemingly mundane story pop off the page.  Experienced journalists will learn and grow from this course, ready to take their sharpened skills and make their high school newspapers fly off the shelves (or, perhaps, break the internet). 

Instructor: Barry Yeoman     Course: Writing for Multimedia Performance

Working collaboratively, we will write and then present a multimedia performance that combines words, music, and photography to bring alive a moment in history or the news. This is a full-on team effort. Everyone helps choose the topic. Everyone writes. Everyone critiques. Everyone helps craft the material into a script. And everyone performs. Whether you’re a theater newbie or a Broadway star, there’s a place for you on this stage if you’re willing to work hard.

Instructor: Nicole Sarrocco     Course: Experimental Fiction: Unwinding Time in Narrative

In this course, we’ll leave behind the clock and the calendar as we explore alternate kinds of plot development outside linear narrative. Instead of the straight arrow, our timeline structures will be knots, circles, loops and boomerangs. From the realms of the supernatural and fantasy writing to the uncanny world of magical realism, we will learn to think of time and sequencing in news ways – we’ll make chronology a tool of our storytelling, rather than a rule we must follow. Cause and effect will change sides, for suspense, for the absurd, for the jolt of a thrill ride. By uprooting assumptions, we’ll create stories that allow readers to see the familiar as new again.
 

Session 3 Afternoon High School Classes

Instructor: Bridgett Wiley     Course: Breaking All the Rules: Multi-genre Writing

“I “before “E” except after “C”, does not apply to this workshop, as we will be thinking and writing outside the box.   Students will use both social media, and digital publishing to explore these new devices and writing nuances.  We will explore professionals of the craft looking at their work, and how they got their start. Those that color outside the lines are encouraged to apply.

Instructor: Kyesha Jennings     Course: Remixing Fairy Tales

In this course we will analyze the structure, meaning and function of fairy tales and their enduring influence on literature and popular culture. Fairy tales are a ubiquitous element of nearly every culture in the world. We will examine this cultural expectation of the fairy tale as children's literature and examine the emergence of a young adult market for repackaged and retold fairy tales. We will also think about the role that gender plays in fairy tales by exploring questions as, "Did women have it so bad in traditional fairy tales?" "Do modern adaptations give girls positive role models?" and "What kind of role models do fairy tales offer boys? Time in class will be spent “re-mixing” a traditional fairy tale with the goal of tapping into our creative writing abilities.

Instructor: Michaela Papa     Course: Telling Your Story: Creative Nonfiction

Everybody has a story to tell and in this class you will hone the skills to best capture and lend voice to the heart of a piece.  Students will pick a topic and then pick a canvas.  Compose a movie, music, restaurant review, memoir, or feature story on somebody at Duke or in Durham, etc.  We'll turn your work into a blog post, podcast, or submission in the DYWC online newspaper.  You'll use facts to ground your pieces; from that foundation, they'll grow to show the essence of your story. 

Instructor: Ting Lam     Course: Experimental Fiction: Diverse Characters

Are you interested in representing marginalized characters as main characters in your next work of literature? Not sure how to write a character who is a different race or gender from you without perpetuating stereotypes? In this class, we’ll have frank and honest discussions about stepping into other people’s shoes, learn from diverse authors such as N. K. Jemisin, Malinda Lo, and Daniel José Older, and step outside of our own comfort zones. This class will be a safe environment for you to take risks.

Instructor: Nicole Sarrocco     Course: Writing College Admissions Essays That Put You in the Room

Almost everyone believes his or her own story is the least interesting one to tell. But college admissions readers say they look primarily for authenticity and immediacy. Believe it: you actually can tell an exciting story while also bringing the real you into the room with this important group of readers. We’ll produce and edit at least two essays using previous college entrance essay topics, discussing ways to weave in meaningful detail to illustrate rather than recite your accomplishments. As part of the course, we’ll talk about how to analyze the topic itself in order to determine what is important to your audience. And as we move into the editing process, we’ll talk about how to be clear and accurate without over-polishing your finished essay.

Instructor: Barry Yeoman     Course: Writing Men

Come join the band of brothers who find themselves transformed each summer by this one-of-a-kind class. We’ll be exploring many of life’s big issues—sports, romance, social pressures, violence, parents, competition, and adulthood—through fun games, serious conversations, and of course lots of writing. We’ll create a community of male writers that will outlast the two weeks of camp. And we’ll push the limits of both honesty and creativity.

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Staff

Mitch Cox (Academic Director), Photograph of Mitch CoxB.A., Wake Forest; M.A., Duke University

Mitch is the Academic Director for all three sessions of the Duke Young Writers’ Camp. During the school year, he teaches college composition for high school seniors and journalism and advanced journalism at Gloucester High School in Gloucester, Virginia. He is a published poet and essayist.

You can contact the Academic Director at prof.mitch@gmail.com.

Mark Alford, Photograph of Mark AlfordB.A., UNCW; MAT-E, UNCW

I believe that good writing comes from reading and noting how good authors have handled their craft. I love reading, but my preferred book is anything with action in it, be it spies, knights, wizards, or superheroes. I received both my degrees from UNC Wilmington and have taught high school English (9-12) as well as a few middle school and community college classes for the past 18 years. If I'm not teaching, reading, or writing, I'll be found coaching swimming or playing with my two boys or my daughter.

