Creative Writing Camps

Program Overview

Unlike any other creative writing program in the United States, Capitol Debates brings campers a unique interdisciplinary and multifaceted approach to creative writing. Capitol Debate’s creative writing camp lets children learn the basics of constructing original works of literature. Our goal is to give them the information, instruction, and guidance they need to become competent authors in a wide range of literary styles.

Our creative writing camps focus on equipping campers to begin writing their own literature. They learn tried and true techniques while still developing their own voice and style. Students will study the works of great authors, past and present, learn stylistic literary methods, and begin composing their own works.

Writing workshops introduce students to the details of literature. Campers study these details to begin developing skills that will aid them in academia and their future careers.

2017 Rates & Hours

Residential

Tuition: $2,795 – August 20, 2016 to February 1, 2017
$3,095 – February 2, 2017 to March 31, 2017
$3,395 – April 1, 2017 to May 1, 2017 and waitlisted camps
Registration Closes May 1
Tuition includes Room, Board, and Field Trip
Check-In: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. on First Day of Camp
 
Pick-Up 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Last Day of Camp
 
Field Trip: 5th Day of Camp Fun Outing 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Meals: All meals provided except during field trip
Fees: An additional fee of $47.50 is assessed to comply with federal,
state and local government regulations

Commuter

Tuition: $2,395 – August 20, 2016 to February 1, 2017
$2,695 – February 2, 2017 to March 31, 2017
$2,995 – April 1, 2017 to May 1, 2017 and waitlisted camps
Registration Closes May 1
Tuition includes Lunch & Dinner, and Field Trip
Check-In: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. First Day of Camp
8:30 a.m. each Morning
Pick-Up 7:00 p.m. each Evening
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Last Day of Camp
Field Trip: 5th Day of Camp Fun Outing 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Meals: Lunch & Dinner provided except on field trip
Fees: An additional fee of $47.50 is assessed to comply with federal,
state and local government regulations

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    Rest assured that students will get top-notch instruction with the Capitol Debate Guarantee:

  • Low faculty to student ratio – Capitol Debate firmly believes in individualized instruction, which can only happen with small class sizes. We promise an 8:1 student to faculty ratio.
  • Personalized Instruction – Capitol Debate instructors give students hands-on instruction with researching, writing, speaking and organizing. After practice debates, instructors give students lengthy feedback to help them improve their skills.
  • Senior faculty oversee all classes – Unlike other debate camps, Capitol Debate’s instructors have an average of 15 to 30 years of pedagogical experience in the classroom. Many have coached national champions!
  • Practice, Practice, Practice – We make sure students are not just sitting in lectures, but instead are getting up and speaking every day and applying the lessons learned in a small group setting.

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Curriculum

The Craft of Fiction
Plot Construction, Point of View, Setting, Description, Characterization, Dialogue, Language, Style, Balancing Showing and Telling, Theme, Epiphany, Genre Tropes

The Craft of Poetry
Traditional and Free Verse Forms, Voice, Imagery, Metaphor, Simile, Diction, Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Rhyme, Allusion, Structure, Genre, Theme

The Craft of Creative Nonfiction
Journaling, Personal Essay, Humor Writing

The Craft of Playwriting
Script Design, Character Development, Dialogue, Conflict, Setting, Theme, Plot, Monologue, The One-Act Play

The Writing Process
Invention, Idea Development, Drafting, Evaluating, Revising, Editing, Reflecting

The Writers Workshop
Oral and Written Positive and Constructive Feedback from Peers and Instructor

Performance
Techniques ranging from reading their work to slamming a poem!

Great Classic and Contemporary Literature
Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, Suzanne Collins, J.D. Salinger, J.K. Rowling, Lois Lowry, S.E. Hinton, William Golding, John Green, Sherman Alexie, Ann Brashares, Jack London, Sandra Cisneros, Billy Collins, William Carlos Williams, William Shakespeare, Gary Soto, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Sharon Olds, Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, C.S. Lewis, Shirley Jackson…

