8 Great Writing Retreats for Kids

summer writing retreatsDoes your child love to write? Writing offers children not only a medium for communication, but the ability to create and use their imagination! What’s more, writing aids your child’s emotional growth and helps build the critical thinking skills necessary for success in school and in life. Writing retreats and camps can help foster these abilities.

What Happens at Writing Retreats?

At writing camps, children can focus on their creating writing while having fun at the same time! In a community environment, they will learn and refine the basics of composition, including how to plan, develop, organize, revise, and edit the written pieces they have constructed. There are many types of writing retreats, from half-day and full-day camps to overnight programs, with most including fun, relationship-building recreational activities as part of the retreat experience.

With all of the distractions of everyday life – parents, annoying siblings, chores, video games, and more – creativity can easily be squelched. Writing retreats offer children the ability to immerse themselves in writing free of the distractions and obligations of everyday life in a community of like-minded individuals.

Writing retreats can offer kids:

  • the inspiration of learning and creativity in a fun atmosphere
  • a stress-free, non-judgmental environment
  • the freedom of writing about topics that interest them
  • opportunities for learning writing “rules” and when to break them
  • a place to find and make friends with similar interests
  • an impressive line for the extracurricular activities section of a college resume

8 Writing Retreats to Check Out:

Located at Indian Head Camp in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, this one- or two-week camp allows a wide range of ages, from 9 to 18. In daily author-led workshops, campers develop their own short stories. Afternoons feature electives from art to athletics, in addition to campfires and other fun, recreational camp activities.

  • National Writing Project at Plymouth State University

This program, held at various locations in New Hampshire, offers unique half- or full-day camp experiences geared toward young writers in grades 3-8 on topics ranging from journaling to character development and the creative process. A week-long residential retreat for high school students is also available, in which attendees have the opportunity to not only write, but review their work with peers, teachers, professional authors, and illustrators in a community setting.

Located in Omaha, Nebraska, these half-day, week-long summer camps offer sessions for grades 4-12, college students, and even adults. Days are filled with creative writing, journaling, poetry, short stories, guest speakers, art appreciation, history, ballet, photography, and music.

This summer program is a great fit for writers in grades 6 through 12 with a love for nature. Interlochen offers “an intensive, supportive, and enthusiastic student writing curriculum in the pristine surroundings of Michigan’s north woods.” Over the course of three weeks, students are immersed in reading and writing assignments, visit with guest writers, spend one-on-one time with professional writers and teachers, and discuss and critique writing.

North Carolina’s Duke University offers middle to high school students summer writing retreats with the opportunity to explore different genres, including short fiction, poetry, journalism, and playwriting instructed by “professional teachers who write and professional writers who teach.” Students can share their work with peers and engage in the camp’s social and recreational activities. Both overnight and day camp options are available.

This five-day camp allows young writers in grades 3 through 12 to explore different genres of writing, develop and share their work, and even publish high-quality pieces in a fun, relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere.

  • Oakland University Youth Writing Camps

Students in grades K-12 will love touring the historic Meadow Brook mansion and grounds filled with secret staircases, playhouses, and gardens while attending writer’s workshops held by award-winning, specially trained writing experts. This is a great place for your child to polish and publish their original work.

These fun, all-ages writing retreats offer sessions on a variety of popular topics, from writing basics and grammar to sci-fi/fantasy and essays.


With these great writing retreats and camps, your child can get a taste of the writer’s life. Check out some of the links above, or do some research on your own, and see which one would be a good fit for your son or daughter. They’ll look back on the experience for years to come – and may even make some new friends along the way!


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