Michael Beadle, Photograph of Michael BeadleB.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication, UNC-Chapel Hill

Michael is a poet, writer-in-residence, and author living in Raleigh, N.C. He is the author of three poetry chapbooks, a poetry CD, and three books on historic photographs of Haywood County. Michael’s poetry has been published in journals and anthologies such as The New Southerner, Sow’s Ear, Great Smokies Review, and Kakalak. His lastest chapbook, Primer, was a finalist in the 2016 Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest and is set for publication in spring 2017. Since 1998, Michael has been performing original, contemporary and classical poetry for audiences of all ages in schools, festivals, libraries, churches, restaurants and a variety of public venues. As a touring writer-in-residence, he teaches creative writing workshops for students and teachers throughout North Carolina. In 2012, he served as a poet-in-residence at the NC Zoo in Asheboro. He also serves as the student poetry contest manager for the NC Poetry Society and has served as an emcee for the NC Poetry Out Loud high school recitation finals.

Christy Bechtel, Photograph of Christy BechtelB.A. in English, Ashland University

Christy grew up in Ohio. Currently, she mentors beginning teachers for Durham Public Schools. Prior to mentoring, Christy taught seventh-grade English for Durham Public Schools where she was elected Teacher of the Year by her colleagues in 2013. In addition to her being a self-proclaimed English nerd who enjoys reading and writing, Christy also loves the beach and her whippet Emma. 

Andrew Coffey-Hanlin, Photograph of Andrew Coffey-HanlinB.A. UNC-Chapel Hill, B.A. Appalachian State University, M.A.T. UNC-Chapel Hill

When he’s not reading or camping or playing table-top games, Andrew teaches literature to high schoolers. He believes that the best writers are avid readers, so he strives to instill a love of reading into his students. His favorite authors include David Foster Wallace, Margaret Atwood and George Saunders, and he often cites Brave New World as his favorite book.

Emmalea CouchPhotograph of Emmalea CouchB.S. from from Appalachian State University in Secondary English Education

Emmalea Couch is a Durham native. She teaches English I and AP English Literature and Composition at C. E. Jordan High School. In addition to teaching, she coaches basketball, advises the slam poetry club, and runs the English Department. Emmalea participates in a biweekly writers’ meet-up in Durham and thoroughly enjoys the process of brainstorming and revising in a supportive group of talented writers. Her other hobbies include reading (especially YA dystopian novels), cooking, kayaking, bowling, strolling through downtown Durham with her dog Paisley, and singing Disney lyrics and Hamilton songs at the top of her lungs. This will be her first year as an instructor at DYWC.

Justine LaMantia DanielPhotograph of Justine LaMantia DanielB.A. from SUNY Oneonta in English and Secondary Education and a minor in Creative Writing, M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in middle grades from North Carolina State University

Justine is currently in her tenth year of teaching language arts and this is her second year with DYWC. Justine holds certification from Duke University in teaching Academically & Intellectually Gifted students and has co-taught the class “Poetry and Pop Culture” at the Duke summer TIP program. She has earned the title 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year at Sherwood Githens Middle School and has been a member of a Durham Public Schools’ Educational Action Research Team that traveled to Mexico to teach and learn about the culture. Justine loved her experience as a Capital Area Writing Project (CAWP) Fellow at NC State University where she learned various writing activities and methods of conducting writing workshops with students. As language arts department chair, Justine also advises the Creative Writing Club at her school and has started the Githens Middle School Literary Magazine.

Kevin Dublin, Photograph of Kevin DublinB.A. and B.F.A., UNC-Wilmington, M.A., East Carolina U, M.F.A., San Diego State

All classes, to me, are a collaborative learning effort. We each have something to learn from one another, and I see myself more as a guide than anything else. I’ve edited pieces for journals, run a micro-press, moderated workshops, taught writing courses, and I’ve always been interested in fostering the talent of young writers and helping them see that anything they want to do is possible. My own writing has appeared in numerous literary journals, and I'm the author of one chapbook, How to Fall in Love in San Diego (Finishing Line Press, 2017). When I’m not writing poems or scripts, reading poets like Jericho Brown or Gerard Manley Hopkins, or watching film/TV like Star Wars, Marvel movies or Doctor Who, I’m running around with my two younglings. This is my sixth year at DYWC, and it feels like home.

Emma Duvall, Photograph of Emma DuvallB.A. in Philosophy and Poetry, Sarah Lawrence College

Emma was born in Durham, North Carolina, where she lived until she graduated from Durham School of the Arts.  She attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she studied philosophy, literature, painting, and art.  She is interested in the distinction between poetry and philosophy, if such a distinction exists at all.  Her poetry has been published in The Sarah Lawrence Review and The Cliffhanger, and she received the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Award for poetry in 2014.

