The University of Massachusetts Amherst

About the Juniper Institute for Young Writers

A kind of magic happens when you bring together a group of people who love to write. A passion for writing tends to mean a passion for thinking, observing, and discovering—all ingredients for great conversations and great lives. The Juniper Institute creates space for diverse community, where teenagers from all over the country, with vastly different life experiences, can meet and bond over a shared love for the literary arts.

Over the course of eight days at Juniper, high school students find access to the writer's life. Through a curriculum that facilitates wild invention, participants generate new writing, experiment with style and form, access tools for finding inspiration in their day-to-day lives, and learn how to connect with an audience. Living together in close-knit "pods," Young Writers participate in writing labs, craft sessions, and readings. Many also earn academic credit while they enjoy a pre-college residential experience on the UMass Amherst campus in Amherst, Massachusetts, an area rich with literary history.

In more than a decade of offering this summer Institute, hundreds of young writers have immersed themselves in the writer’s life here, an experience that they tell us continues to resonate with them for years to come.