Scribes is an intensive two-week summer creative-writing program for middle and high school students. You’ll acquire a tool kit of literary forms, pick up exercises and techniques to develop your writer’s voice, get serious feedback from your instructors and peers, and tour the city with a writer’s eye. Sessions are facilitated by professional writers who will help you bring out the best in your work.


Each session is composed of 20 students and two instructors. Class runs 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday, with lunch and a snack included. Community readings are held at the end of each session on Thursday evening, and beautiful anthologies are published at the end of the summer.

2014 dates:

  • Session I (for students completing 7th & 8th grade): July 14–25
  • Session II (for students completing 9th–12th grade): July 28–August 8
  • Session III (for students completing 9th–12th grade): Aug. 11–22

Tuition: $650, scholarships available for all youth who need them

Application Process:

Scribes students are accepted on the basis of their written application and writing sample, as well as an in-person interview with Hugo House youth programs staff. We are looking for students who are excited about writing, who are able to talk about their writing process and challenges, and who are ready to be contributing members of a creative literary environment.

Apply here!

Apply by Jan. 31, 2014 for early registration. Regular registration deadline is April 30, 2014.

Please note that applying and interviewing for Scribes does not guarantee admission. Scribes is a selective program drawing students from the Seattle area and around the country.

What can you expect from Scribes?

Acclaimed guests

Besides your primary Scribes instructors, many illustrious guests visit Scribes to share their knowledge and experience. Monologist Mike Daisey came to discuss his own writing life and even gave Scribes a sneak preview of his latest show. Megan Kelso showed us the secrets behind her graphic novels. Macklemore performed for us, gave us a writing prompt, and critiqued our work. David Shields talked about his life as a writer and Steven Schardt gave us the 411 on writing for the silver screen.

Unique field trips

Just because Scribes is a writing camp doesn’t mean that you’ll be holed up in the House all day long. During Scribes, you’ll take trips to neighborhood art museums, parks, and city streets in order to get out and about, observing the world with writers’ eyes. We’ve gone to cemeteries, thrift stores, fire stations, Pike Place Market, and Everyday Music in search of scene, scent, character, and story.

Hands-on projects

There’s more to writing than simply putting pen to paper. ZAPP (Hugo House’s Zine Archive and Publishing Project) has provided supplies, inspiration, and guidance for making a zine. Book artist Jennifer Borges Foster visited and led a workshop on how to make handmade books and broadsides. A visit to the Frye Art Museum got Scribes thinking about how to combine story with image, and if and how words can cure the world.

Inspiring prompts

Do you know what blackout poems are? Do you think you could write a story using only book titles? What do you think a spleen would say if it could talk? At Scribes, you will draw inspiration from learning new styles, genres, and forms; reading various authors; collaborating with your fellow participants; and observing the world around you.