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Camp Full: Hogwarts Academy (July 22 – July 26)

July 22 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

This camp is NOW FULL, please contact office@wab.org to be added to the waiting list. (ALL DAY: for ages 8-13) Immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter as we turn all of Writers & Books into Hogwarts! Throughout the week students will have the chance to attend classes in Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Charms, Trans guration, Divination, History of Magic, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, and much more! Hands-on activities will be accompanied by creative writing exercises…

CAMP FULL: Dumbledore’s Army (July 22 – July 26)

July 22 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 14+) Are you considering a career as an auror? Do you look up to the members of the Order of the Phoenix? Do you wish you had more opportunities to gather with like-minded wizards and witches? We will begin each day in the Great Hall with all the Hogwarts students for a large group activity, then we will disappear into the Room of Requirement for serious studies. Activities and advanced areas of study will include: Wands,…

¡Bienvenidos! Fun with Spanish (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 5-7) If you want to explore the Spanish language in a fun and creative way, this is the camp for you! We will learn the language through songs, games, stories, outdoor play, and multimedia. In addition, a walking field trip to the public market will help us learn and review our colors and food words in a real-world environment. This week-long experience with Spanish promises great excitement. Families will be invited to a final fiesta on the…

Supernatural Shakespeare (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 8-11) Calling young thespians! We’ll spend the week walking into the world of William Shakespeare, with special focus on his use of the supernatural in his plays. We’ll explore his life and times and learn the secrets to his use of language. We’ll play theatre games, peek into some of his otherworldly plots and characters, and even learn how to ward off the curse of The Scottish Play! Come, let’s cook up some chaos, incite some sibling…

Your Incredible Illustrated Story (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 10-13) What do you want to say? In this exciting collaboration between Writers & Books and the Creative Workshop at the Memorial Art Gallery, you’ll create your own fantastically illustrated and self-written story while learning from master teaching artists: a writer and a visual artist. You’ll learn the tools of the trade—how to illustrate an idea, choose a fitting style, and draw things you don’t know how to draw—and learn the basics of plot, character, and…

Where’s Walden? (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 9-12) Summertime, sunshine, green rolling hills, wildlife, and you! Spend a week communing with the writer within you at our retreat in the Bristol Hills. Explore with professional writers and naturalists along the Finger Lakes Trail as you learn the art of observation. Try your hand at a variety of natural arts activities, both ancient and modern. Create field journals in which to sketch and write stories, dramatic monologues, and poems probing the past, present, and…

Outdoor Writer (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 13-16) Summertime, sunshine, green rolling hills, wildlife, and you! Spend a week communing with the writer within you at our retreat in the Bristol Hills. Explore with professional writers and naturalists along the Finger Lakes Trail as you learn the art of observation. Try your hand at a variety of natural arts activities, both ancient and modern. Create field journals in which to sketch and write stories, dramatic monologues, and poems probing the past, present, and…

Novel Tools (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 12-15) Whether you aspire to write fantasy, science fiction, historical, or contemporary realist novels, you’ll want to develop the skills and discover the tools that successful novelists use to bring their stories to life from intriguing beginnings to satisfying conclusions. We will focus on choosing point of view; developing complex characters, compelling setting, and atmosphere; and creating and sustaining interest through conflicts with important stakes, suspense, and surprise. We will also look at the use of dialogue…

Celebrating our Stories: A Workshop for LGBTQ+ Teens and Allies (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 14+) Together, we’ll create a safe and fun space to share LGBTQ+ stories, poetry, and songs. We'll learn about the craft of writing and storytelling and write our own stories about love, gender, friendship, family, coming out, and other joys and struggles of queerness in our lives. And we'll celebrate growing up "different." Come learn more about writing, meet new friends, write the stories you've always wanted to write, tell your truth, and be yourself.

