Before the founding in 1982 of the Young Writers Workshop at the University of Virginia, residential programs for young creative writers didn’t exist.

From the Blog

The Lion King Eats Hamlet

Fairy tales, fables, and folklore – were they invented just to control the behavior of children? To allow for the possibility of happy endings? To give voice to our greatest desires and fears? Pure flights of fancy? Regardless of their purpose or aims, these archetypal stories are ingrained in our cultural consciousness, and wield power over us. What happens when we seize the power, and re-imagine these stories?

Cultivate Your Community, Cultivate Your Craft

When I arrived back in Pittsburgh after my first time as a counselor at YWW, I had two feelings. The first was one of elation, and went something like this:


I felt energized to write and experiment and create art. This lasted for a couple days. But then another feeling emerged. Panic.


It was as a student at YWW that I first felt taken seriously as a writer, which shaped my future as a serious poet and MFA graduate; it was as a counselor at YWW that I first felt taken seriously as a teacher, which shaped my future as a workshop instructor at both the high school and college levels. There's no doubt in my mind that nearly all of the skills I use in my poetry and teaching careers today I learned first at YWW. To say nothing of the fact that I have never had as much fun, or laughed as hard in my whole life, as I do every summer at YWW.

Laura-Eve Engel

YWW Alumna