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Teen Writing Camps

Summer 2019 was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who joined us this past summer.

Check back in January for updated information on our 2020 programs.

2019 Course Offerings

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Middle School offerings (incoming 6th – 8th Grades)
Middle School Course Descriptions
High School offerings (incoming 9th – 12th Grades)
High School Course Descriptions
How to Register

    • Are for incoming 6th through 8th graders
    • Run Monday through Friday
    • Are located at UC Berkeley
Poetry and Performance
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 4310
July 8 – 12, 2019
(1 week)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$320
Intro to Creative Writing
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 4500
July 22 – Aug 2, 2019
(2 weeks)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$520

2019 Middle School Course Descriptions

Poetry and Performance (Middle School)
Instructor: Hillary Walker
July 8 – July 12, 2019
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 4310

9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$320

Do you have a series of poems stashed in your notebook? This course reveals the tools poets use to make a poem burst from the page in timeless wonder. You will gain observational skills and learn literary techniques so you can express yourself in a range of poetic forms. To inspire writing, we will read classic poets such as Nikki Giovanni and Gary Snyder as well as spoken word artists like Kate Hao, Mayda del Valle, and Mark Gonzalez. You will also practice performing dramatic readings of your own poetry. By the end of the week-long workshop, you will walk away with a series of writing exercises to use on your own and resources about where to perform or publish. No previous poetry or performance experience is required.

Hillary Walker has been teaching Humanities, History and Writing at the middle and high school levels for the past thirteen years.  She a UC Berkeley graduate who is passionate about historical research, journalism and international studies. She currently teaches College Writing and AP English: Language and Composition at Life Academy in Oakland.

Intro to Creative Writing
Instructor: Kira Bearss
July 22 – August 2, 2019
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 4500

9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$520

Calling All Young Authors! Have you dreamed about writing your own story, but weren’t sure where to start? Maybe you have a bunch of ideas in your head or stashed away somewhere, and are just looking for a way to pull it all together. This workshop is for you! We will spend two weeks learning about the elements of plot, developing characters, writing dialogue, creating vibrant settings, and more. In this workshop, we will spend time both reading and writing together—using model texts to learn tips and tricks, and then letting the creativity flow. We’ll be drafting and crafting to work toward an individual, finished short story and a class anthology. Join us this summer—you’ll be the author!

Kira Bearss graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Literature, and from Holy Names University with an M.Ed. in Urban Education. She spent 2 years working in special education, and has spent the last 5 years teaching at St. Leo’s in Oakland, where she currently works. She teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Language Arts and Literature.

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  • Are for incoming 9th through 12th graders
  • Run Monday through Friday (except Intro to Memoir Writing)
  • Are located at UC Berkeley
Sourcing from the Self
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 1214
June 17 – 28, 2019
(2 weeks)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$550
FULL – Flash Fiction
Wheeler Hall
Classroom 122
June 17 – 28, 2019
(2 weeks)
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
$550
College Writing
Wheeler Hall
Classroom 122
June 17 – 28, 2019
(2 weeks)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$520
Backpack Journalism
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 1206
June 24 – 28, 2019
(1 week)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$350
Sports Reporting
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 1206
June 24 – 28, 2019
(1 week)
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
$350
Poetry and Performance
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 4310
July 8 – 12, 2019
(1 week)
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
$340
Writing for Change
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 1206
July 8 – 26, 2019
(3 weeks)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$600
Intro to Memoir
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 4244
July 15 – 25, 2019
(2 weeks – No Fridays)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$440
Reimagining the Book
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 4101
July 22 – 26, 2019
(1 week)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$350
FULL – The Personal Statement
2121 Berkeley Way
Classroom 4500
Aug 5 – 9, 2019
(1 week)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$320

2019 High School Course Descriptions

Sourcing from the Self
Instructor: Aryn Faur
June 17 – June 28, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$550

A playful, cross genre writing camp that explores our own lives and passions to craft pieces of flash fiction, poetry, essay, social commentary, and memoir. Students will track their own experiences of childhood as well as looking at the future to delve into writing both as a creative outlet and a way to better understand themselves.

Aryn Faur is a passionate, veteran Berkeley middle school English teacher who lives a double life as an editor of her friends and former classmates. She has taught the BAWP’s young writer’s camp and teen camps for many summers. She also has a stack of her own writing that gets written in between bedtime stories, the 5 minutes her kids are in the bath, and the rare moments her two small children are actually asleep.  She believes in the power of writing to help young people integrate difficult/transformational experiences and to help them craft their own identity.

