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workingThe Juniper Institute for Young Writers offers high school students of diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and writing styles the opportunity to experience the writer’s life, find inspiration, and be part of a community of creative peers.

Hosted by the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets and Writers, and the Juniper Summer Writing Institute for adults, the JIYW offers participants a unique opportunity to participate in intensive creative writing workshops, craft sessions, and studio courses designed especially for young writers. Participants also gain unparalleled exposure to world-renowned authors through readings and Q&As with its companion program for adults.

We’re pleased to announce that we are now accepting online applications for the 2015 session!



The Juniper Institute for Young Writers welcomes high school students currently completing their sophomore, junior, or senior years. We operate on a rolling admissions basis, and we do our best to make admission decisions within 2-6 weeks of receiving applications.

Once accepted, enrollment in the JIYW is guaranteed on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need to register and pay a non-refundable $200 deposit to secure your space.

Workshops fill quickly, so we recommend applying and enrolling early.

(Adult writers: please apply to the Juniper Summer Writing Institute.)

Application Process Overview

Applications are accepted online , and admission is on a rolling basis. The scholarship and priority application deadline is March 2, 2015. Early application is encouraged, as admission is competitive and the program fills quickly! See the sections below for detailed information about each part of the application process.

Application materials include:
•          $30 application fee
•          Writing sample
•          Personal Statement
•         Teacher/Guidance Counselor recommendation
•         Scholarship application essay (if applying for funding)

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $30 (U.S.) is required with each application. Applicants pay the fee by debit or credit card through a secure site on the online application.

Writing Sample

The strength and promise of the writing sample is the most important aspect of your application. The writing sample should be 5-7 pages of fiction (double-spaced) or poetry (one poem per page). Samples should be saved in one document (doc, docx, pdf, rtf, or txt). Please include your name & email address as a header or footer in the writing sample.

Personal Statement

This statement (written by the applicant!) of no more than 300 words should describe your interest in the Juniper Institute for Young Writers. Please explain why this would be a meaningful opportunity for you and what you think you can contribute to the Institute.

Teacher Recommendation

During the online application process, you will be asked to enter the email address and name of your recommending teacher or guidance counselor. From there, the recommender will receive email instructions for how to fill out and submit our recommendation form. Please obtain permission from your recommender before submitting their contact information in your application!

Scholarships & Grants

The Institute offers several scholarships that range from full, half, to quarter tuition scholarships. Competition for these scholarships is strong. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by March 2, 2015; however, we encourage you to submit your application before the deadline!

To apply for a scholarship, please make sure you have:
•           Uploaded the general application materials (listed above) to our
             online application system.
•           Checked the box indicating, “Yes I am applying for a
•           Uploaded your Scholarship Essay

The Institute especially encourages scholarship applications from students of diverse life experiences, and those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage or discrimination.

Scholarship Essay

Scholarship support is intended for those participants whose families cannot afford the full cost of the program. Please write a brief statement (no more than 300 words) addressing how receiving a scholarship would affect your ability to attend the Juniper Institute for Young Writers.

Tuition & Housing

Tuition of $1,350 includes all Institute activities (workshops, craft sessions, studio courses, field trips, etc.) and 3 daily meals. Once accepted, enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need to pay a $200 non-refundable tuition deposit in order to guarantee your space. Remaining tuition is due in full no later than May 15, 2015.

The cost of housing is $216 for a shared room in our residence hall for the duration of the 9-day program. Participants may opt to stay elsewhere off campus, but the immersive nature of the program and residence life curriculum encourages on-campus residence.


We do our best to contact applicants with our admission decision within 2-6 weeks of receiving their applications. Please note that notification can take longer after the scholarship & priority application deadline (March 2), as the number of applications received around that time increases exponentially.

Scholarship awards will be made by late spring, and notification will come by phone and email.

Cancellation Policy **new**

If you cancel your enrollment before May 15, you will forfeit your initial $200 tuition deposit. If you cancel after May 15, we will keep the initial deposit and an additional $500 cancellation fee, but return the remaining balance paid. There will be no tuition refunds after June 15 and no refunds in the event of early departure.

Please note that program details and personnel are subject to change as necessary.