Fairy Tales Around the World (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 5-7) Wish you could travel around the world? At Writers & Books you can! Come listen to stories and poems from cultures near and far—we’ll read fairy tales from various cultures ranging from Europe to Africa to Asia! Each day we will explore and experience a bit of different cultures, do crafts, and even learn words from different languages! This class will allow for us to celebrate diversity while exploring literature and discovering the details of different…

Fairytale Heroines (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 14+) We’ve all learned about Sleepy Snow White and Drowsy Sleeping Beauty. But fairytales worldwide feature heroines with a little more oomph who were much less likely to doze off at inopportune times. In this camp students will explore fairytale heroines and discuss new ways to look at some of the classics we’ve read since we were just little kids. Students will work together to create a book of their very own modern fairy tales with a…

Meet the Magic Dragon (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 7-9) This camp is not about dragons, it is about writing, artwork, and trying to get published! Are you a serious writer or artist who would like to see your work in print? This camp provides a real opportunity for advanced students to have work considered for publication in The Magic Dragon, an award-winning, local art and literary magazine for young people. Each student will receive a complimentary copy of The Magic Dragon to see first-hand examples…

Find a Mystery (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 8-11) There’s something mysterious about Writers & Books. Was the building designed by a man who talked to ghosts? Where does the staircase go and what’s with the little door at the top? What happened to the cracker I left on the mantel last month? It’s a mystery! Whether your favorite sleuth is Nancy Drew or Herculeah Jones, Dink Duncan or Encyclopedia Brown, you’re sure to get a chance to follow their lead: something mysterious is always…

Live From Writers & Books: Comedy Writing and Performance (July 29 – August 2)

July 29 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 12-15) Have you ever seen a comedy sketch, or short comedy play, or a stand-up comedy routine and thought, “That looks like fun”? It is fun, and now you can try it at SummerWrite! In “Live from Writers & Books,” students will be given a brief introduction to different types of live comedic performance and learn different techniques to add humor to their writing. Students will have an opportunity to write and to try out stand up…

Comedy Improv (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 11-13) Have you ever seen the television show Whose Line is It Anyway? and thought, “I’d like to do that!” Here’s your chance! Comedy improvisation is the art of acting without a script. You will try many theatre games, sometimes plugging in audience suggestions, with the result being at best hilarious and at the least entertaining. In this experiential camp, students will learn the craft of comedy improvisation through playing warm-up and group-building games, and finally the…

“Little House” Hands-On Pioneers (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 5-7) If you are a fan of the Little House Books or TV show, you’ve probably wondered what it would be like to live long ago. Maybe you’ve even wondered what kids in the future will think was interesting about your life as a kid today. We’ll engage in some of the activities Laura Ingalls Wilder describes: churning butter, making a button lamp, sewing, and pulling taffy! We’re pretty much going to make a mess and something…

CLASS FULL: Poetry, Pottery, and Paper (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

This class is full. Please do not register for this class. As alternatives, you may be interested in My Name in Print (July 15-19) or My Idea Book (August 19 -23)! (ALL DAY: for ages 8-11) In this collaboration between Writers & Books and the Flower City Arts Center, you’ll have a unique opportunity to merge visual arts with creative writing. You will use a press mold to create a ceramic book, write pottery-inspired poems, interview real artists, make paper,…

CAMP FULL: Build-A-Book (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

This camp is full. Check out our classes for 11-13 year-olds during August 5-9: Comedy Improv, Write a Short Play! (ALL DAY: for ages 10-13) So you want to write a book, but you need a plan? Learn how to plot a book chapter by chapter, taking your great idea and turning it into a juicy plot! Observe how ordinary people and places can help you bring your book’s characters to life and become heroes and villains while on our…

College Essay Prep (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for rising seniors) Senior year is approaching and college-bound students can get an early start on their Common Application personal essay. Students may be asking themselves, “Where do I start? How can I make this essay the best it can be?” This workshop offers students a supportive, creative, and fun environment in which students can draft their Common App essay with the help of a professional writer and journalist. Students will leave with a full, edited draft of their…

Songwriter’s Workshop (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for teens) NOTE: Camp meets at Rochester Contemporary School of Music, The Old Pickle Factory Building, 1 Grove Street, Suite 122A, Pittsford, NY 14534 Do you constantly have a tune playing in your head? Are you always listening to music? Do you wish you could write your own songs, like your favorite artists? Well, now you can! Under the guidance of professional songwriters, musicians, and poets, you will be led through the creative process of writing your own…