Creative Writing Camp Activities

  • The Writers Workshop—Your Own Community of Creative Writers!
  • Travel to a New Planet
  • Turn Memories into Literary Magic
  • Tackle Inspirational and Imaginative Writing Prompts
  • Imitation Exercises—What makes J.K. Rowling Tick?
  • Analyze and Share Passages from Your Favorite Books
  • Learn to Read/Perform Original Creative Work
  • Experiment with the Six-Word Memoir, Flash Fiction, Cut-up Poems, Spontaneous Prose, Spoken Word, Concrete Poems, Literary Mashup, Fan Fiction, Spam Lit, Surrealism, Flarf Poetry
  • Zine-Making Studio
  • Poetry Slam
  • Documentary Film: Louder than a Bomb
  • Publish in the Creative Writing Camp Chapbook

We Make Writers Better

Our instructors not only lead students as they learn the underlying principles of creative writing, but they show concrete examples of how to apply them. Their experience, insights, and encouragement provide the springboard from which students grow and improve as authors.

Students will write many works of literature during this program. Each piece they write will be read, analyzed, and appraised by our staff. Students will receive feedback, ask questions, and get specific answers from their instructors. Parents, your child will become a better writer.

Our goal in this class is to give campers the tips, tricks, and technical theories they need to write well, without stifling their natural style.

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Practice & Applications

Similar to debate and public speaking, writing can only be learned by writing. Through examining the art of respected authors, campers will see and hear the styles and techniques of literature.

That is only half the story, however. After seeing what writers wrote, our campers learn how they wrote it. Every approach we teach is tried and applied by the students as they compose works of their own.

Experience in writing is essential to becoming an author. The only way to learn how to write is by writing and writing and writing.

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Schedule

Here is a sample daily schedule for our overnight and commuter camps:

7:30 a.m. – Overnight Campers, rise and shine! We offer an expansive breakfast in the campus dining hall, which includes eggs, pancakes, orange juice, cereal, waffles, yogurt and fruit.

8:30 a.m. – Commuters arrive and sign in at designated location.

8:45 a.m. – Morning Announcements and review of activities for the day.

9:00 a.m. – Skill lessons on areas such as the craft of writing, craft of poetry, craft of playwriting, and the Craft of Fiction

10:00 a.m. – Small group exercises applying the lesson plans including imaginative writing prompts, imitation exercises, sharing passages, Zine Making studio, and turning memories into literary genius.

11:00 a.m. – Elective Course – on different genres of writing.

12:00 p.m. – Lunch in campus dining hall for overnight students and commuters.

1:00 p.m. – Lab time: Hands-on instruction in writing. Students spend time discussing their creative ideas and receiving feedback from instructor.

3:00 pm. – Reading Time – students spend time reading their pieces with the class.

4:30 p.m. – Free time. Join a game of basketball, swim, shoot pool, play foosball, soccer, video games, frisbee or watch TV on the big screen!

5:30 p.m. – Dinner. Buffet dinner for overnight students and commuters.

6:30 p.m. – Guest lecturer: Writing specialists from the Community.

7:30 p.m. – Brainstorming and writing exercises.

9:00 p.m. – High School commuters depart.

9:00 p.m. – Activities in dorm, ice cream socials, movies, and games.

11:00 p.m. – Room check and curfew.

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Locations

Arizona State
June 3 – June 15, 2017

The 2016 university ratings by U.S. News & World Report rank ASU No. 1 among the Most Innovative Schools in America. Arizona State University is the largest public university by enrollment in the U.S. Students get to study at a University known to be a comprehensive knowledge enterprise dedicated to the simultaneous pursuit of excellence, broad access to quality education, and meaningful societal impact.
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The University of Texas at Dallas
June 4 – June 16, 2017

Home of the Cowboys and many of the world’s leading telecommunications companies, Dallas is a metropolitan mecca full of arts, history, sports and culture. Capitol Debate is pleased to offer students the opportunity to attend a 2017 summer debate camp program right here at The University of Texas Dallas.
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Georgia Institute of Technology
June 4 – June 16, 2017

Students can spend part of their summer at a nationally ranked, top 10 public university (according to U.S. News and World Report) by attending Capitol Debate’s 2017 summer camp program at the Georgia Institute of Technology!2017
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University of Houston
June 4 – June 16, 2017

Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city and the energy capital of the world. Founded in 1927, the University of Houston is the leading public research university in the vibrant international city of Houston.
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UNLV
June 17 – June 29, 2017

Noted for its strong emphasis on science and technology, business management, and the law programs, the university is classified a “research ­intensive university” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Capitol Debate students will get the chance to study at a University that promotes community well­being and individual achievement through education, research, scholarship, and creative activities.
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San Jose State University
June 17 – June 29, 2017

