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,

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

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