Creative Writing 7/7 - 7/11

Sunday, July 7 - Thursday, July 11, 2024. The application deadline is June 7th.

Registration for this high school institute is now open through CampDocs.


The Program:
The emphasis is on having fun with other students who love writing and enjoying our beautiful natural surroundings while learning the elements of craft. With our dynamic, talented and caring faculty and staff, terrific facilities, and lovely surroundings, the Alfred University Creative Writing Institute could make this your best summer ever!

  • This program provides an introduction to a variety of genres: poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, and drama.
  • In morning and afternoon sessions, students participate in writing intensive exercises designed to address the elements of craft: voice, character, image, scene, and setting.
  • Students will have an opportunity to participate in workshop sessions in which they will read and discuss each other’s work with an eye towards revision.
  • Students will also read and discuss the work of established authors, investigating the strategies they use to craft their poetry and prose. Discussions are lively, and students will have an opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty who are also writers.

Tuition, Meals & Housing:
Residential Institute Fee: $900. This pricing includes tuition, materials, meals, and housing. All housing and meals will take place here on Alfred University’s campus.

Who Can Attend?
This dynamic institute is for students entering grades 10-12 who love to write and want to learn new ways to improve their writing skills with others who share their passion!

Students attend classes during the day and enjoy recreational activities in the evening. Further information, including a detailed program schedule and driving directions to campus, will be sent to all upon acceptance.

Professor Susan Morehouse, AU professor of English, is the program director. She and Dr. Juliana Gray, AU professor of English, serve as the primary instructors.

How to Apply:
Students who wish to apply must submit all of the items listed below:

  • A completed online registration form
  • $100 deposit (paid on online application form)
  • A one-page essay telling us why you would like to attend this program (in your own words; sign essay)
  • Two samples of your creative writing (not longer than 4 pages each - can be excerpts from longer works)

For further general information contact the Office of Summer Programs by calling us at 607-871-2122. For specific information concerning class content please contact Professor Susan Morehouse.

Summer Institute Directors will evaluate all applications and determine who will be accepted. Acceptance and non-acceptance notifications will be sent via email. Once participants are accepted they will be reminded by email from CampDocs to complete the required documents (parental permissions to attend as well as health records). Updated immunization information (including dates) is also required at that time. (If you do not have updated immunization information on hand, you may want to acquire this from your physician now to avoid processing delays.)

When participants are not in class, they are supervised by specially-trained Counselors who serve as positive role models, mentors and friends. In order to ensure everyone has a safe, healthy and enjoyable time on campus, summer participants are expected to abide by the University's summer programs rules & regulations.


When not in class, students have lots of fun participating in recreational activities. Living, dining and learning together, participants have ample opportunity to get to know each other well and develop lasting friendships. Sample activities include:

  • Ice-breaker games on the first night to help everyone get acquainted
  • Movies in Nevins Theater
  • Outdoor games such as "Capture the Flag" and "Ultimate Frisbee"
  • Indoor games such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," "Project Runway," ping pong, board games, basketball, etc.
  • Social gatherings with refreshments & music in the Knight Club
  • Relaxing and socializing at a local coffee house
  • Farewell party on the last night

Participants stay in secure University residence halls dedicated to summer institutes (2 per room) and must bring their own pillows and blankets. Bed/bath linens will be provided, but they can also bring their own (bed linens must fit the extra-long twin residence hall beds). Laundry facilities are available in each hall at no charge. Males and females are housed on separate floors. Our Counselors will be on-site in the residence halls at all times.

Delicious, all-you-can-eat, cafeteria-style meals are served in the campus dining hall. Our Dining Services chefs do an excellent job in accommodating participants with food allergies and other special requirements.

Sorry, there are no scholarships or other forms of financial aid available for participants attending this summer program.

"It was THE BEST week of my life. I still keep in touch with everyone I met there, and hope to come back next summer. The classes were excellent, and the whole experience was just unforgettable. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart." - Liz S., Ashley, OH

"This week was amazing! The best camp experience I've ever had, hands down. I loved being able to meet all of these people who share my interests (in a fun-filled environment, no less). Classes were fantastic - informative, creative and often laugh-out-loud funny. Activities were spectacular, food was decent, RAs and instructors were helpful and kind. What a week! Thanks for the memories, Alfred! This place ROCKS!! - Luke H., Haddon Township, NJ

"I think it was the perfect environment for learning. We had the perfect balance of instruction and freedom. Our classes were "laid back" enough to feel comfortable, but professional too, so we were able to learn to write to our full potential. I loved creating my character and hearing other people's ideas and writing. I also enjoyed (and will remember) the tips and advice I got from my teachers!"- Alexandra R., Scranton, PA

"I know so many great new resources now and better ways to go about doing things like developing characters. I loved hearing the work of others and the feedback we received was always so helpful. The best thing was making friends who care about writing as much as I do and having lots of time to write!" - Brooke C., Canton, CT

"The teachers were great! The classes were interesting and educational. The best thing about the institute was the experience of being at college!" - Bethany Z., Boscawen, NH

"The classes were wonderful. I not only gained some interesting perspectives on writing, but great little tidbits about life too." - Adam I., Rye, NH

"The campus is beautiful and the atmosphere is lovely. I learned a lot and was able to broaden my creative writing skills considerably. I feel good that I chose to come - it was definitely worth it. I made new friends and learned so much." - Colleen T., Rock Hill, NY

"It was not only a good pre-college experience and a place to learn more about what I love to do, but I made so many friends, and had one of the best weeks of my life! Thanks so much!" -Emily T., Hornell, NY

"The writing classes helped me to be a better writer." - Alanna M., Hampton, NJ

"I liked going to the coffee shop and creating characters because you could spend time with friends and make use of your imagination." - Caitlin M., Richburg, NY

"I loved my creative writing classes and going to the lake and the Terra Cotta Coffee House was a lot of fun!" - Sydney H., Reston, VA

"Meeting new people was refreshing. I could be myself and people accepted me." - Alli M., Fishers, IN

"I learned to write more vividly, making the reader feel as if in the moment. Also I learned how to write more in-depth about a character in a story and try to think of them as a real person." - Grace E., Ridgewood, NJ

"My passion is to write and this class was so comfortable. I didn't feel awkward or embarrassed and the instructors were so friendly and open. I learned how to open my eyes in the writing world. I was taught so much that made me experience writing in a whole new way and was given open doors for my passion to excel." Kaylan M., Morris Plains, NJ

Alfred University is located in the peaceful village of Alfred in western New York State, where summer days are warm and nights are cool and comfortable. Surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful meadows and valleys, Alfred University is the perfect place to spend an enjoyable week learning more about a favorite subject and meeting other students who share your interests.

The campus, a 6-hour drive from New York City, 2 hours from Buffalo and 1 1/4 hours from Rochester, is easily accessible by car or bus from all directions and is located just five miles south of Interstate 86. The nearest major airport is the Rochester International Airport (about 65 miles north). Transportation to and from that airport can be provided for an additional charge if we receive your request by the date indicated in your acceptance notification. After that date students must make their own arrangements with an airport limo service.

The University may cancel any course or activity at any time because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for other costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies.

Whether considering candidates for admission or financial aid, applicants for employment or the management of its policies and school-administered programs, Alfred University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, or disability. Alfred University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.