Magic Tree House Adventure Club (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 5-7) Take part in wonderful adventures from the Magic Tree House series. Join Annie and Jack as they solve problems, help people, and travel around the world and through time. Through our exploration of the Magic Tree House books, we might visit China, the Swiss Alps, or the Australian Outback! We’ll even find out about the great Houdini and learn magic tricks to amaze our friends. Like Annie and Jack, we will learn about the animals and…

Write a Short Play! (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 11-13) Do you love theatre? Have you always wanted to write your own play? Then this camp is for you! Through theatre games and writing exercises, we will learn how to tell a story meant for the stage. Our own 5-10 minute plays will be presented in a staged reading for friends and families on Friday. Come prepared to play and write!

Teen Comedy Improv (August 5 – August 9)

August 5 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for teens) Have you ever seen the television show Whose Line is It Anyway? and thought, “I’d like to do that!” Here’s your chance! Comedy improvisation is the art of acting without a script. You will try many theatre games, sometimes plugging in audience suggestions, with the result being at best hilarious and at the least entertaining. In this experiential camp, students will learn the craft of comedy improvisation through playing warm-up and group-building games, and finally the improv…

Stories to Grow On (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 5-7) Get to know...YOU, through the great world of books. Stories can help us to take a closer look at our own thoughts and feelings and to appreciate moments of joy and face moments of challenge. We’ll read stories together as a group, create art, and use creative movement to understand and express our emotions more effectively. We will apply themes from the Elmer book series to gain a greater appreciation for our own uniqueness, harness the…

Flash Your Fiction (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 8-11) Flash fiction is a very short form of story writing. Every word is essential. These stories have all the parts: character, setting, and plot but in a nutshell. We’ll learn to hook the reader and then, through an unexpected twist, leave the reader wanting more. In writing our own pieces, we’ll analyze the power of words and learn what is and isn’t necessary for a good story. Editing will be a key component, as will feedback…

Hike & Write! (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 10-13) In this camp students will express themselves in writing, using nature as a unique source of inspiration! We will travel outdoors to explore, observe, record, and discuss all that nature has to offer. In addition to exploring the local neighborhood, we might take a city bus excursion to Highland Park, Pinnacle Hill, and/or Cobbs Hill to see Rochester in a new light, so put on your hiking shoes! And we will also travel indoors to Writers…

Writing with Light (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 12-14) The word photography literally means “writing with light.” Combine the magic of film-based photography with the power of your words. Using a 35mm film camera (provided) and a pen and notebook, you will explore the uniqueness of the Neighborhood of the Arts. There will be opportunities to photograph and write about outdoor art such as wall murals and sculptures, the interior and exterior details of the many historic buildings, and the gardens and natural areas.…

Writing with the Hermit Crab (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 14+) Hermit crab?! What does this creature have to do with creative writing?! Just as the hermit crab finds a new home in a shell that once belonged to another animal, writing of any genre (poetry, fiction, nonfiction) can find a home in different shaped “shells” or forms. In this camp, students will use alternative structures to explore their ideas—for example, a dictionary entry for grief that explores a writer’s loss, or a soundtrack that explores a…

Leap Into Poetry (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: ages 5-7) Rhythm, rhyme, bright descriptions, thoughtful words! Studying poetry can inspire children to love language, help build literacy, and deepen empathy. By reading aloud as a group and studying poetry, children will learn how to express their emotions. We will explore poems for children by a range of authors and experiences—like Nikki Grimes, David McCord, A.A. Milne, William Blake, and Maya Angelou—that inspire children to love poetry. We’ll write our own poems together as a group to help…

Gods, Heroes, and Beasts: Fabulous Mythic Theatre (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 8-11) Come on a journey to explore the larger than life, super-powered gods, heroes, and beasts of many cultures such as Celtic, Eastern Indian, Norse, African, and Asian. We will share stories from Korwin Briggs’ Gods and Heroes and enjoy flipping through the Myth Match: A Fantastical Flipbook of Extraordinary Beasts. Learn about dialogue and story line. With your team make your mythic characters come alive through their words and actions. Create a humorous or melodramatic skit…

Teen Playwriting Workshop (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for teens) We all know and love Young Adult novels, but where are the plays featuring strong teenage protagonists? This class hopes to fill the void! We’ll read scenes from contemporary plays that feature compelling teen characters, and talk about how to write dramatic structure, engaging dialogue, and perception shifts. Whether you’re drawn to realism or dystopian fantasy, this class will give you the theatrical tools to write your own original YA-centric play.