Tracie Fellers, Photograph of Tracie FellersB.S., Northwestern University;  M.A., North Carolina State University; MFA, UNC-Greensboro

I am a Durham native and freelance writer and editor who started my career writing for daily newspapers in North Carolina and Virginia. My recent work includes essays for Walter magazine and fiction in the literary journal Obsidian. Now an adjunct lecturer in the mass communication department at N.C. Central University, I also have taught writing and literature at N.C. A&T State University, Guilford College, Bennett College and N.C. State.  As a fiction and nonfiction writer, I am convinced that stories are essential to our lives — and that has everything to do with my approach to teaching writing. Whatever the genre or focus might be, I encourage my students, often writing with them, to delve into what matters most to us as human beings: their desires, fears, hopes, secrets, dreams. My fiction has appeared in Obsidian, Long Story Short: Flash Fiction by Sixty-Five of North Carolina’s Finest Writers, and roger;  I have published creative nonfiction in 27 Views of Raleigh, an anthology, and the journal Sing Heavenly Muse!  I’ve also been honored to receive awards for my fiction from N.C. State and the National Council for Black Studies. 

Sara Hurd, Photograph of Sara HurdB.A., in English, University of Virginia's College at Wise; M.A.T. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before," said Neil Gaiman, and he was right.  These are the words by which Sara believes all writers and artists live and breathe, and she is excited to join the staff and students at DYWC to help brighten the world.  By day, Sara teaches 7th grade Language Arts to the bright young minds of C.W. Stanford Middle School in Hillsborough.  By night, she is a Jedi Master and Mommy Supreme to one adorable ginger child.  In her rare but treasured free time, you might find her cosplaying the likes of R2D2, Hermione Granger, The Joker, or some other fantastic character from any of her numerous fandoms, and geeking out with her fellow fanpeople.  If she gets a moment to sit still, she'll likely have her nose buried in a book--historical fiction, dystopia, memoir, mystery, realistic young adult lit; you name it, she probably reads it.  She might also be penning poetry and random thoughts in her journal while sitting atop a mountainside she's just trekked...OR she might just be curled up on the futon, binge-watching her latest Netflix obsession and sipping a hot cup of coffee.

Kyesha Jennings, Photograph of Kyesha JenningsB.A. in English, Lincoln University; M.A., Secondary English Education, North Carolina A&T State University

Kyesha is an English Instructor at Danville Community College who is passionate about using hip-hop as a pedagogical tool to provide a bridge for ideas and tasks that promote critical thinking in both Composition and Literature classes. She has presented at more than ten conferences across the United States on various hip-hop related topics. Most recently, her African American Literature course was nominated for the VCCS Excellence in Education Award: Best Practices in Teaching for its integration of hip-hop studies. She has worked with Durham Mighty Pen, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to affirming and amplifying the voices of Durham’s K-12 youth through writing. For Durham Mighty Pen, Kyesha taught writing workshop to 3rd-5th graders titled “Writing Through Hip-Hop” where students are actively engaged with hip-hop culture and history through writing activities. This spring she has begun a partnership with the Museum of Durham History where she will curate a traveling multi-media exhibit documenting the history of hip-hop in Durham, NC. The exhibit is scheduled to open September 2017. Additionally, in 2017 her co-authored article, “Teaching in the Mix: Turntablism, DJ Aesthetics, and African American Literature” will be published in the academic journal Changing English. Originally from New York City, Kyesha is proud to call Durham home for the past two years.

Ting Lam, Photograph of Ting LamB.A. & M.A.T., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

I believe one of the most important skills as a writer is to be a good observer and listener. Careful observation, introspection, and reflection lead to concrete descriptions and dynamic narratives. My classes at DYWC often ask students to bring in various skills outside of writing as inspiration: art, music, and technology. These days, I teach high school English in Chatham County, write poetry, and participate in NaNoWriMo. Other days, you can find me chasing phantom runners, going on sketch crawls, and training to become the next Jedi master. I’m so glad to be back at Duke Young Writers’ Camp!

Scott Michaels, Photograph of Scott MichaelsB.A. from the University of Michigan in communications and journalism; teaching certification from NC Central University

Scott began his career in print and radio, then transitioned to television for more than 10 years.  While working as a TV news journalist, Scott developed, wrote, produced, photographed, edited, and reported stories for the evening news on a daily basis.   In his tenure in television, he won awards for Best Use of Medium and Best Spot News Coverage.  Always looking for a new challenge, Scott left TV to become a teacher.  Over the last 15 years, he has taught reading, writing, English/Language Arts, broadcast journalism, and AVID to elementary through high school students with the bulk of his experiences in middle grades.  Outside the classroom, he has become a legendary, middle school soccer coach, leading his team to 6 district championships in 8 years.  In addition to teaching and coaching, he is a small business owner - managing the social media and marketing for the business and is a contributing blogger to the website.  After living in New York, Vermont, Nebraska, and Michigan, Scott has called Durham, North Carolina home for 19 years where he and his wife raise their three mid-sized kids.
 

Ormand Moore, Photograph of Ormand MooreB.A. and M.A.T. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ormand teaches English to 11th and 12th graders at Durham School of the Arts.  Before that, he taught English at Chapel Hill High School for eleven years.  He holds to the contention that listening to audiobooks is, in fact, reading.  When looking for a place to live, Ormand believes that where the bookshelves would go is absolutely the first and most important consideration.  He enjoys rolling on the floor and laughing with his two young sons and watching funny cat videos with them.  He’s excited to be back for his fourth summer at DYWC.

