REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED
THANKS FOR A GREAT SUMMER 2021!
If you have any questions or specific requests, please e-mail us. We are very passionate about what we do, and we’re happy to talk to you about it. If you want to receive our e-mails, we can put you on our list for announcements too.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CLASS & CAMP
Q – What is Creative Writing Camp?
A – Students will conduct fun writing activities and write short stories with multi-dimensional characters, zany plots, and settings inspired by magic, science fiction, history, and real-world examples. Using the same approach and as our in-school creative writing classes, students will have fun and hone their writing skills. With the same format and very low student-teacher ratios of 3:1 we used last summer, we make creative writing camp fun, engaging, and successful!
Q – How is the class structured? What are the teacher-student ratios?
A – Each class includes lead teachers and experienced teaching assistants, so the ultimate teacher-student ratios are close to 5:1. This way, students are able to brainstorm, share ideas, and work on editing in small groups. We also offer 1-on-1 sessions for every student, so each child gets personalized feedback in a supportive, constructive way.
Q – What topics will you cover?
A – Generally, elementary-aged children gravitate to fantasy and science fiction, so we always cover some of those genres. At their requests, we have also covered horror, mystery, historical fiction, and realistic fiction. We even held a recent session on dystopian fiction, with students ranging from age 7 to 12, and it was surprisingly successful. While the older students wrote fully-developed characters that were raging against the multi-faceted government, the younger students wrote about how the dystopian government changed all healthy food to pizza, with hysterical unintended consequences that the main character had to handle.
Q – What if my child is not a great writer or doesn’t love writing?
A – We have taught students of all abilities and interests. Our low teacher-student ratio allows us to mix it up, with small break-out groups and one-on-one sessions, to work with every child. Plus, our approach focuses on the inherent fun of using your imagination, and it works! We allow the students to change the “scientist” prompt to develop zombies in the lab, to mix historical fiction and science fiction genres in one story (you’d be amazed when their aliens or time travelers landed), or to dive deeply into the character development of their dog-turned-alien or three-headed flower monster.
Q – What if my child is already a really good writer?
A – We also work closely with the more developed writers who have already conquered the basics of mechanics and storytelling. For them, we may analyze character arcs, how to use dialogue to move the story along, and/or how to wrap up the plot with a satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends (and clues they may have distributed throughout the story). For these students, they enjoy the inspiring prompts and opportunity to learn from each other and the experienced teachers.
Q – What if my child has taken a class or camp with you before? Will she be bored?
A – Many of our students repeat because they love our programs! We change it up for every session, which makes it more interesting for the teachers and the students. Plus, because we’re a small business, with extensive experience teaching creative writing to this age group, we can consider the students’ needs and tailor our programming accordingly.
After years of onsite classes and camps in Vienna elementary schools (since 2013), we completed our first virtual two-week Creative Writing Summer Camp in June 2020, and it was a great success! Students brainstormed, planned, wrote, reviewed, edited, and finalized stories across a myriad of genres. Plus, they participated in creative writing lessons, small group discussions, one-on-one feedback sessions, and opportunities to share their stories aloud. They laughed, they learned, and they had fun!
Each session included 21 students, one lead teacher, and six co-teachers. Yes, that’s right — SEVEN staff for 21 students! Every staff member has extensive creative writing experience, training through Kondé Strategies on our positive approach to writing, and a great attitude with the kids. Most of our teachers have been with us for 4-6 years too!
When we had to go virtual, we pivoted quickly. The silver lining? With the support of community leaders and parents helping us to spread the word, we have now provided virtual creative writing instruction to students across Falls Church, Vienna, Oakton, Reston, and Herndon! Classes and camps have included students from Westbriar, Louise Archer, Marshall Road, Cunningham Park, Colvin Run, Spring Hill, Flint Hill, Vienna, Wolftrap, Freedom Hill, Shrevewood, Westlawn, Lemon Road, Oakton, Waples Mill, Mosby Woods, McNair, Hunters Woods, and Sunrise Valley elementary schools, as well as a few local private schools and others from farther away.
SUMMER 2021 CAMPS:
Well, it’s been a wild ride since last summer! Creative Writing Camp 2021 was a great success! With small groupings, low 3:1 staff ratios, and daily opportunities for 1-on-1 feedback, campers went on a quest of their own making (including at least three obstacles to overcome) and developed stories around the devil/monster/bad guy. We also tried out some new games, and the campers loved them!
SPRING 2021 CLASSES:
We finalized the academic year with two more Monday class sessions. Maintaining our small 3:1 staff ratios, we were able to inspire some originally “reluctant writers,” hold sophisticated “writers’ workshops” for our more experienced writers, and make writing fun for everyone in between.
WINTER 2021 CLASSES:
We continued virtually into 2021, with almost 40 students split between two more Monday classes and MUCH smaller break out sessions. We had so many awesome, experienced teachers, sometimes we would pair two teachers to lead a group of four students (or they’d break out further with one teacher working with only two students)! Among other activities, students time-traveled, wrote some poetry (at their request), and wrote fantasy stories about powerful characters with super powers, magical abilities, and god-like traits.
FALL 2020 CLASSES:
Once Fairfax County Public Schools decided to make Mondays asynchronous days, we knew we should offer Fall 2020 classes then. In the end, we taught more than 60 students in our 9:00 am, 10:45 am, and 12:30 pm classes. We even included a middle grades session for longer story writing!
2020 SUMMER CAMPS:
- At the request of parents, we offered afternoon sessions for our last session of Summer Camp, from August 3-7, 2020.
- We had a full Summer Camp from July 27 – 31, 2020, where students wrote “Mystery in the Country” stories, created and performed dragon-themed skits, developed their own magical creatures, and celebrated Harry Potter’s birthday.
- We had a smaller group in the July 6-10, 2020 Summer Camp, so students enjoyed small teacher-led groups of three students each and more opportunities for one-on-one feedback and editing.
- Summer Camp finished on June 26, 2020 with almost 40 students sharing their stories and celebrating their creativity!
SPRING 2020 CLASSES:
- 2nd – 6th Grade Students – Fridays, May 1st – June 5th – 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
- 4th – 6th Grade Students – Fridays, April 10th – May 29th – 11:15 am – 12:15 pm
- 2nd – 3rd Grade Students – Fridays, April 10th – May 29th – 10:00 am – 11:00 am
After our Spring 2020 online classes filled up, parents asked us to create more classes, so we did! Then those filled up too. Then we created a few options for summer camp too, and those filled up! So then we offered more summer camp sessions and virtual classes for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 as well! Thank you to all the parents and students who promoted our classes and camps, registered their students, and enjoyed creative writing with us.