Writing a Fiction Series (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 10-13) What could be better than seeing your favorite series stretching out along the library shelf, going on and on? What could beat the thrill of a favorite author releasing a new novel? How about writing your own serial adventure? Whether you want to build on a favorite series or create your own fiction franchise, you’ll write a complete episode of your own! We will start with strong beginnings that hook and ground the reader, and consider…

Citizens: A Conversation on Race, Identity, & Democracy (August 12 – August 16)

August 12 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 14+) Using Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric, which recounts acts of racism in lyrical prose poems, as a jumping off point, we will engage in discussion and writing around racial, identity, and social justice issues. We will examine the question of what makes a person the “other.” Through open, ongoing dialogue and an arts process students will create original stories of everyday encounters with nuances of racism and identity, to facilitate a healing dialogue. An…

Produce a 90-Second Newbery Film (August 19 – August 23)

August 19 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 13-16) NOTE: Meets at RCTV, 21 Gorham Street Over the course of this week-long camp, students transform into cast and crew to make their own short movie based on a Newbery Medal-winning book. You will learn how to run cameras, set up lights, operate audio equipment, direct, and edit. Oh, and did we mention you’ll be the writers and stars of the movie too? We’ll have a red carpet premiere for friends and family on Friday…

Writing Characters: Heroes, Villains, and Everybody In Between (August 19 – August 23)

August 19 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 14+) What makes Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, or Twilight’s Bella and Edward so real and beloved? Bringing characters to life in words can feel almost magical. We'll create some of that magic through fun exercises, discussions, videos, and lots of writing. You’ll learn to develop unique, dynamic, and passionate characters from the inside out, making them as vivid as your best friend or worst enemy and able to connect with your readers like never before.

Percy Jackson’s Magic Pen (August 19 – August 23)

August 19 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 9-12) Percy Jackson is mighty with his sword; his creator, Rick Riordan, is mighty with his pen. Try the writing methods Riordan used to weave a siren spell on you! Prepare by reading the first book of the series, The Lightning Thief. We will mine it for models of how to develop vivid characters, of how to hold readers across chapter breaks, and of the benefits of borrowing story elements from past literature. We’ll craft vivid…

Deaf Lens: A Filmmaking Workshop (August 19 – August 30)

August 19 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 10-15) ‘As luck would have it, ASL is a language of moving pictures’ - Kenny Lerner & Peter Cook, The Flying Words Project Calling would-be filmmakers! In this two-week-long camp, Deaf and hard of hearing campers get an incredible opportunity to create your own short films! Under the careful guidance of seasoned filmmakers who sign in American Sign Language, students will create shot lists and schedules, direct five-minute short films using mural art field trips as…

I Wonder: Exploring Eternal Questions (August 19 – August 23)

August 19 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 12-14) Do you enjoy arguing . . . in defense of your ideas? Are you endlessly curious? What about searching for what lies beneath the surface? If so, this is the camp for you! Become a modern- day philosopher, learning how to debate and write creatively. Your personal journal will help capture your impressions and refine your philosophy. Class activities include invigorating discussions, meaningful writing prompts, all in an agora-like setting like ancient Greece. Our experience…

My Idea Book (August 19 – August 23)

August 19 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: ages 8-11) Artists carry sketchbooks to capture ideas with drawings. Writers carry journals to capture thoughts and experiences with words. In this camp, we will gather pictures and words in our own special “idea books” in order to explore ways in which art and words can work together. We will take walks in the neighborhood and visit the Memorial Art Gallery to capture images in sketches and words. We will experiment with both illustration and writing by trying different…