Caitlin Prillaman, Photograph of Caitlin PrillamanB.A. in Creative Writing, Oberlin College

Caitlin is a novelist, playwright, poet, and educator from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. During the school year, she works as a teacher, tutor, and academic coach at Carolina Friends School. She teaches creative writing classes to middle school students, but also works one-on-one with both middle and high school students in subjects ranging from writing to math to history and beyond. She also works extensively on her own projects, including the Lightspeed Theater Collection, in which she has developed multiple high-quality, age-appropriate scripts for middle school theater programs. She also happens to be an alum of the Young Writer’s Program at Duke, where she spent many wonderful summers cultivating her love of storytelling. She is thrilled to be back on campus as an instructor.
 

Cassie Rooney, Photograph of Cassie RooneyB.S., State University of New York at Oneonta; M.A., The College of Saint Rose

I am a native upstate New Yorker that left the snowy Catskill Mountains five years ago in search of something new.  I absolutely love North Carolina and continue to relish in the delicious food and amazing climate of the Triangle.  I have taught English for seven years, and my insatiable love of reading, especially mysteries, and writing has only grown.  Several years ago I had the privilege of seeing Taylor Mali perform some of his poems, and he commented on the fact that the best writers are those that write about what frightens them the most.  This simple statement continues to stick with me, and I find myself feeling the most creative when I am reading or writing a piece that does just that.  Besides being a teacher and aspiring writer, you will find me trolling my favorite food blogs for yummy recipes and running an obscene amount of miles on the weekends.

Nicole Sarrocco, Photograph of Nicole SarroccoB.A. in English, UNC-CH; M.A. in Creative Writing, Georgia State University; M.A. in English, UNC-CH; Ph.D. in English, UNC-CH 

Nicole’s the author of the Occasionally True series of novels, Lit By Lightning (2015), Ill-Mannered Ghosts (2016), and Hauntingly Familial (coming in 2017). Her poetry collection Karate Bride came out in 2005; recently her poems have appeared in various journals like Kakalak and the North Carolina Literary Review (2017). She has taught creative writing to students between the ages of five and 84 in classes through various high schools, Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, and the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, daughter, and son in a haunted house. Most days you’ll either find her teaching English and History to the high school students at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, in a hammock reading somebody like Haruki Murakami or Frank Stanford, or looking for alpacas to chase.

Leslie Schwartz, Photograph of Leslie SchwartzB.A. and M.A.T., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Leslie Schwartz (formerly Leslie Taylor) is excited to return to the Duke Young Writers' Camp this summer! Leslie works as a middle school ELA teacher by day and runs a highly-competitive, top-secret attack penguin training program by night. On any given weekend, you may find her curled up with a burrito and a good book. Lately reading a lot of nonfiction, she is still a Potterhead at heart and will be a Ravenclaw until she dies. Favorite authors span the likes of Elizabeth Gilbert, Jane Austen, David Sedaris, and Mindy Kaling. Favorite foods span the likes of anything that can be served with chips and salsa to anything that can reasonably be covered in chocolate and crumbled peanuts.

Maureen Sherbondy, B.Photograph of Maureen SherbondyA. in Psychology, Rutgers University; M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Queens University of Charlotte

Maureen is a fiction writer and a poet. Her short stories have appeared in The Stone Canoe, The Cortland Review, Southeast Review, and other literary journals. Her short story collection, The Slow Vanishing, was published by Mint Hill Books. Sherbondy teaches English at Alamance Community College. She has also taught creative writing classes at conferences, middle schools and high schools. Check out her website at www.maureensherbondy.com.
 

Crystal Simone Smith, Photograph of Crystal Simone SmithM.F.A., Queens University of Charlotte

Crystal Simone Smith is the author two poetry chapbooks, Routes Home (Finishing Line Press) and Running Music (Longleaf Press). Her work has appeared in numerous journals including: Callaloo, Nimrod, Barrow Street, Obsidian II: Literature in the African Diaspora, African American Review, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change. She is an alumna of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Yale Summer Writers Conference. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband and two sons where she teaches English Composition and Creative Writing. She is the Managing Editor of Backbone Press.
 

Bridgett Wiley, B.A. in Political SciencePhotograph of Bridgett Wiley, North Carolina Central University; M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, Grand Canyon University

A good book, can take you places!  At least that is what I have found to be true.  When not reading, I enjoy teaching World History at one of the finest high schools in North Carolina.  I instill in all my students the love and joy of reading and writing and how it can open doors of opportunity.  “Good readers, become great thinkers, and writers.”
 

Meg Williamson, Photograph of Meg WilliamsonM.F.A., Hollins University, B.A. UNC-Chapel Hill

I have been very lucky to study with wonderful writers in my undergraduate and graduate careers, including my favorites, Lee Smith, Doris Betts, and Jill McCorkle. All of these women impressed me with both the strength of their voices and their commitment to fostering future generations of writers.  One of my dearest hopes is to help my students develop their voices, craft, and confidence the way my best teachers did for me. I currently teach, as well work as a freelance editor and advisor for high school and college students in their admissions applications, scholarship applications, and interview preparation. I look forward to the opportunity of teaching my first love, creative writing, for the fifth year this summer at Duke.

