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Bard College at Simon's Rock Young Writers Workshop

Application Deadline
Three Weeks
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The Young Writers Workshop at Simon’s Rock is a selective, three-week creative writing program for students currently completing grades 9, 10, and 11.

Unlike more traditional workshops in creative writing, the Young Writers Workshop focuses on using informal, playful, and expressive writing as a way to strengthen skills of language and thinking. Out of these informal writing activities, using techniques of peer response, students develop more polished pieces, ranging from personal narratives to short stories, poems, brief dramatic works, and experiments in creative nonfiction.

Each week students develop a portfolio of “works in progress” and then meet individually with their workshop leader to discuss what they have written. Rather than evaluation, these meetings focus on what the writer is trying to do in his or her writing and how best to accomplish these goals. By becoming more conscious of their choices and strategies, students develop the intellectual autonomy expected of them as they prepare for college.

Students live on campus in the college’s residence halls, along with adults who are members of the Simon’s Rock campus life staff. Aside from quiet hours and a curfew, students are free to organize their time in ways that fit their particular needs, whether that means preparing for the next day’s class, socializing with friends, participating in a recreational activity, or attending an off-campus cultural event.

All faculty are experienced teachers and writers with a special interest in the theory and practice of the nationally recognized Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking. They are selected for the Simon’s Rock workshop because of their record of teaching excellence and their familiarity with the needs and abilities of younger writers.


  • Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, Massachusetts


  • Three weeks in July


  • $3,500 (includes tuition, room, and board)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must have completed 9th, 10th, or 11th grade

Application or Entry Requirements

  • Completed online application
  • Writing sample (prose) of approximately 500-700 words: “tell a true, personal story of a time when words, whether written or spoken, sung or performed, have been meaningful for you."
  • One letter of recommendation from a teacher.


  • Rolling admissions begin in January and end in late April/early May
  • Early application is strongly recommended

Notifications of Decisions

  • Within one to two weeks of submitting an application

Financial Aid Details

Depending on a family's circumstances, the College may provide modest financial assistance. A financial aid application must be completed.

Other Dates to Keep in Mind

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Bard College at Simon's Rock is a private liberal arts college located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The school is known for its early college program, which allows motivated students to begin their college education after completing the 10th or 11th grade. Part of the Bard Network, the global educational network of Bard College, Simon's Rock is known for its strong arts programs and commitment to social justice, community engagement, and inclusivity. The college is also home to a range of centers and initiatives dedicated to promoting healthy and sustainable food systems. 

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Summer Program
Academic Program
Creative Writing
Grade Level
High School, 9th, 10th, 11th
Remote/In person
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