It’s Alive! Frankenstein and Sci-Fi (August 19 – August 23)

August 19 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 14+) Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley in a competition with her husband and a friend to write the best horror story, is an early example of science fiction and, some have argued, the first true science fiction story. In this camp, we will use Frankenstein as a springboard to discuss the science fiction genre and to consider the consequences and controversies surrounding certain scientific advancements. Through readings, discussion, activities, and writing exercises, the class will also contemplate…

Heroes of Social Justice (August 19 – August 23)

August 19 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 8-11) Last year, 2018 marked the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass, and here in Rochester we will continue to honor his legacy. This camp will celebrate heroes around the world who stand up for justice and freedom. We will learn about local heroes in our history like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, as well as today’s heroes and innovators such as refugee and Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini, human rights activist Yeonmi Pak, and more! You will…

What is the World Coming To?! Exploring Dystopian Lit (August 26 – August 30)

August 26 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: ages 12-14) A dystopia is an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, but is it really just imagined – or do we currently live in a dystopian society? In this camp, we will discuss the background and history of the genre of dystopian fiction with special attention to the classic dystopian novel 1984. Through readings, discussion, movie clips, and writing exercises, this class will explore how fictional dystopian worlds share characteristics with and…

Create a Modern Day Radio Drama (August 26 – August 30)

August 26 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(ALL DAY: for ages 12+) NOTE: Meets at RCTV, 21 Gorham Street Imagine if the Twilight Zone or War of the Worlds was on the air today. In this weeklong camp, students will write and produce a thrilling audio play. Students will work together to create a riveting script, learn voice techniques, create sound effects that heighten the mood, and utilize audio production equipment to perform their creation live at the end of the week on 100.9 FM, WXIR. This…

Your Own Graphic Novel (August 26 – August 30)

August 26 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 14+) Are you a comics or manga fan eager to tell your own stories combining words and pictures? Together we’ll explore how to write a dynamic and visual plot, create compelling characters, script lifelike dialogue, and conceive action-oriented illustrations that leap to life on the page. No matter what your writing or drawing skill-level, you’ll unleash new superpowers as you create your very own awesome mini-comic or manga.

Kitabu* Kingdom! (August 26 – August 30)

August 26 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(MORNINGS: for ages 8-11) Books, books, books, and more books! We will read—in the classroom, outside under a tree, nestled in a cozy corner. We’ll read with a community of readers, we’ll pick favorite passages to share aloud, we’ll listen, and we’ll discuss our own very favorite books. What makes a book compelling? What draws you in and keeps you returning for more? We’ll explore these questions through writing our observations and participating in group activities. Come prepared with a…

Percy Jackson’s Greek Myth Readers Theatre (August 26 – August 30)

August 26 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 8-11) When New York middle school student Percy Jackson finds out he is a Demi-god, the Greek myths come alive in a way he would never have imagined! We’ll explore his adventures, and learn about Greek gods, heroes, and modern-day Demi-god heroes along the way. You’ll get to create your own hero and act out brief role-plays based on the adventures of Demi-god heroes. With your team, you’ll practice a reader’s theatre skit based on a chapter…

Uncanny Flash Fiction: Sinister Utopias and Magical Mega-Cities (August 26 – August 30)

August 26 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 14+) What if hackers used magic? Or ghosts explored space? Maybe aliens have already come to Earth but live inside our smartphones. Some worlds are stranger—and faster—than others. In this class we’ll take fantasy and sci-fi world-building to a new level by combining it with flash fiction. Students will craft short works of uncanny fiction through a series of simple and exciting writing exercises. Along the way, we’ll visit bizarre worlds crafted by masters of sci-fi and…

We Breathe Fire: Poetry Slam (August 26 – August 30)

August 26 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(AFTERNOONS: for ages 12-14) Slam Poetry is an art form where performance meets reality. It is used to show one's story, to speak and breathe life into a poem. Spoken word is an outlet. A voice for those to shine and bring words to life—from sharing a funny moment to grappling with challenges, from celebrating joys to speaking out against injustices. You will study the works of traditional and contemporary poetry that will help inform and strengthen your own writing.…

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