At the heart of the Institute are three-hour daily workshops that explore the writing of fiction and poetry. Working with instructors alongside a core group of peers, participants generate new work, revise work in progress, and form a supportive community of young writers who are committed to sharing and receiving feedback on their writing. Enrollment is limited so that each writer has ample opportunity to present his or her work. View sample descriptions of workshops offered in the past.
Field Trips and Craft Sessions
Mid-week excursions to local museums, nature preserves, and literary sites are designed to encourage writers to integrate inspiration from the field into their prose and poetry. Craft sessions are paired with the field trips to illustrate how writers bring research and sensory experience back to the classroom. Recent topics and locations have included: "I Feel Weird: Language in Unexpected Places" at The Amherst College Natural History Museum, and "Mastering the Art of the Poem-Letter" at The Emily Dickinson Museum. View descriptions of Field Trips and Craft Sessions from past years.
Readings and Open Mics
During the day, young writers hear readings of poetry and fiction by their Workshop Instructors. On several evenings, emerging poets and writers visit to offer readings of their published work, followed by a Q&A. Participant open mics encourage writers to practice putting their work in the world in a supportive and enthusiastic community.
Studio Sessions get participants active. Through exploratory creative labs, exercises beyond the page, and/or mixing of writing with other art forms, participants explore avenues of creativity and experiment with new strategies to employ in their work. Past sessions have included podcasting, zine making, spoken word, and "The Walk as Poem."
Salons provide participants with an opportunity to engage in lively discussion, debate and presentation of creative ideas or controversies facing artists today. Sample topics have included: "The Bechdel Test: Female Representation in Film and Other Media," "Pop is Poetry," "Marginalia," and "The Perks of Being a YA Novel."
Participants have the option to earn academic credit for the work they do at Juniper (taking daily courses and attending readings and salons) in addition to writing two short response papers on books from our selected list. Three academic credits cost an additional $400 and are completely optional. Information on how to register is sent upon acceptance to the Institute.