December 25, 2011

Duke Young Writers' Camp Review

It's a long time overdue, but here it is.

This camp is not one easily summarized, not just because the classes were great. The inexpressible heat and humidity may have made the environment a bit uncomfortable, but believe me, that is the only bad part.

The environment: Apart from Mother Nature, it was caring, fun, and marvelous. I met people there who I know are life-long friends. The Readers' Forums are a great way to showcase your work with a kind group of fellow writers. It allows you to practice public speaking skills, develop confidence, and afterward, others can talk to you about your writing. It's incredibly helpful.

It has been said that writers are competitive, but you wouldn't know it by looking at this camp. Hours were spent at camp sitting around on the common room floor, writing, editing, peer reviewing, and reading aloud to others. Everyone is eager to help and support each other in writing to the best of their potential.

You get some serious writing done, but there's also quite a bit of fun in free hours. From going to Ninth Street, to activities, to hanging out, there is always something to do!

The lodgings: It's a freshman dorm, but it's honestly not bad. There is air-conditioning--the place is freezing, but you can ask your counsellor to fix it for you. Most campers have one roommate and then everyone is apart of a larger living group of people of their same age and gender. Of course, girls and boys are in different, adjacent dorms, and then younger and older campers are on different floors.

The classes: This is the important one. You must remember to choose your classes wisely, because the classes you take determine how much you get out of this camp. You can change your classes on the second day of camp if they don't work out for you. Just make sure that you pick classes you're interested in.

Once you've done that (which I did), you'll love your classes! I learned a lot from my classes, but it's very important to have an open mind. If you go there thinking that you know everything, or that the class sucks, you won't like the class. However, if you understand that your teacher is a professional editor or writer or whatever else, and you take their advice, and work hard on prompts given to you, then you'll strongly benefit from your classes. I know that I have.

Afterword: I loved my time at Duke Young Writers' Camp, and I'm really hoping to go back this summer. I recommend anyone who's interested in writing and meeting some amazing people to come to camp at Duke University!

Your Writer,


Anonymous said...


glsmile said...

Hi there!

I'm thinking of going to the Young Writer's Workshop at Duke, and was wondering what do you mean by "choose classes"? Do we get to pick? What kinds are there? Is there a requirement?

Thank you! ^_^

Nadia Murti said...

Each session, there are certain classes available. You pick one morning class and one afternoon class. You get to pick whatever course offerings you want! On the DYWC website, there are course listings for each session. Journalism is almost always offered, but besides that, classes for each session differ. There are 8 classes (4 offered in the morning, 4 offered in the afternoon) available only to lower campers, and 8 classes (4 offered in the morning, 4 offered in the afternoon) available only to upper campers.

glsmile said...

Thank you so much! :)

Anonymous said...

Do you have any tips/insight about which classes are good? I have an 8th grader so he would be in lower camp I think.

Nadia Murti said...

I really liked Microfiction, Dark Fiction, and Experimental Fiction, and I heard great things about Slam Poetry.
If Chris Vitiello is the teacher, it'll be the best class your son's ever had! Dan Wales is also a great teacher.