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  • NYS Writers Institute

Young Writers Workshop: Discovering Your Voice

We've partnered with the Capital District Writing Project for the 2022 Summer Young Writers Workshop: "Discovering Your Voice."

In this creative writing workshop, 10-12th graders in the Capital Region will join a unique community of writers Monday through Friday, July 11-15, on the UAlbany campus. Participants will visit multiple spaces on campus for inspiration as they explore multiple genres of writing.

On each day of the workshop, acclaimed professional authors affiliated with the New York State Writers Institute will visit to give readings and engage in craft discussions. Trained facilitators from the Capital District Writing Project will lead carefully designed writing exercises and provide prompts to help young writers find their voice and go on a journey of creative discovery.

After a week of writing and individualized feedback, young writers will share their writing in a culminating celebratory showcase and will have an opportunity to publish their work in a special issue of Trolley, the literary magazine of the New York State Writers Institute.

This workshop is for highly motivated and creative high school students who are eager to develop their craft and to find their voice in a supportive writing community.


• July 11-15, 2022, 9 a.m. through 4 p.m.

• For rising 10th-12th graders

• Creative writing across multiple genres

• Visits and readings from acclaimed guest authors

• Small class size

• One-on-one writing conferences

• Expert guidance from exemplary writing teachers

• Lunch provided

• Culminating celebratory showcase

• Opportunity to publish your work in a special issue of Trolley, the New York State Writers Institute literary magazine

Facilitator Bios

Chelsea Dyer - For the past 14 years, Chelsea Dyer has taught English and writing at Columbia High School in East Greenbush.

Currently, she teaches tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade, as well as a Creative Writing elective. As an English major at the University at Albany, she began exploring the many ways she could inspire her students to understand and appreciate the connections between literature, writing, and individual life experiences.

While exploring the power of memoir style writing in her own writing practice, she discovered the importance and value of encouraging students to tell their own meaningful stories with beautifully crafted language.

Emily Hass - Emily Hass currently teaches ninth and eleventh grade English at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School.

She believes in the power of the written word to transform, ignite, and empower and loves using visuals in the classroom to inspire students to discover their voices and share their stories through writing.

Emily enjoys exploring different genres in and out of the classroom, but particularly loves poetry and nonfiction.

Shannon Spollen - Shannon Spollen currently teaches 10th and 12th grade English at Clayton A. Bouton High School in Voorheesville.

Being dual-certified in ENL (English as a New Language), she has spent time in various classrooms spanning grade levels. Her own experiences with spoken word poetry, as well as the integration of writing as a social-emotional outlet into her curriculum, affords her the opportunity to assist students in their own exploration of performative prose.

She believes that every student, from every background and at every level, has a story to tell.

Guest Authors

Marcus Kwame Anderson, Janine de Tillio Cammarata, D. Colin, and Kate Sheeran Swed

Marcus Kwame Anderson

Illustrator & Fine Artist

The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

Janine de Tillio Cammarata

Creative Fiction & Journaling Series:

The Puzzle Quests

D. Colin

Poet, Visual Artist, Educator

Dreaming in Kreyol

Kate Sheeran Swed

YA Sci-fi & Fantasy

League of Independent Operatives

$500 (Payment would be due upon acceptance into the workshop. Scholarships available.)


• Online application form

• A 300-word statement, essay, story, or poem that illustrates how writing has been meaningful in your life

• Letter of Recommendation (from a teacher or advisor)

• Optional writing sample

If you have any questions, please email Nancy Czachor at If you have questions about the payment process, please contact Olivia Pounds at

A limited number of partial scholarships may be available. Interested in giving the gift of writing to a young person and supporting our Young Writers Workshops? Click this link, insert your amount next to Capital District Writing Project, and then in the comments box please specify 'Young Writers Workshops.'

You can find more Capital District Writing Project workshops for children ages 6 through 18 at


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