Grades 9th – 12th

Registration open!

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Description of Program
Course Descriptions
Registration Information
Basic Requirement for Participation

Description of Program

There is something for everyone, from a 2-week in-person genre mash-up course to a 3-week course on writing horror stories. Your teens will be able to explore their interests, discover their strengths and take writing risks that they might not be able to in a traditional classroom setting.

Check out our 2022 offerings below! Please email bawp@berkeley.edu if you would like to be placed on a waitlist for any of our full courses.

Starting the week of June 13th

  • Full! Remote: College Essay Writing (1 Week)
  • Only 2 spots left! Remote: Writing Scary Stories (3 Weeks)

Starting the week of June 20th (First day on 21st to observe Juneteenth)

  • Full! In-Person: InkSwarm (2 Weeks)
  • Full! Remote: Future Fiction Now! (2 Weeks)

Starting the week of June 27th

  • Full! Remote: Backpack Journalism (1 Week)
  • Canceled: Remote: Sports Journalism (1 Week)

Starting the week of July 11th

  • Full! In-Person: College Essay Writing (1 Week)
  • Full! Remote: Creative Writing 101 (3 Weeks)

Starting the week of July 18th 

  • Full! Remote: Playing With Language: Finding Your Voice and Sharing It (1 Week)

Starting the week of July 25th 

  • Full! In-Person: Making Effective Arguments (1 Week)

2022 Course Descriptions

College Essay Writing
June 13 – 17, 2022 (1 Week)
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
11th – 12th Grades
Remote Course
$325.00
Instructor: Eric Gustafson

Good storytelling is a way to make your writing more engaging. In the course, you will first hone this craft by writing a profile article. We will begin by workshopping questions that elicit vivid storytelling and thoughtful reflection from your subject. Beginning with an anecdotal lead, the article you write will be focused on developing your subject as a character. With the second writing piece, the tables will be turned. You will become the subject of the article. Conveying who you are as a person is what college admission officers are looking for in an essay. This course will help you succeed in doing that. (Current UC/Common App prompts will be used.)

Eric Gustafson Bio Coming Soon

Writing Scary Stories
June 13 – July 1, 2022 (3 Weeks – No Class 6/20/22)
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
9th – 12th Grades
Remote Course
$700.00
Instructor: Emily Wilkinson

Join us as we explore the pages of strange and dark stories, listen to disturbing tales of delight, and watch a few flustering flicks as we craft our own horrific narratives, comics, and poetry. In this three-week course, students will read, discuss and compose their own suspenseful stories and/or screenplays of the strange, the horrific, and the supernatural. No prior experience in writing horror will be necessary, as we will explore the structures and oddities of the horror and sci-fi genres.

Emily Wilkinson is a life-long fan of the weird, ghastly, and horrific. When she’s not watching or reading something scary, she’s either writing or teaching writing to students of all ages as she works on her PhD in the Teaching of English at Teachers College, Columbia University. She loves giving students the power to scare with their scintillating tales of woe. She also recognizes horror as giving us the ability to confront and learn from our deepest fears and most terrifying experiences.

Full! InkSwarm
June 21 – July 1, 2022 (starts Tuesday – 2 Weeks)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
9th – 12th Grades
In person at UC Berkeley (Berkeley Way West Building)
$700.00
Instructor: Aryn Faur

Inkswarm is a hive for creative writers of all stripes! Do you find it impossible to choose between poetry, flash fiction, creative nonfiction or art? Don’t choose! Join us! During the first week, students will play with many writing exercises to explore dialogue, setting, point of view, poetics, and other craft elements, along with lots of opportunities to develop writing friendships that can continue outside of camp. During the second week, they will workshop and revise a single piece they are most committed to. By the end of camp, each participant will have a scrapbook filled with their own work as well excerpts from the campers. We end with a camp celebration and reading. Bring a laptop, and your favorite writing utensils! We’ll try to get outside on the beautiful UC campus as much as possible.

Aryn Faur is an English teacher at Berkeley High who has taught creative writing for over a decade. She teaches a literary magazine elective and has also taught courses on short story and flash fiction. In her spare time, she dances on roller blades, gardens, reads page turners, and plants trees.