FULL ! – Flash Fiction
Instructor: Aryn Faur
June 17 – June 28, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
$550

Flash fiction is short! 500-750 words that tell a story. We will practice immersive and craft techniques or exercises borrowed from drama to produce work during and outside of the class, and follow a more in depth workshopping model in which participants question their own text, share it with others, and get feedback from a group setting. We will also explore opportunities for submission/publication.

Aryn Faur is a passionate, veteran Berkeley middle school English teacher who lives a double life as an editor of her friends and former classmates. She has taught the BAWP’s young writer’s camp and teen camps for many summers. She also has a stack of her own writing that gets written in between bedtime stories, the 5 minutes her kids are in the bath, and the rare moments her two small children are actually asleep.  She believes in the power of writing to help young people integrate difficult/transformational experiences and to help them craft their own identity.

College Writing: Exploring Research and Writing
Instructor: Hillary Walker
June 17 – June 28, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$520

This course will tackle one of the most exciting and challenging kinds of writing you will encounter in college: research writing. Explore a topic you are anxious to learn more about (while refining your secondary researching skills), and share your research with others!

Hillary Walker has been teaching Humanities, History and Writing at the middle and high school levels for the past thirteen years.  She a UC Berkeley graduate who is passionate about historical research, journalism and international studies. She currently teaches College Writing and AP English: Language and Composition at Life Academy in Oakland.

Backpack Journalist: 21st century reporting
Instructor: Brian Barr
June 24 – June 28, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$350

Journalism is changing. No longer confined to a newsroom, journalists report from cafes, street corners, and sports venues and all over the world. Hone your skills in this class so that you are ready to report on the go.
In this course we will explore the fundamentals of writing a strong article for the public eye. This includes developing reporting skills by learning to write breaking and hard news stories,  personality profiles, and opinion pieces, such as columns, editorials and reviews.

Brian Barr has taught at California High School in San Ramon for the past 19 years. He teaches freshmen English and runs the school’s newspaper and mock trial programs. He also has coached the men’s golf team at San Ramon Valley High in Danville for the past 15 years. Before becoming a teacher, Brian was a professional journalist for nine years, working as a reporter and sports editor for several daily newspapers in the East Bay and San Joaquin Valley. Brian earned an undergraduate degree in political science from UC San Diego in 1992. He is a 1998 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Modesto.

Sports Writing and Reporting
Instructor: Brian Barr
June 24 – June 28, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
1:00 am – 4:00 pm
$350

Every young sports fan at one point seems to have the ideal job in mind: sports journalist. But a lot more goes into being a sports writer than watching your favorites teams for free.
In this course we will explore the fundamentals of being a sports journalist. This includes writing compelling game stories on a tight deadline, identifying and developing interesting and in-depth athletic profiles, and establishing a unique voice for sports opinion columns.

Brian Barr has taught at California High School in San Ramon for the past 19 years. He teaches freshmen English and runs the school’s newspaper and mock trial programs. He also has coached the men’s golf team at San Ramon Valley High in Danville for the past 15 years. Before becoming a teacher, Brian was a professional journalist for nine years, working as a reporter and sports editor for several daily newspapers in the East Bay and San Joaquin Valley. Brian earned an undergraduate degree in political science from UC San Diego in 1992. He is a 1998 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Modesto.

Poetry and Performance (High School)
Instructor: Kristin Land
July 8 – July 12, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
12:00 pm – 4:30 pm
$340

Do you have a series of poems stashed in your notebook? This course reveals the tools poets use to make a poem burst from the page in timeless wonder. You will gain observational skills and learn literary techniques so you can express yourself in a range of poetic forms. To inspire writing, we will read classic poets such as Nikki Giovanni and Gary Snyder as well as spoken word artists like Kate Hao, Mayda del Valle, and Mark Gonzalez. You will also practice performing dramatic readings of your own poetry. By the end of the week-long workshop, you will walk away with a series of writing exercises to use on your own and resources about where to perform or publish. No previous poetry or performance experience is required.

Kristin Land has taught English literature and composition to high school and college students in the Bay Area for over 17 years. To nurture students’ poetic expression as well as their academic identities, she infuses her writing workshops with performance elements such as 3-minute skits, open mics, art projects, or role-play debates.

