Summer art for youth – The Writers Studio

This spring we are profiling youth serving arts organizations that offer programs for kids and teens this summer.


The Writers Studio, opens a new window is a New York based national organization that offers ongoing writing workshops designed to help students discover and nurture their own voices. In July, they convene a weekly online creative writing

workshop for teens age 14-17. Sally McElwain, who has 20 years of experience providing classes, one-on-one tutorials and workshops for the Writers Studio, leads the workshop. I spoke with McElwain about the workshop and what she hopes to accomplish.

The participants meet for an hour each week to watch videos of authors reading from their work, go over and analyze the written work, and dig deep into the text to examine the elements that make up the work, like tone, metaphor, personification and mood. “The workshop is a craft oriented program where students learn the tools, techniques and vocabulary of writing,” she told me, “the purpose is to help the young students discover their own voice.”

Discovering your own voice means trying different narrative techniques, which the young people do when completing assignments between meetings. McElwain and fellow students read and comment on the assignments, giving valuable feedback. McElwain suggests revisions to the students and they gain confidence as they build upon their work over time.

The goal of the workshop is to generate excitement about writing and to let the students try out different things to see what works. McElwain hopes the positive feedback builds confidence so that the blank page no longer intimidates the young writers. She finds that the young people in her workshops take their work seriously, and benefit when an adult teacher takes their work seriously as well.

Find more information, opens a new window about this Writers Studio workshop.

Find out what the library is planning, opens a new window for tweens and teens this summer https://www.library.pima.gov/imagine


Places to find/submit teen writing