Future Fiction Now!
June 21 – July 1, 2022 (starts Tuesday – 2 Weeks)
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
9th – 12th Grades
Remote Course
$650.00
Instructor: T.R. Amsler

OK, science fiction is really cool. You’ve got space ships, computers embedded in your brain, life on meteorites, and maybe even aliens. Climate fiction, with its flooded cities and fallen governments, can be cool in an apocalyptic, ‘let’s try to avoid that’ kind of way. Sci-fi and cli-fi often are the escape hatch a reader and writer was looking for. But what if these genres also reflect our hopes and fears? What if they actually help us better understand race, migration, climate change and politics? From Afro-futurism to zombies, we’ll have a chance to write about what matters to us, and what matters to our future.

T.R. Amsler (he/him) has taught, coached and learned from young people in the Bay Area for 20 years. He’s especially loved teaching narrative, fiction, journalism, debate and poetry ever since receiving his MA in education from UC Berkeley. Besides being a passionate reader, he loves to spend time outdoors on his bike, at a baseball field or with his kids. He currently teaches at June Jordan School for Equity on the ancestral and current land of the Raymatush Ohlone, third planet of the Solar System and currently called San Francisco.

Full! Backpack Journalism
June 27 – July 1, 2022 (1 Week)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
9th – 12th Grades
Remote Course
$325.00
Instructor: Brian Barr

Journalism is changing. No longer confined to a newsroom, journalists report from cafes, street corners, and sports venues and all over the world. Hone your skills in this class so that you are ready to report on the go.

In this course we will explore the fundamentals of writing a strong article for the public eye. This includes developing reporting skills by learning to write breaking and hard news stories, personality profiles, and opinion pieces, such as columns, editorials and reviews.

Brian Barr has taught at California High School in San Ramon for the past 20 years. He teaches freshman English and runs the school’s newspaper and mock trial programs. He also has coached the men’s golf team at San Ramon Valley High in Danville for the past 15 years. Before becoming a teacher, Brian was a professional journalist for nine years, working as a reporter and sports editor for several daily newspapers in the East Bay and San Joaquin Valley. Brian earned an undergraduate degree in political science from UC San Diego in 1992. He is a 1998 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Modesto.

Canceled: Sports Journalism
June 27 – July 1, 2022 (1 Week)
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
9th – 12th Grades
Remote Course
$325.00
Instructor: Brian Barr

Every young sports fan at one point seems to have the ideal job in mind: sports journalist. But a lot more goes into being a sports writer than watching your favorite teams for free.

In this course we will explore the fundamentals of being a sports journalist. This includes writing compelling game stories on a tight deadline, identifying and developing interesting and in-depth athletic profiles, and establishing a unique voice for sports opinion columns.

Brian Barr has taught at California High School in San Ramon for the past 20 years. He teaches freshman English and runs the school’s newspaper and mock trial programs. He also has coached the men’s golf team at San Ramon Valley High in Danville for the past 15 years. Before becoming a teacher, Brian was a professional journalist for nine years, working as a reporter and sports editor for several daily newspapers in the East Bay and San Joaquin Valley. Brian earned an undergraduate degree in political science from UC San Diego in 1992. He is a 1998 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Modesto.

Full! College Essay Writing
July 11 – 15, 2022 (1 Week)
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
11th – 12th Grades
In person at UC Berkeley (Berkeley Way West Building)
$350.00
Instructor: Eric Gustafson

Good storytelling is a way to make your writing more engaging. In the course, you will first hone this craft by writing a profile article. We will begin by workshopping questions that elicit vivid storytelling and thoughtful reflection from your subject. Beginning with an anecdotal lead, the article you write will be focused on developing your subject as a character. With the second writing piece, the tables will be turned. You will become the subject of the article. Conveying who you are as a person is what college admission officers are looking for in an essay. This course will help you succeed in doing that. (Current UC/Common App prompts will be used.)

