2020 programming has been cancelled
The application deadline has now passed.
* The online application form.
* A 300 word essay, to be uploaded with the application form.
* A high school transcript, to be uploaded with the application form (we accept both official and unofficial transcripts).
* A letter of recommendation.
* Financial aid information and any supporting financial aid documentation (optional).
Please feel free to contact us at 740-427-5207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the State of Ohio’s accompanying restrictions, Kenyon College has made the difficult decision to close campus through July 31st, so we must cancel Kenyon Review’s residential 2020 Writers Workshops. These are unprecedented times, and we regret we will not see you this summer. We trust you’ll understand this decision as your health and safety are of the utmost concern to us.
A Science Writing Workshop for High School Students (ages 16-18)
A unique creative opportunity for high school students who enjoy science, environmental studies, and who also love to write creatively. Participants will explore the lush fields, forests, and creeks surrounding Kenyon College with biologists, experiment in the lab, and incorporate these observations into writing that is both technically accurate, meaningful to readers, and a pleasure to read. Our goal is to help students develop their creative and critical abilities with both science and language, and to challenge themselves in the company of peers who share their interests.
Science permeates our society, providing both our most astounding possibilities and some of our most monumental challenges. Yet for all its power, science is often considered a dry realm of facts and figures. The Young Science Writers Workshop focuses not just on the insights of science, but on its stories and characters, even its poetry. Reading and writing assignments will draw from a broad range of genres including research articles, journalism, essays, stories, and poetry. We will focus on key processes shared by both science and writing: observation, measurement, experiment, and analysis. Students will perform observations and experiments in Kenyon’s laboratory facilities and ecologically diverse outdoor surroundings, then incorporate these experiences into their writing.
Exercises and assignments will help students critically evaluate scientific information, explore the relationship between scientific ideas and other forms of knowledge, and write with clarity, creativity, and power whether the intended audience is scientists or general readers.
Summer in Gambier
Nestled among rolling hills in the village of Gambier, the Kenyon campus is known for its striking beauty. Its historic buildings and shaded lawns have nurtured excellent writers for generations. Students have full access to College recreational facilities, including basketball and tennis courts and a swimming pool. Weekend activities include social events and field trips.
“This workshop helped me to develop my writing and to also find the merging point between science and creative writing.”
“I loved that our studies were relaxed but we all learned so much. The microscope observations were one of my favorite parts of the program.”
“The tree studies we did make me appreciate the natural world around me and have inspired many poems since.”
Select a topic for more information.
Think about some of the most interesting and important writers today: Elizabeth Kolbert, Richard Powers, Margaret Atwood, Atul Gawande, Karen Thompson Walker, Camille Dungy, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Lauret Savoy, Kimiko Hahn…. What do they all have in common? They are science writers. They explore the essential issues facing humankind today through the lenses of medicine, global warming, natural disasters, speculative imaginings of future worlds, and much more.
Kenyon Review’s Young Science Writers Workshop takes a liberal arts approach toward science writing, integrating the insights of science with creative writing. Daily workshops focus on key processes both disciplines share: observation, measurement, experiment, and analysis to inspire art. Exercises and assignments will help students critically evaluate scientific information, observations in nature, and explore the relationship between scientific ideas and other forms of knowledge. For example, a workshop might begin with students observing butterflies, then discussing a scientific article about caterpillars, before reading poems by Vladimir Nabokov and Camille Dungy to inspire their own work. Curiosity leads to discovery, changing what we understand about our world, and these ideas are crystallized in new writing daily. Science writers are humanists, combining observation and data with the art of words, to lift our spirits and to change the world.
Participants will explore the many modes of science writing by creating their own poems, fiction, and literary nonfiction in response to daily prompts. Students will leave the program with a notebook full of inspiration to continue their writing into the school year.
Young Science Writers is limited to twenty-eight students. This group is divided into two workshops who meet for five hours a day with two instructors. All workshops follow a similar curriculum covering all genres of writing (poetry, fiction, science fiction, and literary nonfiction). Workshop time is spent freewriting, responding to writing prompts and assignments, discussing assigned readings, as well as sharing and discussing each other’s work.
