The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Writing Labs

At the heart of the Institute are three-hour daily writing labs 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 descriptions of writing labs offered summer 2019.

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.

Craft Sessions

Craft 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."

Academic Credit

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.