2018 writing workshops for young writers in Portland and beyond

Years ago, a mother at a Portland-area middle school asked me to run a writing workshop. She wanted her daughter to have a creative outlet beyond what the school day provided. More than a decade later, the writing workshops continue to help young people sort out their worlds,  escape into their craft, and step forward to find their voices. 

It's with this spirit that I'm happy to announce summer writing workshops for 2018

WHAT: Three separate, one-week intensives, each following a different thread of thought. 

WHERE: Attic Institute, 4232 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR, 97215

WHEN: Monday thru Friday, starting July 23, and ending August 10. Sessions start at 10 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

AGES: 12 thru 18 (though age is less important than attitude. Please contact me directly if you have a younger writer who wants to be a part of the program)


  • $150 for one week
  • $250 for two weeks
  • $325 for three weeks

TO ENROLL: Follow this link to the online enrollment form


Week 1 (July 23 - 27): Conflict and change All conflict is personal, and change is always happening--we've heard these cliches plenty of times. We'll use them as guideposts during Week 1 as we take as broad a view as possible and explore ways we communicate conflict and transition--from powerful good-byes to painful apologies, focused rants, personal manifestos, tricky characters that find their way into our work and more. During the week, we'll power through friction in our fiction, poems and essays in order to see what's waiting on the other side. This workshop will be ideal for writers who want to tackle issues, enjoy arguing, are stuck in the middle of a long project, or just want to rage on the page. 

Week 2 (July 30 - Aug 3): Generation character count

As our devices get smaller, some people say our attention spans are too. During week 2, writers will focus on moments of micro expression, and the forms that fit such storytelling bursts: flash fiction, micro essays, and broken poems to name a few. As we focus on the power of the fragment, writers will discover that just because a body of work might not possess all the traditional ligature, their writing still moves with power and grace. This will be a great session for writers who enjoy short forms, or those who tend to get off to strong starts but don't know how to continue. What they'll discover is that the end might already be there looking back up at them. 

Week 3 (Aug 6 - 10): Getting it all down

How do we grab readers, keep their attention, and send them out of our work feeling satisfied? That's the core question that will guide week 3's workshop. As writers delve into new work, and unpack their writing, we'll build conversations around voice, narrative, and form; we'll also explore the fine line between suspense, shock and surprise. The week 3 workshop will be a great opportunity for writers who are in the midst of a long writing project, are thinking about college essays, or want to set the framework for a book or collection of essays, stories, or poems. 


Enroll by June 15 to reserve your spot in the 2018 summer writing program. Contact Dave Jarecki with questions, or for more information. Or sign up for Dave's periodic and extremely infrequent newsletter to get the latest on workshops and more.