Everyone in the classroom, including instructors, writes and shares work every day. The workshop is ungraded and student work is not evaluated in any formal sense. Instead, instructors emphasize techniques for responding to work in ways that will help the writer recognize their strengths, potential, and avenues for productive revision. Instructors also meet with each student in individual conferences.
In addition to the regular workshop group, students have opportunities to go on field trips around Gambier, to observe nature and collect data to inspire their writing. For example, we might go on a hike to identify trees through leaf shape and bark, then measure their girth to determine age. Another day we might observe fireflies, butterflies, or fossils in streams. There are a variety of workshop options to choose from, including how to design a new app on a phone, write fantasy fiction, or create eco-poems. These sessions give students the chance to work with a different instructor and student group.
Our instructors are talented writers and teachers from around the country who have a long association with the Kenyon Review and have an understanding of the curriculum and philosophy of our generative writing programs. All have advanced degrees in biology and creative writing and teach high school and/or college during the academic year. This year’s instructors include Kenyon Biology Professors Chris Gillen and Drew Kerkoff, as well as published poets and fiction writers (Adam Clay, Karin Gastreich, Kimiko Hahn, Angela Vincent, and Amy Wright). Our goal is to help students develop their creative and critical abilities with both science and language and to challenge themselves in the company of their peers.
Although the work in the classroom is often demanding, overall the pace of life is fairly relaxed compared to the normal school year. Each weekday at Young Writers follows a similar schedule:
7:00-8:30 a.m.: Breakfast in Peirce Dining Hall
8:30-10:00 a.m.: Workshop
10:00-10:30 a.m.: Morning Break
10:30-12:00 p.m.: Workshop
12:00-1:30 p.m.: Lunch in Peirce Dining Hall
1:30-3:30 p.m.: Workshop
3:30-5:30 p.m.: Free time—students typically use this time to relax, explore campus, connect with peers, take advantage of the Kenyon Athletic Center, or work on reading and writing assignments.
5:30-6:45 p.m.: Dinner in Peirce Dining Hall
6:45-7:00 p.m.: Evening Meeting—in this mandatory, daily meeting the site director and other staff members fill students in on important information and upcoming events, answer questions and deal with problems, and ensure that all students know what is expected of them (hard work, promptness, respect and civility toward all).
7:00-8:00 p.m.: Evening Reading—during the first week of the program, published authors give readings and answer questions about their work and the writing life; in the second week, evening readings feature participants sharing some of the work they have produced during the program.
8:00-11:00 p.m.: Free time—Resident Advisors plan optional activities each evening such as coffee houses, movie nights, game nights, craft nights, dances, and more. Students typically have some writing and reading homework each evening.
11:00 p.m.: Curfew/Quiet Hours begin—Resident Advisors check each room on their hall to ensure that all students are in their room and quiet by the 11:00 p.m. curfew; this curfew check also gives students a chance to ask questions or bring up any problems with their Resident Advisors.
The weekend schedule is much more flexible with no formal workshops and very few mandatory activities. Resident Advisors plan several optional events throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to participating in Resident Advisor activities, students typically use weekend time to catch up on sleep, do laundry, and work on homework and other writing projects.
Young Science Writers is a residential program and all participants must live on campus for the entire two weeks. Participants share a double-occupancy room in an air-conditioned dorm on campus. Resident Advisors (who are Kenyon College students) live in the dorm with participants and make sure everyone is in the dorm by 11:00 p.m. each night. Halls are separated by gender. The dorm has a lounge area, a kitchen, laundry facilities, and vending machines. Exterior doors to the dorm are only accessible by key cards. All dorm rooms lock from the inside.
Kenyon College is located in the Village of Gambier, which is a small, well-lit, and very safe community. Amenities in Gambier include the Kenyon College Bookstore, a small market, a deli, a coffee shop, a post office, and a bank. Kenyon is a walking campus and everything on campus, including the dorm, dining hall, classroom building, event spaces and Gambier businesses, is located within about a mile radius. Officers for Kenyon College’s Campus Safety Office are on duty 24 hours a day, and regularly patrol campus day and night.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided in Peirce Dining Hall. The cost of meals is included in the program tuition. Peirce is a nut-free dining hall (other than a small, sequestered, well-labeled peanut butter station located outside of the food service area) and offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options at all meals. Please be sure to note any food allergies and intolerances on your enrollment form so we can let the dining hall know ahead of time.
