Young Writers Workshop

Young Writers Workshop

The Ohio State University Young Writers Workshop is a week-long summer program for high school students in Columbus City Schools, charter schools in the city of Columbus, and (this year, and possibly beyond) students in public schools across Ohio.

YWW students live on campus and attend daily workshops and courses taught by Ohio State Department of English creative writing faculty, alumni of our graduate MFA program, and current MFA students. There are also readings, sessions with visiting writers in various fields, and other events, including an open mic reading of the participants’ own work, and (of course!) time for their own writing every day. YWW participants study fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction writing, with a major emphasis in one of those three genres. The program concludes with a capstone event honoring the Young Writers.

Each year, 30 students from the application pool are invited to the program. Participants are selected based on the promise of their writing—we don’t ask for grades or letters of recommendation, just a statement of intent and a writing sample—and every admitted student receives a full scholarship. There are no costs associated with participation.


Participation in the workshop is limited to students of current sophomore and junior ranking (those who will be rising juniors and seniors in the summer of 2023).  all rising 11th and 12thgraders, and those who will graduate this spring*, are welcome to apply.

*While historically YWW has been open only to those between 10th and 11th and 11thand 12th grades, because that entire population was denied the opportunity to participate during the two years we were on pandemic-hiatus, this year we are encouraging those who missed their chance, while in high school, to apply now. It’s not too late for you!

This information will be updated as it becomes available.

Please be prepared to submit the following:

  1. A statement (no more than one page long) about your interest in writing, and why you would like to be a participant in the Young Writers Workshop at Ohio State
  2. A sample of your creative writing, in any genre(s). No more than 20 pages (excerpts from longer works are fine) and no fewer than five pages. This writing sample, along with your statement of interest, is the single basis for your admission into the Young Writers Workshop, so choose it carefully. (It can be something you’ve written for school or something you’ve written on your own, or a combination of the two.)
    • Do not submit academic/analytical papers or other essays that are samples of your critical writing: we are interested in your fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction (by the latter, we mean — for example — a true story about your life, a reflective personal essay that expresses your thoughts and ideas about something you’ve observed or experienced, a piece of literary journalism or any other piece of writing that showcases your own creativity).

Note: Do not put your name or any other identifying information on your writing sample or your statement. These will be separated from your cover page and assigned a code that matches your application; they will be evaluated anonymously by the director of the YWW Program.

The application deadline is May 1st. 

For more information, please email MaryKatherine Ramsey at