The oldest public school of higher education in California, SJSU was designed in the Spanish Revival style with influences from Gothic, Renaissance Revival, and Modern, reflecting the rich diversity found in San Jose. History, technology, beautiful landscapes are abundant at one of Capitol Debate’s summer camp locations, San Jose State University.
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Austin, TX
June 18 – June 30, 2017

Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, Austin is the capital of the state of Texas. The city dates back to the 1830s, when the first settlers arrived in the area. The City is named for Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas.” Austin is an incredible place to live, learn, and play, and Capitol Debate campers will love the opportunity they have to study in this wonderful city.
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Miami, FL
June 18 – June 30, 2017

Originally founded in 1896, Miami is one of the world’s most popular locations. It is the principal, central, and most populous of its metropolitan area and part of the second-most populous metropolis in the southeastern United States.Once ranked as “America’s Cleanest City”, Miami today is a colorful, cosmopolitan city. Capitol Debate campers will love studying in the sunny climate and natural beauty of Miami, Florida.
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University of San Diego
June 18 – June 30, 2017

Our west coast students will study and live at the University of San Diego. The campus is situated five miles inland, on the edge of a canyon, a short drive from La Jolla, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and Point Loma. It has been ranked among the Princeton Review’s Top 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses. The weather is absolutely perfect during the summer!
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University of North Carolina
June 18 – June 30, 2017

We are excited to announce the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as one of its locations for the summer of 2017. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is renowned for its beauty and strong academic culture and we are sure that every student will have a memorable camp experience.
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University of British Columbia
July 1 – July 13, 2017

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Like Capitol Debate, UBC has embraced innovation and encourages students, staff and faculty to lead discovery and explore new ways of learning with the goal of developing leaders with ideas that can change the world. Capitol Debate Campers will love studying at university that has educated seven Nobel Prize winners and three prime ministers.
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Washington University
July 1 – July 13, 2017

Washington University is a private research university located in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Founded in 1853, and named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries and Twenty-five Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with the University. Capitol Debate campers will enjoy learning valuable life skills at this historic University.
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Seton Hall University, NJ
July 1 – July 13, 2017

Seton Hall is located 14 miles southwest of New York City on 58 green acres in the Village of South Orange, New Jersey. It lies at the foot of South Mountain, the first elevation west of New York City, and the height from which George Washington surveyed his troops during the Battle of Connecticut Farms.
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University of Central Florida
July 2 – July 14, 2017

The University of Central Florida, founded in 1963, is the second-largest university in the nation. Capitol Debate campers will thoroughly enjoy this 1,415 acre campus. Their instruction in debate and the time they will spend in beautiful Orlando, Florida will be unmatched.
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Marymount University
July 2 – July 14, 2017

Founded in 1950, Marymount is a comprehensive University that emphasizes intellectual curiosity, service to others, and a global perspective. Like Capitol Debate, a Marymount education promotes career preparation, and provides opportunities for personal and professional growth. Capitol Debate campers will enjoy studying near our nation’s capitol in a student‐centered learning community that values diversity and focuses on the intellectual, ethical development of each camper.
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California State University, Fullerton
July 2 – July 14, 2017

The beautiful, 236-acre campus at California State University, Fullerton set in north Orange County is a major university with a main campus, a picturesque 26-acre Arboretum and student residence halls. Capitol Debate is pleased to offer California State University, Fullerton as one of our three California locations in 2017.
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Villanova University, PA
July 2 – July 14, 2017

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in history or enjoy local arts and culture, can you can find both near Villanova University, one of Capitol Debate’s summer camp locations for 2017.
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Portland, OR
July 16 – July 28, 2017

Portland is located in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest. It is the 28th most populous city in the United States and ranks as the 8th most popular American city, based on where people want to live. Portland is frequently recognized as one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world because of its high walkability, large community of bicyclists, farm-­to-­table dining, expansive network of public transportation options, and 10,000+ acres of public parks. Capitol Debate students will love studying in this beautiful, picturesque town in America’s gorgeous Northwest.
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Drew University
July 16 – July 28, 2017

