Inkstains Youth Writing Camps

Middle and high school writers experience the support of camp teachers and peers when they attend the Inkstains Summer Writing Camp. 

For more information please contact: Inkstains or contact Kimberly Pavlock, Youth and Family Literacy Programs Coordinator, kpavlock@emich.edu

Why A Writer’s Camp?

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.” —Willa Cather


• Writing camp is 9 a.m., awakening, inspired by the bustle-hustle of the Eastern Michigan University campus, watching, thinking, composing, being.


• It’s walking across campus, writer’s  notebook in one hand, pen in the other, the writer’s eye seeking stories in tattered backpacks, crows, squirrels, and new faces; connecting lives and memories, building stories in a twenty-minute stroll.


• It’s paddling an imaginary raft down the whitest water that the mind can conjure, big rapids, hydraulic slips and holes, dreaming adventure scenes for the stories of tomorrow.


• Writing camp is bringing out the hip hop rhythms, the beat, the rhyme, the tale, laughing and crying at the same time. It’s what poetry was or meant to do.


• It’s surprising yourself with ideas, opinions, and the power of words.


“A writer has a facility with words. A good writer can also think.” — Cynthia Ozick




What happens at Inkstains?


  • Camp runs for one week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday—Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday.
  • Student writers are grouped with their peers: middle school (incoming grades 6-9) and high school (incoming grades 9-12).
  • They have time to write, revise, and share their writing with each other and with camp teachers.
  • They write in a variety of genres, selecting a piece to be published in the camp anthology.
  • Published authors visit and share their craft with the student writers.
  • Participants have access to EMU’s campus and facilities for stimulating and thought-provoking experiences.
  • Student writers receive a hard-bound writing journal for writing a t-shirt, and a copy of the anthology with select writings from the week.

Inkstains Testimonial


Inkstains Writing Camp has given me the confidence to be true to myself as a writer, and I think I can speak for past, present, and future campers when I say that I've become much more enthusiastic about sharing my work with the world. Since I started coming to camp, I have written four produced one-act plays for my high school, and I don't plan on stopping there. The confidence that this camp has given to us has not only helped us all as writers, but as people, too.

—Maddie Fyke, Inkstains Alumni


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Kimberly Pavlock,
Jan 10, 2017, 5:39 PM