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reading in treeThis summer, from July 26 to August 15, 84 high school students from 22 states and the District of Columbia, as well as China, Canada, and the Sultanate of Oman, will come together on the Bard College at Simon’s Rock campus to attend the 27th annual Young Writers Workshop. One of the oldest and largest summer writing programs in the country, the workshop is modeled after the innovative three-week Workshop in Language and Thinking required of all entering students at Bard College and Simon’s Rock. Along with summer workshops at Lewis and Clark College and Lake Forest College, it belongs to the National Writing and Thinking Network, an extension of the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking. Since 1986 it has been directed by Jamie Hutchinson, faculty member in English at Simon’s Rock. Former participants have gone on to attend such colleges as Amherst, Bard, Harvard, Haverford, Kenyon, Princeton, Simon's Rock, Smith, Williams, and Yale.

Similar to the Writing & Thinking Workshop that all first-year Simon’s Rock students attend in August, the Young Writers Workshop focuses on using informal, playful, expressive writing activities designed to strengthen students’ language and thinking skills. Students will also regularly work in small writing groups, helping one another find ways to develop their informal writing into more polished pieces, ranging from personal narratives to stories, poems, and exploratory essays. Each week students will meet with their workshop leader to discuss a portfolio of “works in progress,” not for purposes of evaluation but as a way to help discover further directions for revision.

Students will live on campus in the College's dormitories, along with members of the Simon's Rock Student Life staff. During the workshop, they’ll have the opportunity to attend various off-campus cultural events, ranging from plays at Shakespeare and Company to dance concerts at Jacob’s Pillow to exhibitions of modern art at MASS MoCA. Weekly on-campus activities will include films, readings, lectures, concerts, crafts, and dances.