Barry Yeoman, Photograph of Barry YeomanB.A., New York University

I am a freelance magazine journalist whose work has recently appeared in The American Prospect, Popular Science, Audubon, OnEarth, Saturday Evening Post, and many other publications. I also produce long-form radio documentaries and nonfiction multimedia projects, including THE GUTBUCKET KING, a biography of the New Orleans bluesman Little Freddie King. I have been an instructor at DYWC for two decades, mostly working with older teenagers. My classes are highly interactive and often involve physical activities. They require significant engagement from every student, including stretching their writing styles and reading aloud in class. I am a particular fan of book- and magazine-length narrative nonfiction. Favorite recent books have included THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS (Rebecca Skloot), BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS (Katherine Boo), and HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (David France).

 

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Living Options

Residential Campers

Residential participants in the Young Writers' Camp will live on Duke’s East Campus for the duration of the program. They will live in Blackwell Residence Hall, an air-conditioned residence hall on Duke's East Campus and eat their meals in the campus dining halls. They are expected to have the independence and maturity to make responsible decisions for themselves about their health and safety, and to interact cooperatively with other members of the program community.

Day Campers

The drop off and pick up location for all day campers will be White Lecture Hall. All day campers must check in on Monday morning between 9:00 am – 9:30 am am. At check-in, day campers will pick up class assignments, camp T-shirt, writing supplies, and other important camp information and other important camp information.

Tentative Daily Schedule for Day Campers

9:00 am – Drop-off at White Lecture Hall
12:45 pm – Lunch (included in tuition)
4:30 pm – Pick-up at White Lecture Hall (unless otherwise specified)

Transportation for Day Campers

Day campers and their families must arrange transportation to and from campus every day. Please note that classes begin promptly at 10:00 am am and end at 4:30 pm pm Monday through Friday the first week, and Monday through Thursday the second week. Staff members are not available to supervise day campers before the designated drop-off time or after the indicated pick up times.

If the camper will not be attending class for any reason on a particular day, please call the administrative office at (919) 684-2827 by 8:30 am to leave a message with the Duke Youth Programs staff specialist.

Extended Day Campers

All extended day campers must check in on Monday morning at White Lecture Hall between 9:00 am – 9:30 am am. At check-in, day campers will pick up class assignments, camp T-shirt, writing supplies, and other important camp information, and other important camp information.

Tentative Daily Schedule for Extended Day Campers

9:00 am – Drop-off at White Lecture Hall
12:45 pm – Lunch (included in tuition)
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Evening activities
9:00 pm – Extended day campers depart

Please note that classes begin promptly at 10:00 am am and end at 4:30 pm pm Monday through Friday the first week, and Monday through Thursday the second week. Campers participating in the extended-day option will return to the residence hall with the residential students. A counselor will be assigned to supervise this group of campers.

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What to Bring

Necessities

  • Sheets: extra-long twin set or two regular flat sheets, pillow, pillow cases
  • Warm blanked or heavy comforter (can be chilly in dorm)
  • Sweatshirt or jacket for inside dorm
  • Casual clothing: light cotton is recommended (summer weather in Durham is hot, usually 80-90 degrees, and humid). Please include:
  • Towels, washcloths
  • Clothes hangers (if you want to hang clothes)
  • Toiletries - fragrance free and don't forget sunscreen!
  • Alarm clock
  • Quarters and laundry detergent, if needed (instructions on doing laundry might be a good idea too!)
  • Favorite athletic equipment: tennis racket, etc. (We furnish Frisbees, nerf-balls, and other outdoor and indoor toys & games)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen - fragrance free!
  • Bee-sting kit - for those allergic to bee stings

Leave at home

What to leave at home: Neither the Program nor Duke University assumes responsibility for broken, lost, or stolen personal items.

  • Expensive sound, photographic, video or computer equipment
  • Refrigerators are prohibited

What we provide

  • 3-Ring Binder
  • Pens
  • Program T-shirt
  • Transportation from/to airport ($35 one way; $70 round trip)

Cell phones

Parents: Please read!

We know that parents and children value the ability to be able to call each other at a moment’s notice. For that reason, we do not prohibit cell phones at camp.

Parents are responsible for setting clear guidelines for cell phone use with their student.

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Coming & Going

Registration and Orientation – Day Campers

All Young Writers' Camp day camp participants must check in at 9:30 at the White Lecture Hall. (1st Session: Monday, 6/19; 2nd Session: Monday, 7/10; 3rd Session: Monday, 7/24). At check in, campers will pick-up a camp T-shirt, writing supplies, and other important camp information and other important camp information.

Day campers should be picked up at the White Lecture Hall by 4:30.

Before and After Camp Care

Drop Off: 8:00 – 9:30 am $45
Pick Up: 4:30 – 5:30 pm $27

Drop Off and Pick Up (9 days) $65
Late Fee of $5 per 5 minutes after 5:30 pm

Drop Off & Pick Up Location: White Lecture Hall 

No activities will be provided. Campers will be supervised by residential camp counselor. Payment is for the duration of the camp. No prorated fees allowed. To register, contact the registration office at (919) 684-6259.

