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.

Rates & Hours


Rates: $2,695 Aug 16th – Feb 1st
$2,995 Feb 2nd – April 15th
$3,395 April 16th – May 1st or when camp goes to waitlist
Registration Closes May 1
Rates includes Tuition, Room and Board
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 Trips: 3rd Day of Camp Movie Trip 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
5th Day of Camp Amusement Park Trip 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.
*Field Trips Included in $100 Activity Fee.
Meals: All meals provided
except on field trips


Rates: $2,295 Aug 16th – Feb 1st
$2,595 Feb 2nd – April 15th
$2,995 April 16th – May 1st or when camp goes to waitlist
Registration Closes May 1
Rates includes Tuition, Lunch & Dinner
Check-In: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. First Day of Camp
8:30 a.m. each Morning
Pick-Up 8:00 p.m. each Evening
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Last Day of Camp
Field Trips: 3rd Day of Camp Movie Trip 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
5th Day of Camp Amusement Park Trip 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.
*Field Trips Included in $100 Activity Fee.
Meals: Lunch & Dinner provided
except on field trips
    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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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

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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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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Georgia Institute of Technology
June 5 – June 17, 2016

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 2016 summer camp program at the Georgia Institute of Technology – a new location for 2016!

Register Now
Request Information

San Jose State University
June 18 – June 30, 2016

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 new summer camp locations, San Jose State University.

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Loyola University Maryland
July 17 – July 29, 2016

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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Seattle University, WA
July 31 – August 12, 2016

We’re excited to offer several new, west coast locations for our 2016 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, full credit will be provided up to 1 year from the date of the event, if written notice of cancellation is provided prior to May 1st. Any add-ons and activity fees paid cannot be refunded and are non-transferrable. Cancellations received on or after May 1st must also be made in writing and will follow the below schedule for applicable credit to your account.

Cancellations within the policy will be credited as follows:
  • After May 1 | 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 or 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.