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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.


When I first came to ydubs (what alumni call YWW) I was scared that I wouldn’t fit in or meet anyone who would actually want to talk back to me. But when I came to ydubs I was amazed because everyone was so friendly. I thought that I would get down about my work because I would think that everyone was better than me, but I was wrong. Since everyone has their own amazing style it inspired me to keep writing; there was a lot of encouragement about every piece I wrote that whenever I had workshop I didn’t feel as if my work was being torn to shreds. Rather it was placed in tender hands that made my ideas grow for the better. As one of my friends put it, ydubs is not something that could be explained on the website; rather, it is a place that you have to experience for yourself. Wallflowers, you will be surprised at the changes in your writing and yourself when you come to the program. Even me (the shy girl) was never asked why I was so quiet and for the first time I made loving friends who didn’t ask me to change. I met more people at ydubs than I have in my four years of high school. The people you become friends with become family and the family becomes a home you will miss when you leave. Ydubs will become a home you will want to go back to. Anyone who loves writing and talking about books with people who are as passionate about it should come! Please don’t miss out because this is something I promise you’ll always remember in the best of ways!

Kelly Foster

YWW Alumna