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Writers in Paradise expands to summer workshop for teens

By Tom Scherberger
Published January 28, 2016
Categories: Community Engagement, Public Events

The nationally renowned Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise, now celebrating its 12th year, is expanding to include a residential workshop for teenagers.

It is Eckerd’s latest effort to serve rising juniors and seniors, which also includes a program in the humanities.

The Young Writers in Paradise Workshop will debut in June with a six-day, five-night program designed to give rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to explore and develop their talents in poetry and prose.

Students will hone their writing skills by attending lectures, panels and discussions led by Eckerd College creative writing faculty.  They will also participate in daily critique sessions and activities led by creative writing students.

The residential workshop, limited to 30 participants, will take place on the waterfront campus of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. Participants will stay in college dorm rooms, eat at the campus cafeteria and relax at the Eckerd recreational facilities.

Each morning, students will participate in talks covering such topics as poetry forms and narrative techniques. Students will spend the afternoons in small groups to write, read and critique their work in the genre of their choice. In the evenings, students will enhance their relationship with writing through fun activities, all culminating in a collaborative showcase of student work.

The workshop will be June 12-17. The deadline to apply is May 1. The cost is $600, which includes participation in all sessions, on-campus and off-campus activities, meals, lodging and use of Eckerd recreational facilities. Scholarships are available. For more information contact coordinator Christina Lutz at or (727) 864-7994. 

Founded by best-selling author and Eckerd College graduate Dennis Lehane and Sterling Watson, who taught creative writing at Eckerd for 35 years, the conference helps talented writers from across the country better their craft.

Meanwhile, Eckerd will also offer a one-week residential program in the humanities for rising high school juniors and seniors. Funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council, “Fluid Futures: Imagining Water in the 21st Century” will challenge students to think broadly about how water has been understood across cultures, histories and the arts. It is the third year in a row that Eckerd and the Humanities Council have partnered on summer residential programs for high school students.

For more information, email Cheryl Gold at or call her (727) 864-8058.  Read more and register.