Young Writer Workshop #2

Young Writer Workshop #2

The YOUNG WRITER WORKSHOP in June is a week-long residential workshop for Texas high school students interested in developing storytelling skills through multi-genre exercises in writing, drawing, acting and filmmaking. The program founded in 1998 by Fred Reynolds gave small-town high school students a way to explore and develop their creative talents. The 10-year summer camp thrived and became the basis for college programs Reynolds later led through the City College of New York. In 2016 we revived the high school week-long program.

In the workshop students will be guided through hands-on exercises designed to develop a strong foundation in the story-building process. They will learn to use storytelling elements such as sound, image, movement and words, and practice how they work together to bring a project to life. They will learn how to develop a unique voice with something powerful to say in a supportive environment surrounded by good writing examples, discussions about the creative process and mentors to guide them. It is more than creative development, it is leadership training at its best. Ask one of our alumni. It's a lot of fun, but it's what you put into it.

Entering freshmen through graduating seniors are eligible to apply. Students stay at the Spur Hotel and other host homes around town with their chaperons, college students from nearby universities. Throughout the week they will develop creative skills and working relationships in a collaborative, supportive environment that nurtures creative thinking and values risk-taking and "failure" as part of the development process. No previous experience is necessary, but students should come with an all-in attitude, prepared to leave their comfort zone. The only thing we require is a willingness to learn, work well with others, and try new things. Once admitted into the workshop,  tuition sponsorship is awarded to each student for most of the cost of the program.

Read more about workshop session leaders here.

Deadline to apply is midnight, May 7, 2017.
Admission letters will be sent out by email before May 14. 

The majority of the cost of the program is underwritten, but we ask students to contribute $250 to their tuition for the week, due upon acceptance of the workshop invitation sent May 14 to be considered "accepted." 

Limited sponsorship to cover tuition is available if needed. Please contact us after you submit your application form if you would like to apply.  

CONTACT US with any questions.

Literary Nonfiction Workshop

Literary Nonfiction Workshop

This week-long workshop is designed to provide professional journalists and writers the opportunity to learn and practice the craft of long-form literary nonfiction. Unlike other writing workshops that offer group feedback on existing stories, this immersive program requires active, hands-on practice in a real-world environment. Think of it as Spring Training for the sport of storytelling.

Here's how it works: Participating writers (no more than 12) stay at the Spur Hotel. Each day begins with an interactive discussion about a specific element of the craft (for example, dialogue), guided by our Writer in Residence. Well before noon, writers are dispatched into the town of Archer City to practice that element (in this example, by recording and writing a short scene involving dialogue). By suppertime, the group reconvenes to read and workshop their assignment and discuss what they learned in the process. The Writer in Residence and at least one mentor are available throughout the day to field questions.

The point of this workshop is not necessarily to publish. It's to learn and grow as storytellers. The program exists to give working writers a chance to practice the craft and experiment without the pressure of publishing. If individuals desire to create a publishable piece through the exercises, we support that. But it is not an expectation. In fact, we want to liberate our writers for one full week from the burden of expectations.

This program would not exist without the vision of George Getschow, founder of the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference and the Archer City Writers Workshop (a graduate-level college course by the University of North Texas). A mentor of generations of writers and a fine author himself, George created a "Tribe of Storytellers" that includes the best and brightest contemporary writers of literary nonfiction. Through this program, books were born, careers were launched, and lifelong friendship established. In 2014, George passed the responsibility for organizing this workshop to author Kim Cross, who wishes to carry it forward with his enthusiasm and spirit and make it available to professionals nationwide.

To be eligible for a professional spot in this workshop, applicants must be 21 or older and posses a strong command of the fundamentals of writing. Ideally, they have at least five years of professional experience in journalism, publishing, or creative writing. Reporting experience is recommended, but not required. Graduate students in journalism or creative writing will be considered based on writing samples and recommendations. Even more than clips or experience, we're looking for candidates with a strong desire to learn, grow, and venture outside their comfort zone. 

The workshop fee is $1,000, which includes tuition and 7 nights' lodging (a modest room with private bath) at the Spur Hotel. Participants are responsible for their meals (Murn's Cafe is right across the street. There's a small grocery store in town and hotel kitchen available for use). This workshop is limited to 12 participants, and $400 deposit required to hold a spot.  Cancellation policy: 100% refund before May 1; 75% by June 1; 50% by July 1; no refund after July 2.

Participants are selected by nomination. Read more about Kim and past leaders on our artists page. 2017 Leaders TBD.

For more information, contact Kim Cross at kimhcross (at) yahoo (dot) com.