About

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

How do I apply?

How much does it cost?

Are scholarships available?

As a student's reference, how do I submit a recommendation letter? What should I write about?

How small are classes?

How competitive is admissions to Juniper Programs?

Who are the instructors?

Will I receive feedback on my writing?

What’s the difference between this summer’s in person and online programs?

Can I apply for both programs?

Can I participate in both programs?

I have a question about students' housing during the in-person program!

What does the online institute include?

What do I need to participate in the Juniper online programs?

Is the online programming live or can I do it on my own time?

 

Who can participate?

The Juniper Young Writers summer programs are for rising sophomores through seniors in high school. The winter workshops are for current freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.

How do I apply?

Applications can be submitted online, and admissions are rolling until they are full. For more information on how and where to apply, visit our apply page. Find guidance on how to write a “wicked good writer’s statement” here!

How much does it cost?

The Juniper Institute for Young Writers (in-person summer program) costs $2,500 and includes tuition, housing and meals. The cost of tuition for Juniper Young Writers Online (summer program) is $1,000. The cost of the Juniper Young Writers Online Winter Workshops is $750. If you have any questions, please reach out to us!

Are scholarships available?

We aim to offer a number of full scholarships each season. Scholarship support is intended for those participants whose families cannot afford the full cost of the program. BIPOC and young writers of marginalized groups are especially encouraged to apply for the available funding. In order to apply for a scholarship, just click the "Scholarship" button in the "Scholarship Consideration" section of the scholarship application. On average, 30% of our participants attend with funding for each program.

As a student's reference, how do I submit a recommendation letter? What should I write about?

When a student is filling out their application, they will be prompted to send a recommendation letter request to their reference. The reference will receive an email from Submittable with instructions on how to submit the recommendation letter.

We ask our references to speak to the following qualities in the student in their recommendation letter:

  • Enthusiasm for creative writing
  • Interest in a pre-college experience
  • Maturity, interpersonal and collaborative skills
  • Classroom participation
  • Ability to adapt to a residential learning environment (for the in-person Juniper Institute for Young Writers)

Recommendation letters are due within seven days of application submission, and an application is not considered complete without a recommendation letter. Students are not able to view the recommendation letter on Submittable.

Please note that recommendation letters are not required for applications to the Winter Workshops.

How small are classes?

Writing Labs are capped at 10 students. On average, there are 50 participants in the first week of the in-person summer program, 25 students in the second week of the in-person program, 50-70 participants in the summer online program, and 25-35 participants in the winter workshops.

How competitive are admissions to Juniper?

Juniper programs offer intensive and advanced creative writing instruction, and admission is very competitive for the summer in-person program. Admission is less competitive for the online programs, partly due to their online nature. We're generally able to find enough instructors to teach the number of students who are accepted.

Who are the instructors?

Our Creative Writing Instructors are professional teachers and published poets and writers. They are graduate students at UMass Amherst pursuing their Masters of Fine Arts or English doctorate degrees who’ve participated in Juniper-centric collaborative trainings in order to develop program courses geared for an inclusive online learning community. Learn more about our instructors here.

Will I receive feedback on my writing?

Participants receive small-group informal feedback in their Writing Labs, and at the end of the week receive written feedback from their instructor.

What’s the difference between the summer in-person and online programs?

Both our in-person (Juniper Institute for Young Writers) and online (Juniper Young Writers Online) programs feature the same Juniper curriculum including Writing Labs, Craft Sessions, Participant Readings, Writer’s Life talks, and Write-alongs, specifically adapted to each mode of delivery. Young writers participating in the Juniper Institute for Young Writers will have the opportunity to experience student life on the UMass campus and explore the surrounding nature and literary culture of Western Mass during field trips. Participants in Juniper Young Writers Online engage with the Juniper curriculum with more flexibility and freedom and have the opportunity to virtually connect with writers from around the world and find long-lasting virtual community. The cost to attend each program will differ.

Can I apply for both programs?

If you would like to be considered to attend both the Juniper Institute for Young Writers and Juniper Young Writers Online this summer, there is no need to submit two applications. Please indicate in your application that you would like to be considered for admission to Juniper Young Writers Online.

Can I participate in both programs?

Participants in the two-week Juniper Institute for Young Writers will not be able to attend the full Juniper Young Writers Online program. Interested students are welcome to participate in both the one-week, in-person Juniper program and the online Juniper program this summer, given that there is available space. If you have been accepted to attend the Juniper Institute for Young Writers and would also like to be considered to attend Juniper Young Writers Online, send us an email at juniperyoungwriters@hfa.umass.edu .

I have a question about students' housing during the in-person program!

The Juniper Institute for Young Writers in-person program is now partnering with Pre-College @ UMass Amherst to provide an engaging residential life experience during our week of immersion in the writer's life! For more information on Summer Pre-College residential life, including on-call staff and curfews, please visit this page on the Pre-College @ UMass Amherst website!

What does the online institute include?

The full Juniper Young Writers Online program includes Writing Labs with instructor feedback, Craft Sessions to explore different writing styles and genres, Participant Readings for you to share your work with peers, asynchronous Write-alongs, and Writer’s Life talks where you can hear about behind-the-scenes processes of your writing instructors. The Winter Workshops is a more low-key program, offering just the Writing Labs, Writer's Life sessions, Participant Readings, and guided Write-alongs.

What do I need to participate in the Juniper online programs?

  • Interest in creative writing
  • Desire to meet a writing community
  • Notebook
  • Writing utensil
  • Computer, tablet or smartphone
  • Stable Wi-Fi connection

Is the online programming live or can I do it on my own time?

Juniper Young Writers Online's Craft Sessions, Writing Labs, Writer's Life talks and Participant Readings are hosted live, along with optional live Write-ins. Writer's Life sessions and summer Craft Sessions will also be available to registered participants as recordings after the sessions run. The Write-alongs are designed to be self-directed, and will drop at midnight and noon each day of the program. We expect that all participants enrolled in a Writing Lab will attend each meeting live because these sessions are not recorded.