Drew University is a private university located in Madison, New Jersey, in the United States. Drew has been nicknamed the “University in the Forest” because of the serenity of its beautiful wooded 186­acre campus in a thriving small town close to New York City. Dedicated to exceptional faculty mentorship, a commitment to connecting the campus with the community and a focus on learning, Capitol Debate campers will get a great education in an amazing setting at Drew University this summer.
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University of Denver
July 16 – July 28, 2017

Founded in 1864, The University of Denver is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States. The 125 ­acre main campus is a designated arboretum and is located primarily about seven miles south of downtown Denver. With a stunning campus set against the background of the snowcapped Rockies Capitol Debate campers will enjoy an amazing experience at our Denver University camp.
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Loyola University Chicago
July 16 – July 28, 2017

Easily accessible for our Chicago students, Loyola University Chicago is renowned for its educational spirit and we are sure that every student will have a memorable camp experience at this incredible location. It is currently (2014) ranked number 101 among national universities.
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Loyola University Maryland
July 16 – July 28, 2017

Students at our debate camps stay in Loyola’s dormitories and have access to extensive academic and athletic resources. Loyola’s beautiful campus sets on 79 acres in a northern Baltimore suburb. Debate students live in apartment-style dorms, dubbed “palaces” by The Princeton Review, with private bathrooms, living areas, dining rooms, and kitchens.
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Kean University
July 29 – August 10, 2017

With a rich history in higher education that spans over 150 years since its founding in 1855, Kean University is a world-class, vibrant and diverse university. Kean distinguishes itself through excellence in academics, a commitment to the success of every student, and a dedication to preparing students for rewarding careers, lifelong learning, and fulfilling lives. Capitol Debate campers will love studying at this beautiful University in New Jersey.
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American University
July 30 – August 11, 2017

Chartered by an Act of Congress on February 24, 1893 as “The American University,” and approved by President Benjamin Harrison, American University is currently ranked in the top 10 in the world for both Graduate and Undergraduate programs.
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Iona College, New York
July 30 – August 11, 2017

Join Capitol Debate near “the city that never sleeps” during our 2017 summer camp program! We’re pleased to bring our nationally recognized debate program to Iona College, located in the vibrant college town of New Rochelle, N.Y., just 20 miles from midtown Manhattan.
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Seattle University, WA
July 30 – August 11, 2017

We’re excited to offer several west coast locations for our 2017 summer camp programs, including Seattle, Washington. Capitol Debate’s summer camp is located in a thriving neighborhood in Seattle, easily accessible from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and through Amtrak, light rail and bus.
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Not yet ready to sign up?
That’s ok!

We know when it comes to your sending your loved ones to camp you want to make sure they are safe and cared for. Here at Capitol Debate we take pride in providing a safe, fun & educational environment that you can feel great about and that your children will love. We would love to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

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Cancellation Policy: All payments are nonrefundable. Should cancellation be necessary, a Capitol Debate account credit for the tuition only will be provided for use up to 1 year from the final date of the program originally purchased. All requests for cancellation must be made in writing and be sent electronically to team@capitoldebate.com. Any request for cancellation must be made prior to the closing date for registration for your program. Any and all payments made towards additional add-on packages (including but not limited to snack packs and residential packs) are non-refundable and are non-creditable. Should cancellation be necessary, all payments made towards add-ons will be retained as non-refundable. Any and all payments made toward additional fees (including but not limited to the Safety and Compliance Fee) are non-refundable and non-creditable. Should cancellation be necessary, all payments made towards additional fees will be retained as non-refundable. Cancellations received on or after the closing date for registration for the program you have purchased will follow the sliding schedule below for application of credit to your Capitol Debate account.
Cancellations within the policy will be credited as follows:
  • After Closing Date for Registration | 85% credit
  • 30 – 22 days before start date | 70% credit
  • 21 – 8 days before start date | 60% credit
  • 7 – 4 days before start date | 50% credit
  • 3 – 1 day before start date | 25% credit
  • No Show | 0 credit
Trip / Cancellation Insurance: Trip and/or Cancellation Insurance can be purchased through a 3rd party provider such as www.aplusplans.com or www.insuremytrip.com. Plans range in cost from $20 to $285 and can protect your investment in various ways from lost luggage or missed connection compensation to cancellation for any reason with 70% – 100% refund options. Most plans require enrollment on or before the final payment is made for your trip so please be sure to look into these available options today.
For more information about Capitol Debate’s policies, terms and conditions of registration, please see our Terms, Policies, and Conditions page.