Registration and Orientation - Extended Day Campers

All Extended-Day Campers should check-in on Monday (1st Session: 6/19; 2nd Session: 7/10; 3rd Session: 7/24) on the front steps of White Lecture Hall at 8:30 am. At check-in, campers will pick up a camp t-shirt, notebook, and other supplies. Campers should be picked up on the front steps of White Lecture Hall by 4:00. Extended-Day Campers should plan to attend dinner and participate in the Sunday evening orientation and activities.

The classes will meet in White Lecture, Friedl and East Duke.

Registration and Orientation – Residential Campers

All Young Writers' Camp residential participants must check into the Blackwell Residence Hall between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm on registration day (Sunday (1st Session: 6/18; 2nd Session: 7/9; 3rd Session: 7/23)). Participants will NOT be able to check in prior to 2:00 pm.

Parents/guardians are invited to visit with staff members and to ask any last minute questions. Please note that there are no structured activities during the check-in period, but residential staff will be in the residence hall to help students get settled in their rooms and encourage campers to begin getting to know one another in an informal setting.

Prior to dinner, students will meet with their Living Group Counselor. After dinner, campers will participate in a camp-wide orientation session, addressing schedules, expectations, rules, and activities to build the camp community.

Arrival

If driving – All participants arriving by car must plan to complete check-in at the residence hall on Sunday by 5:00 pm.

If arriving by train – Students traveling by train should plan to arrive at the Durham Amtrak Station on the appropriate Sunday between the hours of 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

If flying – Please make arrangements to arrive at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on the appropriate Sunday between the hours of 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

Transportation will not be available before 1:00 pm or after 4:00 pm.

If a camper arrives before 1:00 pm, s/he will have to wait until 1:00 pm to be transported to campus. Please accurately record your flight information on the transportation form you receive from our office. If the airline changes your flight schedule, please notify us immediately.

SHUTTLES WILL BE PROVIDED TO AND FROM THE RALEIGH-DURHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND THE DURHAM AMTRACK STATION ON A LIMITED BASIS.

The cost of the airport shuttle service is $35.00 from RDU to campus; $35.00 from campus to RDU. ($70.00 round trip).

Unaccompanied Minors

If your child is flying, it is necessary to check with the airlines whether or not your child will be considered an "unaccompanied minor." Each airline has different age classifications. If your child is classified as an "unaccompanied minor" it is imperative that you record this information on your travel form or give this information to the Duke Youth Programs Office at (919) 684-2827 or email youth@duke.edu. Failure to do so will result in a fee of $30 one way.

Airlines require the name, address and telephone number of the person(s) who will meet the student who is traveling as an unaccompanied minor. We cannot provide that information to you at this time. A staff member of the Youth Programs will contact you 2 - 3 days before the departure date to notify you of the name(s) of the staff members (wearing Duke Youth Program staff T-shirts) who will meet your child at the arrival gate. You then must give this information to the airline with which your child will be traveling. Please ensure that Duke Youth Programs has the correct contact information where you can be reached during those 2-3 days before the camp begins.

For Campers Not Considered Unaccompanied Minors

A staff member, who can be identified by Duke Youth Programs staff T-shirts, will meet participants at the baggage claim area.

If you are delayed – On arrival day, if your flight is delayed, or you are delayed in your journey by car and will not arrive by the requested time, please call (919) 684-2827. If you reach ananswering machine at that number, please leave a message; messages will be checked regularly.

Departure

Participants must check out of the residence hall before noon on Friday. Participants who are flying home must schedule flight departures from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport between 8:00 am and noon. Shuttles will transport participants to the airport during this time frame only. “Unaccompanied minors” will have a staff member escort them to the departure gate.

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Registration

Online

  1. Click on the green Register Now button.  
  2. To check availability in the camp for the appropriate category of camper, click on the exclamation point next to the appropriate tuition profile (example: Day Camper - Fee).
  3. Add the camp section you want to the shopping cart and then select the appropriate course fee. When you begin the checkout process, you will be asked to create a new user account, if you do not already have one.
  4. You must select the Youth Participant option when creating a new student account. Youth Participants must have the parent or guardian's email, phone, and address as the preferred contact information so please have a parent or guardian help you register. 
  5. The Youth Participant profile requires a date of birth, a grade level, and a youth email address.  If you do not have a youth email address or do not wish to enter one, you can enter that of the parent or guardian.
  6. Returning campers should log back into the system with their username and password from the previous summer. If you do not have your login information, please click on the "forgot username" and "forgot password" links from the Student Login Portal of our web site, or call the registration’s office at (919) 684-6259 to obtain your login information. 
  7. You will receive email notification of your registration and payment.

By Mail

Please print out this registration form, complete it, and send it with a check made out to Duke University to:

Registration - Youth Programs
Duke Continuing Studies
Bishop's House Room 201
Box 90700
Durham, NC 27708-0700

Policies

The full payment is due at time of registration.  You can also pay a $300 non-refundable deposit and the balance by May 16, 2017.  If an account has an outstanding balance after May 16th, the registration will be cancelled and the non-refundable deposit is forfeited. Registration after May 16th requires full payment at the time of registration, which includes a $300 non-refundable deposit.

