Youth Summer Camp: 9th-12th Graders with Sahar Mustafah

Online for summer 2023

StoryStudio is proud to offer multiple week-long writing workshops for young scribes across the nation. That’s right, now that we’re online, you can join us from anywhere. With our talented instructors, young writers can expect to learn elements of writing, build friendships and community with fellow peers, and get feedback on their creative works. Check out our different sessions here, ranging from 5th grade to 12th grade, and a special session for our genre writers.

StoryStudio is pleased to offer full scholarships to students who are unable to meet the tuition requirements.
If your child would like to apply for a scholarship, please ask them to fill out this form.

June 20 – 23 / 10am – 12:00pm Central

Do you love to write? Do you spend your free time scribbling in notebooks, scratching poems in the margins of your math homework, and thinking up stories and characters? Then this workshop is for you—guaranteed to inspire you and keep you writing all summer long!

In this week-long Creative Writing Camp, campers will write without worrying about grades or deadlines, create new work and polish existing pages, and work closely with professional writers who will help to guide their process and answer any questions about writing, publishing, living the writing life, and more.

At the end of the week, the writers will present their stories and leave with a poem, short story, monologue, essay, or even a graphic novel. Best of all, campers get to meet other teenage writers who are serious and excited about their stories!

The week will have several components:

  • Author’s Craft: Campers will engage in short, published pieces as we explore ways professional writers produce vivid, imaginative work. We’ll investigate how language comes to life on the page and “borrow” those techniques as we experiment in our own writing. 
  • Writing: Writing prompts and activities will spark imagination, help break through blocks, and encourage new heights of creativity. Campers will have a chance to explore various genres including poetry, flash fiction, and graphic memoir. 
  • Workshopping: Sharing work and giving feedback on what’s working well and what opportunities we can find in each piece (whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or theater). We’ll talk about where we can extend scenes and dialogue to push the narrative, how word choice can affect the piece as a whole, how to spice up language and how writers can find—and trust—their own amazing original voice.
  • Showcase: Campers will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform their written work via Zoom. A link can be shared with friends and family members from around the globe; anyone who wants to tune in is welcome.

Sahar Mustafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, an inheritance she explores in her fiction. Her first novel The Beauty of Your Face (W.W. Norton, 2020) was named a 2020 Notable Book and Editor’s Choice by New York Times Book Review, a Los Angeles Times United We Read selection, and one of Marie Claire Magazine’s 2020 Best Fiction by Women. It was long-listed for the Center for Fiction 2020 First Novel Prize, and was a finalist for the Palestine Book Awards, Chicago Writers Association Best Book of the Year award and the Chicago Review of Books award. Her short story collection Code of the West was the winner of the 2016 Willow Books Fiction Award. Her stories have earned a Distinguished Story citation from Best American Short Stories 2016, First Place in Fiction from the Guild Literary Complex of Chicago, and three Pushcart Prize nominations, among other honors. Mustafah earned her MFA from Columbia College Chicago where she was the recipient of the David Friedman Award for Best Fiction. She writes and teaches outside of Chicago.

Daily Timeline & Breakdowns

  • 10am: 45 mins
    Warm-up and community-building
    Mentor text reading & craft discussion
    • 6-minute break
  • 10:45 am: 35 minutes – Individual Studio Time & Break-out sessions with Facilitator
    • 8-minute break
  • 11:45 am: Whole community share
                      Honoring the day’s work
  • 12pm: END