Eric Gustafson Bio Coming Soon

Full! Creative Writing 101
July 11 – 29, 2022 (3 Weeks)
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
9th – 12th Grades
Remote Course
$700.00
Instructor: Emily Wilkinson

Do you have stories to tell? Characters in your head? A notebook full of scenes? This summer, join other creative writers in reading short stories and creative nonfiction that breaks the rules, and discover how to write your own story. In this course you’ll have the opportunity to hack the techniques published writers use to tell their stories, like building unforgettable characters, unexpected scenes, and beautiful detail, and practice using these techniques yourself. We’ll spend time reading, writing, and workshopping together.

Emily Wilkinson bio coming soon.

Full! Playing With Language: Finding Your Voice and Sharing It
July 18 – 22, 2022 (1 Week)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
9th – 12th Grades
Remote Course
$325.00
Instructor: Sarah Trott

In this workshop, students will experiment with language and storytelling to create new work and find new ways to express themselves. They will look at different platforms to share their voices, including personal zines, broadsides and digital formats. Participants will engage in daily creative writing exercises, including flash fiction and poetry, learn to make a one page zine and a broadside featuring one of their own pieces of writing.

Sarah Trott teaches high school creative writing and English in Richmond. The author of a book of poetry, Planned (There Press, 2009), Sarah studied poetry and book arts at Mills College and writing at USF. Sarah’s writing has also been published in Digital Paper, Cricket Online Review and Feral Press.

Full! Making Effective Arguments
July 25 – 29, 2022 (1 Week)
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
9th – 12th Grades
In person at UC Berkeley (Berkeley Way West Building)
$350.00
Instructor: Avi Black

Being able to make an effective argument in writing is the single greatest predictor of college success. While there are ways in which all good arguments are constructed, there are also specific ways in which those arguments are reasoned depending on the subject (history, science, English, math) being addressed. In this class, you’ll learn how to make ‘CLEVR’ arguments based on a ‘CL’aim, good ‘EV’idence, and especially the ‘R’easoning that ties the evidence to the claim.

Avi Black taught both middle and high school history-social science (world history, U.S. history, economics and government) in San Francisco public schools for twelve years. In the following two decades, he served in a variety of administrative roles, most notably as history-social science professional development coordinator for the Alameda County (CA) Office of Education. His academic focus, interests and teaching approaches are multidisciplinary, drawing on his background and credentials in science and mathematics as well as the social sciences. 

A UC Berkeley/Bay Area Writing Project Teaching Fellow since 2017, he has taught BAWP summer writing camps for high school and middle school students and led numerous teacher workshops throughout the Bay Area and around California, focusing particularly on oral and written argumentation.

Mr. Black received his A.B. degree (magna cum laude in biology) from Harvard College, his Master’s degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley, and his administrative credentials from Mills College in Oakland, CA. He is an avid and extensive traveler, having been to over 50 countries around the world (including China in both 1984 and 2000), and considers travel an essential life experience.

Registration Information

Using the appropriate link below, submit participant information and then select the course or courses you would like your writer to join. Sibling discounts (-$50 for each additional child after the first registration) will be automatically deducted before checking out.

Registration for our Remote Courses

Registration for our In-Person Camps – all camps full!

If you encounter any issues with the registration process please try using a different browser (Chrome is preferred). If that doesn’t help, email us at bawp@berkeley.edu.

Basic Requirements for Remote Participation

BAWP Youth Programs Online Code of Conduct and Policies

  • Access to a computer, tablet, digital device (phone okay) with a camera and/or microphone
  • Access to wifi
  • Ability to either type on device or take photos and upload images

Required Remote Documents (included with online registration):

Photo/Video Release Form (pdf)
Online Code of Conduct Agreement Form (pdf)
Optional: Family Pledge (pdf)

Basic Requirements for In-Person Participation

BAWP Youth Programs COVID-19 Safety Guidelines as of February 2022

  • Youth Participants are required to wear a face covering while participating in an in-person camp.
  • In accordance with University of California Policy, all on campus youth program and camp participants (K-12 student age) who are eligible for vaccination outside of clinical trials are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Complete a Daily Symptom Screening.

In-Person Program Required Documents (included with online registration):

Emergency Contact Form (pdf)
Walking Field Trip Permission Form (pdf)
Internet Use Form (pdf)
Approved Pick-up/Drop-off Permission Form (pdf)
Photo Release Form (pdf)
Waiver of Liability Form (pdf)