Creative Writing Day Camps

Creative Writing Day Camps, an offshoot of our Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, provide extracurricular creative writing learning for youth and teens. All day camps are instructed by professionally published authors who are members of WFNS's Writers' Council, valued participants in the WITS program, and experienced working with youth and teens.

Writing Camp

Ages 12 to 19
August 16 to August 20 (9:00am to 3:30pm each day)
MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning (Dartmouth)
Registration is free

Instructors: Emma Fitzgerald, Jo Treggiari, Theresa Meuse, Rebecca Rose, Evelyn White

Past Events

2021 Summer Camps

These summer writing camps explored the written word using creative approaches to character development, building description through observation, and expanding young writers’ use of figurative language.

Participants explored different genres and styles of writing, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and picture books. Each day, the students were visited by professionally published authors. Classes were a mixture of classroom activities and outdoor adventures.

The Art of Writing — Youth (July 5 to July 9 at NSCAD Port Campus)

Instructors: Jessica Scott Kerrin, Theresa Meuse, Andre Fenton, Philip Moscovitch, Briana Corr Scott

The Art of Writing — Teen (July 12 to July 16 at NSCAD Port Campus)

Instructors: Genevieve Graham, Cooper Lee Bombardier, Alice Burdick, Briana Corr Scott, Sylvia Gunnery

Creative Writing for Kids (July 19 to July 23 at Lunenburg School of the Arts)

Instructors: Chad Lucas, Alec Bruce, Lindsay Ruck, Shandi Mitchell, Alice Burdick

The Art of Writing a Newspaper (August 9 to August 13 at NSCAD Port Campus)

Co-instructors: Chris Benjamin and Richard Levangie

2021 March Break Camp (virtual)

(March 15 to March 19)

This March Break writing camp for youth (ages 8 to 13) aimed to expand the creative mind and offer many paths to literary expression. Each day, campers worked with a different professionally published author, and the week spanned poetry, fiction, and non-fiction as well as oral storytelling and illustration.

Instructors: Andre Fenton (poetry), Emma FitzGerald (illustration), Theresa Meuse (oral storytelling), Sarah Sawler (non-fiction), Sherry D. Ramsey (fiction)

2020 Summer Camp (virtual)

(June 16 to July 7, weekly)

This summer writing camp for teens (ages 14 and up) accommodated for public health concerns by going virtual. Each week, students were introduced to a different author who covered a specific genre of writing through a blend of at-home assignments, pre-recorded videos, and real-time virtual lectures and discussions. Student participation in the camp ranged from Antigonish to Nunavut.

Instructors: Sherry D. Ramsey (fiction), Suzannah Showler (creative non-fiction), Andre Fenton (poetry), Cooper Lee Bombardier (memoir)

2020 March Break Camp

(March 16 to March 20)

This March Break writing camp for youth (ages 11 to 13) explored the written word using creative approaches, such as visual writing prompts, to discover and explore character development, build description through observation, expand the use of figurative language, and promote journal writing. Participants delved into different genres and styles of writing, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, and graphic novels.

  • March 16 — In Wade White’s science fiction and fantasy workshop, students learned to build amazing and detailed worlds in which to set their stories and to create weird and wonderful characters to fill those worlds.
  • March 17 — Pauline Dakin‘s non-fiction workshop showed students how to write true stories about real people and events in a way that’s dramatic and vivid.
  • March 18 — Kanaar Bell invited students to “Let Your SOULTALK” by fusing creative writing and stage activities in order to grow confidence as a public speaker and help them realize just how powerful a tool the voice really is.
  • March 19 — Using show & tell items and being part of a sharing circle, Theresa Meuse shared her First Nation culture with students. Everyone had a hands-on experience and was part of the cultural circle in a relaxed setting.
  • March 20 — Emma FitzGerald shared how, although travel informed her drawing style, it was only when she started drawing right in her neighbourhood that her drawing style and subject matter came together to form a book. She shared a drawing exercise to help understand how ‘letting go’ in the creative process can lead to exceptional results.

2019 Summer Camps

The two inaugural summer writing camps — one for youth (ages 11 to 13) and one for teens (ages 14 and up) — explored the written word using creative approaches, such as visual writing prompts, to discover and explore character development, build description through observation, expand the use of figurative language, and promote journal writing. Participants will delve into different genres and styles of writing, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, and graphic novels. Daily activities blended classroom and outdoor adventures to promote physical activity and imaginative play.

The Art of Writing for Youth (July 15 to July 19)

  • July 15 — Alice Walsh challenged students to throw amazing characters into swamps filled with alligators, show them struggling to survive, then have them escape just as they’re about to be eaten.
  • July 16 — In Wade White’s science fiction and fantasy workshop, students learned to build amazing and detailed worlds in which to set stories and to create weird and wonderful characters to fill those worlds.
  • July 17 — Poet Deirdre Dwyer got students playing with figurative language and sensory descriptions and discussing poetics and ‘wow’ moments. 
  • July 18 — Phil Moscovitch introduced how great non-fiction writing uses a lot of the same elements as fiction. In his session, students told non-fiction stories by exploring objects and the environment using all five senses.
  • July 19 — Jan Coates revved up students’ imaginations to help them breathe life into characters—creating people readers want to know.
The Art of Writing Summer Camps 2019 - Week 1

The Art of Writing for Teens (July 22 to July 26)

  • July 22 — Valerie Compton challenged students to hack—and break and sidestep—the rules of writing to build stories that are exploratory, captivating and fun.
  • July 23 — Sarah Sawler delved into the world of journalistic non-fiction and talked about the art of the interview, writing about wacky events, and how she collaborated with the famous weather forecaster Frankie MacDonald.
  • July 24 — In Andre Fenton’s workshop, students learned the basics of poetry and how it helps you become a more versatile, adaptable and fluid wordsmith.
  • July 25 — lllustrator Emma FitzGerald shared how travel and her neighbourhood informed her drawing style. She led drawing exercises to help understand how ‘letting go’ in the creative process can lead to exceptional results.
  • July 26 — Cooper Lee Bombardier posed the question: Whose shoes? His workshop, Writing Without Othering, aided in the creative exploration of identities not the students’ own.
The Art of Writing Summer Camps 2019 - Week 2

Partners

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is grateful to NSCAD University’s School of Extended Studies, Lunenburg School of the Arts, and MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning for their partnership in realizing this creative writing workshop series.

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