Calling All Young Writers!

Nothing excites me more than the thought of another summer of our Young Writers’ Program. For those unfamiliar, the Loft's Young Writers’ Program consists of week-long writing camps that take place over five weeks in the summer. 

While it may be my job, I also have a deep personal investment in the Loft’s youth programming. I remember clearly the surprise I felt when my teachers treated my desire to be a writer as something to be nurtured and taken seriously; it changed my life! It’s a true privilege to have a job dedicated to providing that type of environment and experience for others.

A wonderful thing about our Young Writers' Program is that it expands and deepens the definition of what it means to be a writer. It’s easy to assume that only award winning novelists can call themselves writers; as a young person, you might feel like you don’t have a claim to the title if your books aren’t sitting on the shelves of your local bookstore. We’re here to tell you: if you write fanfiction or keep a daily journal, if you love comics or graphic novels and draw your own, if you’re interested in publishing your work or just want to share it with your friends—you are a writer. We are offering over fifty classes this summer and are so excited to welcome all of our new and returning students to Open Book.

Below are some classes we’d like to highlight—but these are only a few of the many wonderful writing camps offered. You can find a full schedule here.

  • For those students interested in generating new work and getting insight and experience with submitting and publishing, teaching Artist Katie Ward will be teaching Writing It Out: Getting Started to Getting Published. In this class for 13 to 17 year olds, students will explore the creative process through writing prompts, get feedback on new or existing work, and learn how to submit writing for publication. This is a great class for those students interested in exploring a variety of different genres, including poetry, fiction, and more!
  • For students who are interested in the practice of keeping a daily journal and exploring the way this can help your writing or be turned into submittable work, teaching artist Molly Sutton Kiefer is teaching From Journal to Publication: Using Your Daily Writing for students 12 to 14. In this class, students will explore different ways of maintaining regular journals to aid in creative expression and how these planted seeds can be developed into more in-depth pieces. 
  • If you’re an experienced or hopeful fanfiction writer or just want to learn what it’s all about, teaching artist J.M. Lee will be teaching Fanfiction Workshop—Original Characters, in this class for 13 to 17 year olds, you’ll talk about what fanfiction is and why it's so popular, explores the types of fanfiction that are out there, and discuss the logistics of making fanfic writing into a career. You’ll also dive into more specific topics, such as tropes, stereotypes and archetypes, "Mary Sues," and character building for table-top and RP gaming.
  • For students who want to have a hand in both writing and bookmaking, check out teaching artist Ellen Fee’s class This Book is A Monster: A Loft/MCBA Combo Class. Taught in partnership with our friends at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, this class is great for creative kids looking for an outlet for those summer wiggles. Students will explore what makes a monster a monster and get to work creating your own as you learn about descriptive writing, poetry, character development, and simple literary devices and forms. With help from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, students will craft handmade books that look just like their imagined monster and open to reveal pages full of poems, stories, and illustrations on the class's theme. (Don't worry—your monsters won't be too scary.)

If you would like more information, have questions about our scholarship opportunities, or wish to register over the phone, please give us a call at 612-379-8999. We can’t wait to see you!