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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

Gallery Walk!

Check out these samples from this summer’s Graphic Text labs! Thanks to artist Lydia Conklin and all the students who participated!

The Cartoon You

Graphic memoirs have been in the news a lot in the last few months—from Alison Bechdel winning the MacArthur Genius Grant to Roz Chast’s memoir appearing on the National Book Award Longlist.

One of the building blocks of creating a graphic memoir or a nonfiction graphic essay is creating a persona for yourself—the Cartoon You.


What a glorious program Young Writers Workshop is! I’ve been a poet teaching at the University of Virginia for thirty-seven years and it’s the most exciting program I know of. I never taught for Margo officially, though I visited her program as a guest of the very first session thirty years ago. Did I mention that Margo was a poetry student of mine and enlisted me for that first visit and countless others since? What began as a brilliant idea (there are so many) became what it is now: a vital and thriving institution that teaches and encourages and inspires young writers at exactly the time in their lives when such a response matters so much. There have been countless imitations of YWW set up since (Margo always wanted it to be “replicable” as they say of experiments), but none can approach the original because of the genius of its founder and the dedication of the people she’s continuously brought along to realize this vision of a learning community of young people bursting with creative energy.

Greg Orr

Recommending Teacher