Young Writer's Workshop

Young Writers Picture

July 13-18, 2014

Join a coeducational writing community of intellectually curious and motivated high school students to develop your talents in poetry, fiction, playwriting and creative nonfiction. The Young Writer's Workshop is designed as a weeklong residential program.

You will:

  • Receive personal instruction and critique from professional writers in several genres of writing: poetry, fiction, playwriting and creative nonfiction
  • Learn techniques that help writers recognize strengths, potential and avenues for successful writing, editing and publishing
  • Discover new ways to write about and empower your own life


Rising 10th -- 12th grade

Admission is selective and is based primarily on the student’s application, writing sample and teacher recommendations.

The Program

The faculty, staff and guest writers of the Young Writer's Workshop will conduct seminars and panels geared to a range of interests. Participants will sharpen their writing skills through daily critique sessions led by professional writers, and through writing workshops, craft discussions, panels and readings. A limited, selective enrollment will ensure that participants receive personalized instruction.


$675 – Early-bird tuition (applications received by April 16)
$775 – Regular tuition

Tuition covers residence hall accommodations, all meals, materials and on-campus activities.
A limited number of need-based scholarships up to $200 are available.

The Faculty

Sarah Gray is a fiction writer living in Greer, SC. She received her MFA in creative writing with a concentration in fiction from Converse College. Her work has been published in Concept, and she is currently working on a novel-length piece. She is the co-founder and editor of the online literary magazine, South85. This will be her second year serving as director of the Young Writer’s Workshop at Converse College.

Linda Holden received her MLA in English from Converse. She has taught poetry for the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities for the past three years. She is also a teacher and consultant to the Spartanburg Writing Project and the Teen Writing Program. Her work has appeared in The South Carolina Review, Passenger, Upcountry Review and Prickly Pear. One of Holden’s poems was recently performed in Stepsisters: A Poetic dialogue on Race and Womanhood. She was poetry editor for the 2011 edition of the literary magazine, Emrys Journal.

Lyn Riddle began her journalism career on the high desert of Wyoming. It looked like the moon, a rough-and-tumble place that lured thousands of workers to build a huge coal-fired generating plant by day and wreak havoc by night. Political corruption came next. A reporter's paradise. She worked cityside for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner with a cigar-smoking city editor in a rumpled shirt, gray pants and a clip-on tie who demanded precision in reporting and classy writing. Jobs as a staff writer and an editor on the city desk and state desk with the Greenville Piedmont and The Greenville News came next. Fifteen years of freelance writing followed for publications such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and Readers Digest. Riddle yearned to write stories that would make a difference in her hometown - Greenville - and went back to The Greenville News as projects editor then city editor. She took the job of editor of the Greenville Journal in October 2004 because she believes community-based stories will be the salvation of newspapers. In the years since, she and her staff spearheaded the development of the Spartanburg Journal and a specialized newspaper website She is the author of four non-fiction books and teaches journalism at Furman and Converse. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Converse.

Additional faculty and guests will be added to the program.


April 16          Early-bird application due for $100 discount on tuition
April  23         Early-bird applicants notified of acceptance
April 30          Early-bird non-refundable deposit of $100 due
May 15           Regular application deadline
May  22          Regular applicants notified of acceptance
May 31           Non-refundable $100 deposit due for regular applicants
June 16          Final tuition balance due for all applicants

How to Apply

Download and mail completed application (PDF) with additional materials and payment to the address below. Make checks payable to Converse College.

Sarah Gray, Director of the Young Writers Workshop
580 East Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29302

Creative Writing at Converse

Converse has a unique and vibrant history of developing writers. Our undergraduate program is complemented by a new low-residency MFA in creative writing that boasts a faculty of top national poets, fiction and non-fiction writers. Converse graduates have attained national critical acclaim for their work as professional writers of poetry and fiction. These graduates include Poet Laureate of Vermont Ellen Bryant Voigt, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Julia Mood Peterkin, the only South Carolinian to win the Pulitzer Prize. With the support of our faculty, recent Converse students have been honored with distinguished national awards such as The Bucknell Fellowship for Younger Poets, The Stony Brook Short Fiction Prize, and The Hub City Writing Awards. Recent graduates have continued their writing studies at some of our nation’s finest graduate writing programs including Brown University, Emerson College, The University of Pittsburgh and the University of Massachusetts.

For more information, contact:

Sarah Gray, Director of the Young Writer's Workshop