Withdrawal/Cancellation Policy

Session I:  June 18 - June 30, 2017

Withdrawal Date Refund
Before May 12 100% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
May 12 – May 26 75% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
May 27 – June 10 50% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
After June 10 No refund

Session II:  July 9 - July 21, 2017

Withdrawal Date Refund
Before June 2 100% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
June 2 – June 16 75% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
June 17 – July 1 50% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
After July 1 No refund

Session III:  July 23 - August 4, 2017

Withdrawal Date Refund
Before June 16 100% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
June 16 – July 30 75% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
July 1 – July 15 50% of paid balance; $300 nonrefundable deposit forfeited
After July 15 No

If a medical condition necessitates the participant’s withdrawal from the program, Duke Youth Programs will refund the paid balance minus the $300 deposit fee. The request must be submitted in writing by the dates below to youth@duke.edu. In the subject line please indicate Refund Request. The medical condition must be documented by a physician as one that prevents participation in the program.

Session I June 3 - July 17
Session II July 24 - July 8
Session III July 8 - July 22

If a medical condition necessitates the participant’s withdrawal from the program while in session, the program will refund housing and dining costs on a pro-rated basis. There will be no refund for course tuition, fees, or the $300 deposit.  

If a participant is dismissed from the program for failure to comply with the stated and published policy, the parent/guardian is responsible for all expenses, including but not limited to airfare and change fees, hotels, and meals. In the case of a dismissal, no refunds will be issued.

Duke Youth Programs reserves the right to cancel or not hold a session or program if the minimum enrollment requirements are not met or for any reason beyond Duke Youth Programs' control. If the minimum enrollment requirements are not met, registrants will be notified one month in advance and receive a full refund of the deposit and paid tuition. For reasons beyond Duke Youth Programs' control, refund decisions will be made based on recommendations from Duke University. 

Participants who wish to change their registration from one session or program to another may do so only if space is available in the desired program. The initial non-refundable deposit will be transferred, but participants will incur an additional transfer processing fee of $50. We will not be able to make any transfers between sessions or programs if there are less than two weeks remaining before the beginning of desired camp.

Attachments

Registered participants will receive an email from Duke Youth Programs with attachments to print and complete. Please return these required forms as soon as possible or by May 3, 2017.

Additional Services

Shuttle Services

On arrival and departure days, Duke Youth Programs provides shuttle services to and from RDU airport. The cost is $35 to or from camp one way and $70 to and from camp both ways. An invoice for these services will be included in the transportation confirmation letter that will be sent to you before camp begins. These charges are due before the start of the session in which your child is enrolled.

Special Needs

Individuals with disabilities or other special needs who anticipate needing reasonable accommodations should contact the Director of Youth Programs at (919) 684-2827 or youth@duke.edu at the time of registration. 

Written requests for consideration for reasonable accommodation and appropriate paperwork must be received 30 days in advance of the program start date. Each request for reasonable accommodation is reviewed on a case by case basis by the Student Disability Access Office (SDAO)

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I live?
Who supervises me? 
Who are the instructors?
What if I arrive at the residential dorm outside the designated check-in times?
What if I am flying as an unaccompanied minor?
What if I do not have room to pack my bed linens?
What if someone wants to visit me?
What if my parents need to contact me?
What if I want to bring a laptop?
What if my parents want to send me money?
What if I need medical attention?
What if I do not have health insurance?
What if I need to cancel?
What if I need financial assistance?
What if someone wants to send me something in the mail?
What will I eat?
What if I lose my meal card?
What if I am unable to attend class?
What if I am having difficulty retrieving my medical records?
What if my travel arrangements change?
Is transportation to and from the airport or train depot provided?
What happens on the weekend?
What if I need directions?

Where do I live?
Participants in the Young Writers' Camp live in Blackwell Residence Hall on East Campus. All other camp participants are housed in Randolph Residence Hall on East Campus.

Who supervises me?
Our residential team of undergraduate and graduate students, and professional educators will supervise residential campers. The Director of Residential Life has experience working in an academic environment and counseling 10-17 year old students. The Director of Residential Life supervises the undergraduate and graduate counseling staff. Each counselor has a living group of 10-12 students. These staff members are on or near campus 24 hours a day and supervise the students in the evenings and on weekends. The Director of Residential Life and the program counselors are on call 24 hours a day.

Who are the instructors?
The instructional staff is comprised of professional educators, university staff, freelance writers and other well qualified individuals. They are committed to inspiring and challenging their students.

What if I arrive at the residential dorm outside the designated check-in times?
If your travel arrangements result in you arriving before or after the designated check-in time (Sunday between the hours of 2pm and 4pm), please call the Duke Youth Programs office at 919-684-2827 as soon as possible.

Because residential staff is not required to be present until the start of registration, there is no guarantee that you will have access to the dorm if you arrive before the designated check-in time. As an alternative to waiting for the staff to arrive, consider driving to the local store to get last minute supplies or take a tour of Duke's West Campus.

If you arrive after the designated check-in time, call the dormitory for your program and provide an estimated time of arrival (phone number will be provided prior to the start of camp). The office will then contact the residential staff and put them on notice.

