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Summer Writing Contest Workshop


 Summer Writing Contest Workshop

This year’s Writing Workshops will provide students with everything they need to complete a polished piece of work to submit to the writing contests like YoungArts or Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. These pieces could also be used for other journal or contest submissions. Modelled on Ivy League graduate-level writing workshops, these classes are suitable for both beginners and those with existing writing practices. We’ll focus on craft, exploring the chosen genre and the writing process through weekly readings, writing exercises, and discussions. Students will also participate in workshops, helping others improve their writing and receiving feedback on their own work. Classes are limited to six students, so that each student can receive plenty of individual attention.


One unique benefit of these classes is that they are enhanced by video lectures. To help students with the difficulty these stories present in vocabulary and style, the instructors makes dynamic reading videos in which they reads the story aloud while defining terms, explaining historical context, and making observations about style and theme.

Students should expect to commit to at least two to three hours of homework between classes. This includes a short weekly reading (around 30 minutes) and time spent drafting their story and/or completing writing exercises.

In this collaborative endeavor, Miss Cat and Tony bring their unique perspectives and teaching styles to provide the students with a comprehensive and enriching writing experience. Join us on this literary journey as we explore the nuances of storytelling, hone your writing skills, and unlock the potential within each narrative. Get ready to embark on a transformative writing adventure with two outstanding mentors by your side. Welcome to the Workshop!

Workshop Summary

Age group: 9th-11th grade

Class size: 6 students

Early bird tuition: $1099/student

Each class includes:

  • Ten weekly, 1.5 hour class meetings, for a total of 15 hours live instruction

  • Six challenging short story reading assignments with accompanying video lectures

  • Recorded classes in case you have to miss a session

  • One full hour of class time devoted to a discussion of your work

  • 1.5 hours of editing (online synchronous editing or offline asynchronous editing) to polish your work

  • A curated list of age-appropriate journals and contests to submit to after class ends

Please contact for registration.

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About the Instructor

Miss Cat is a professional fiction writer and teacher with over 15 years’ experience helping students of all ages improve their writing. As an admissions essay coach, she has helped students gain acceptance to a number of top colleges and business schools, including Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, UPenn and Stanford. She has been coaching middle and high school creative writers for the last two years and has worked with nearly a dozen students on submissions for the Scholastic Awards specifically. She holds a BA magna cum laude in Music and English from Harvard University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, where she was a De Alba Fellow and an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow. Her writing has appeared in Action, Spectacle!, The South Dakota Review, and The Missouri Review. In 2019, she was the recipient of The Missouri Review’s Peden Prize for best story in a volume year. She is currently working on her first novel and is represented by the literary agency Janklow and Nesbit. 


About the Instructor

Tony holds a BA in Philosophy and Film Studies from Amherst College, where he graduated cum laude and won the Film Studies Award, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa, where he designed and taught courses in literature and creative writing and won the Carl Klaus Teaching Award for "outstanding talent as a teacher of creative writing." He has served as an editorial assistant for the Iowa Review and an assistant editor for the London Review of Books. 

Sunday Workshop Schedule

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Wednesday Workshop Schedule

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Why workshop?

The workshop remains the basic format for most creative writing pedagogy at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the United States; it is also a popular format for elementary writing instruction. The workshop has two key functions. First, learning to read the work of one’s peers with a critical but compassionate eye is one of the best ways to become a better reader and editor of one’s own work. Second, the workshop recognizes that no one person can or should tell you how to write; getting a variety of inputs is more useful. And learning to listen and respond to critical feedback from a variety of sources is a key skill in both writing and life.  

Who is this class suitable for?

Anyone who is interested in creative writing!  It will be most helpful for students who have some interest in or enthusiasm for creative writing. It may not be the best option for students who actively dislike or struggle with writing or need remedial writing help of some kind.


What skills will students build in these classes?

Obviously, students will become better writers! I aim to help students improve their writing on both a sentence and story level. We hope that by the end of the class, students will feel more confident expressing themselves thoughtfully in both writing and speaking. Strengthening the imagination is a core goal, as is developing creative problem-solving techniques. These classes also emphasize improving vocabulary and critical reading skills—essential for learning to write well. Finally, students will learn to deliver and receive effective critical feedback. These skills are all applicable not just to creative writing but also throughout students’ academic lives and on into future professional lives as well!

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