Creative Writing for Change: Writing the Story That Needs to be Told
Instructor: Manny Martinez
July 8 – July 26, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$600

“Look at passionate young people from any era and you’ll find impressive catalysts for change.”

Have you ever felt like your story was written for you before you could write it yourself? In this course, you will explore your own truths through creative writing and topics and issues that matter to you. You will be exposed to many ideas through contemporary forms of art, (flash fiction, photos, music, etc) and have the opportunity to reflect on them using the creative writing genre of your choice. During this 3-week course you will also be exposed to Critical Lenses Theory in order to deepen your own stories so that they speak truth to and help dismantle systems that uphold inequity. Now it’s your turn to write the story.

Manny has been a classroom teacher for 9 years and is a proud product of the New York City Public Education system, and a couple of California’s community colleges (SFCC, Evergreen). He received his BA in English from San Jose State and his Masters in Education from Stanford University. He is an avid student of Freire and Emerson and they influence his teaching. Join him this summer!

Introduction to Memoir Writing – Stories from your life
Instructor: Eva Oliver
July 15 – July 25, 2019 (No Fridays)
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$440

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories.” — Anne Lamott

In this writing camp, students will explore their lives and passions to create pieces that cross genre lines and show their TRUE selves. While reflecting on their own life experiences as well as looking into the future, students will write creatively and, ultimately, better understand themselves.

Eva Marie Oliver has been teaching Humanities at Life Academy of Health and Bioscience in Oakland, CA, since January 2011. After earning her BA in English at Sonoma State University (2010) and her credential and MA in Education through UC Berkeley’s MUSE program (2012), Eva has been proud to contribute to the social-justice-oriented and transformative learning space that is Life Academy. Working with Mills Teacher Scholars and the Bay Area Writing Project has enriched her professional experience as an educator in the Bay Area. If not in the classroom, Eva can be found reading, practicing yoga, hiking, or weight lifting.

Reimagining the Book: Finding Ways to Share Your Voice
Instructor: Sarah Trott
July 22 – July 26, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$350

In this workshop, students will discuss the role of books, storytelling, and reading in connecting with others. Participants will engage in daily creative writing exercises (including flash fiction and poetry), learn book-binding techniques, and collaborate on a group zine. Participants will reimagine the purpose of of the book, ultimately creating their own piece of book art.

Sarah Trott teaches high school creative writing and English in Richmond. The author of a book of poetry, Planned (There Press), Sarah studied poetry and book arts at Mills College and writing at USF.  

FULL ! – The Personal Statement: From Zero to Bang! In 5 Days
Instructor: Laury Fischer
August 5 – August 9, 2019
UC Berkeley, Room TBA
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$320

Excited about college, but scared of writing the personal statement for the application? Not sure how to show off your strengths without looking like, well, a show-off? Want to stand out as an individual without coming across as a weirdo? Do you struggle with writing in a way that is clear and coherent, yet innovative and interesting? Then this is the workshop for you. You will walk out of this workshop with a draft of your personal statement for both the Common Ap and the UC insight questions. Just imagine, you could start your senior year with THIS crossed off your “To Do” List!

Laury Fischer has split his teaching career in two: half teaching high school in
Fremont, and the other half at Diablo Valley College where he sort of retired in
2016. In a variety of settings – classrooms, workshops, his friends’ living rooms,
he has been working with students to craft their College Admissions Essay. His
work as a Teacher-Consultant for the Bay Area Writing Project has given him the
opportunity to teach students and teachers in Greece, Japan, the Virgin Islands,
and more recently a class in the College Admissions Essay to students in China.
As Co-Director of BAWP, he was in charge of the inservice, professional
development programs all over the Bay Area. Late at night, he still wonders what
he can do to help the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago White Sox; he still
has hope.

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How to register

We are excited to offer an online payment option for our Teen Writing Camps. Please note that additional credit card and processing fees (of $20) are included in the total online fee. To avoid these additional fees, you can submit payment by check through the mail.  Please email bawp@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Option 1: Register Online with a credit card. Click HERE to pay and register online or click on the title of the course.

Option 2: Download the paper registration form:
2019 Middle School TEEN Registration Packet
2019 High School TEEN Registration Packet (Personal Statement is full)

Email bawp@berkeley.edu if you have any questions or to be placed on the waitlist for any full courses.