What if I am flying as an unaccompanied minor?
Please contact the Duke Youth Programs office at 919-684-2827 or email youth@duke.edu so we can document your child as an unaccompanied minor. Airlines require the name, address and telephone number of the person(s)who will meet the student who is traveling as an unaccompanied minor. We cannot provide that information to you at this time. A staff member of the Youth Programs will contact you 2 or 3 days before the departure date to notify you of the name(s) of the staff members (wearing Duke Youth Program staff T-shirts) who will meet your child at the arrival gate.

What if I do not have room to pack his or her bed linens?
Bed linens can be mailed to our office prior to the start of camp. Participants can also purchase linens at the local store.

What if someone wants to visit me?
Any leave of absence must be arranged in advance with the camper's residential counselor. Residential counselors can be contacted by calling the residential office (this number will be available at check-in). Campers must be picked up at and returned to the residence hall at the pre-arranged times.

Since our schedule is filled with recreational and instructional activities, we discourage long periods of time away from the program. These informal interaction times serve an important role in building community among peers and counselors.

What if my parents need to contact me?
Each residence hall will have an office where parents may call and leave messages for campers during the camp session. This phone number will be available at the program check-in. The residence hall office phone will have an answering machine if no one is present in the office to take the call. Messages will be checked regularly throughout the day. In the case of an emergency you may also call the main Youth Programs office at 919-684-2827, Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm, or the Director of Residential Life (this number will be available at check-in).

What if I want to bring a laptop?
Though not a requirement, participants in the program can bring a laptop. However, the camp will not be responsible for loss or damage to the computer and equipment.

What if my parents want to send me money?
Parents should contact the residential office and leave a message with the residential director to discuss money-wiring options.

What if I need medical attention?
Parents will be called for advice and recommendations if the problem does not require immediate medical attention. If the problem is serious, the staff member will arrange for medical treatment at the Duke Student Clinic, Duke Hospital, or other nearby medical facility. When possible, staff members will contact parent(s)/guardian(s) before seeking treatment.

You will receive an email from Youth Programs with information about the Health Form, which will need to be completed and returned to the Duke Youth Programs office before the beginning of camp. It is imperative that all parts of the form are thoroughly and legibly completed. Youth Programs staff will refer to this form for contact information in the event of a medical emergency. Medical personnel will refer to this form whenever medical treatment is necessary; this form is the only guide a health care provider will have in case of an emergency.

What if I do not have health insurance?
Duke University requires all Youth Programs' participants to have health insurance. If you do not have health insurance you may purchase temporary health insurance through a local insurance agency. Assurant Health (short-term health insurance broker) is recommended by the programs. Please feel free to contact us for suggestions.

What if I need to cancel?
All cancellation requests must be made in writing emailing us at youth@duke.edu.  In the subject line, please write “Cancellation Request”. For more information about the cancellation process, please see the cancellation policy.

What if I need financial assistance?
Duke Youth Programs sponsors a limited number of need-based partial scholarships. Please download the Financial Assistance Application or call the Youth Programs Office to request an application at 919-684-2827 or email youth@duke.edu. Completed applications, along with all requested supplemental documents, must be received by February 16, 2017. Incomplete packets will not be considered. Applicants will be notified about award decisions by March 16, 2017.

NOTE: Duke Employees, if you are awarded financial aid then you will not be eligible to receive the Duke employee discount.

What if someone wants to send me something in the mail?
Mail should be sent to participants in care of our administrative office in the Bishop's House. The mailing address is:

Program Name
Camper's Name
Duke Continuing Studies
Bishop's House Room 205
Box 90700
Durham, NC 27708-0700

Please understand that mail delivery to participants will take at least 2 extra days, as the mail must travel from the US Postal Service to the Duke Postal Service to the Duke Youth Programs office and then to the participant. Also, Duke mail does not deliver on Saturdays.

What will I eat?
All program participants eat in the campus dining halls. Camps that have classes on East Campus will have all meals in the Marketplace. Camps that meet on West Campus will have breakfast and dinner in the Marketplace and lunch on West Campus. Participants can choose from a variety of vegetarian and meat entrees, vegetables, breads, sandwiches, salad bar, drinks and desserts. Lunch for all campers (residential, extended and day campers) is included in tuition.

What if I lose my meal card?
If either the card or the key is lost or misplaced, the participant should notify his/her counselor immediately so a replacement may be issued and the lost card key deactivated to ensure the safety of residents. Participants are responsible for the replacement cost of each lost or damaged card key ($15) or room key ($100).

What if I am unable to attend class?
If your child will be absent for the day, please notify the Duke Youth Programs Office so we can inform his/her instructor.

What if I am having difficulty retrieving my medical records?
Please contact the Duke Youth Programs office for assistance in getting medical records.

What if my travel arrangements have changed?
Please contact the Duke Youth Programs office at 919-684-2827 as soon as possible regarding any travel changes.

Is transportation to and from the airport or train depot provided?
Duke Youth Programs provides shuttle services to and from RDU to campus and train depot stations. For airline travelers, the cost is $35 for one way and $70 for both ways.

What happens on the weekend?
Residential campers will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that are organized by the residential counseling staff.

What if I need directions?
Click on the links below, click on the diections button on the upper left corner, and enter the address from which you're traveling.

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