Any high school student who will be between the ages of 16-18 years old at the time of the program is eligible to apply. Most of our participants are rising juniors and seniors during the program, but we occasionally accept talented students who have just graduated high school before the program begins. International students are welcome to apply.
Rising sophomores are not eligible to apply. Students who have attended the Kenyon Review Young Writers Program are welcome to apply, but students who have already attended the Kenyon Review Young Science Writers program may not reapply.
Young Science Writers participants are a diverse group, representing a wide range of academic and personal interests. You should apply for the Young Science Writers program if you like to work with other people, are open to experimenting with new approaches, are willing to be playful and take some risks as a learner, and are interested in the process of learning more than final goals.
The total cost of the program is $2,475, which covers program tuition, accommodations, all meals, and all activities. We do not cover travel costs.
In order to enroll in the program, accepted students must pay a non-refundable $500 deposit and submit enrollment forms by April 5th. The balance of the program cost is due on or before June 1st.
We offer need-based financial aid for families who cannot afford the costs of the program. Financial aid decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. We are usually able to offer the amount of financial aid requested to all admitted students. Financial aid decisions are made in conjunction with admissions decisions; however, acceptance decisions are not affected by aid requests.
In order to apply for need-based financial aid, please fill out the “Financial Aid” section of the online application form. You may also upload additional financial information that may be helpful in the evaluation of your financial aid application, such as tax returns and/or a letter explaining your family’s financial circumstances.
You will need to create a free Submittable account in order to apply, which you can do on our application page. To complete the online application, you must submit the following:
Applications must be submitted by March 1st. Teachers will have until March 7th to upload letters of recommendation (the letter of recommendation request will not be sent to your teacher until your application is complete and has been submitted). We do not accept applications beyond the March 1st deadline.
How do I submit my letter of recommendation?
When you fill out the application form, you will be asked for the name and email address of the teacher who will submit your letter of recommendation. Once your application form is complete and has been submitted online, your teacher will receive an email with a link to upload the letter. You are responsible for making sure that your teacher submits a letter on time. Please let your teacher know when you have submitted your application and ask them to whitelist submittable.com or check spam folders for the email request. If you teacher has any problems uploading a letter of recommendation to your application, please have them contact us at email@example.com or 740-427-5391.
Who should write my letter of recommendation?
We prefer that the letter of recommendation come from a current or recent high school English or Science teacher, but we will accept letters from any teacher who can speak to your abilities and passion for creative writing and scientific inquiry, as well as your performance in the classroom and other academic settings.
How do I submit my transcript?
We strongly prefer that you upload a copy of your transcript when you submit your online application form. We accept both official and unofficial transcripts. Unofficial transcripts may include a scanned copy of photograph of a recent report card, a screenshot of an online report card, or any other document that clearly shows all of your high school grades and classes thus far.
If you are unable to upload a transcript with your application, you may upload a document in place of your transcript that indicates how we can expect to receive your transcript: email (firstname.lastname@example.org), fax (740-427-5417), or mail (Kenyon Review Young Writers, Finn House, 102 W. Wiggin St., Gambier, OH 43022)
The selection committee pays particular attention to the 300 word essay and the teacher recommendation. We are looking for students who show real talent and passion for writing and scientific inquiry, as well as students who will thrive in both the workshop and residential setting. We strive to admit a diverse group of students with a wide range of academic and personal interests.
Due to the volume of applications we receive each year, we cannot comment on individual applications or offer feedback on application essays.
If you have been accepted but cannot attend, please let us know as soon as possible. If you cancel your enrollment before June 1st, the Kenyon Review will keep the $500 non-refundable deposit. If you cancel your enrollment after June 1st, the Kenyon Review will keep the $500 non-refundable deposit and a $500 cancellation fee, but return the remaining balance paid. There will be no refund of tuition after June 15th. There will be no refund of tuition after arrival date and no refund in the event of early dismissal.
Gambier is located about 45 miles northeast of Columbus, Ohio. The Kenyon College website has a map with driving directions to Gambier. The closest airport is John Glenn International Airport (CMH) about an hour’s drive from Gambier. There is no public transportation from the airport to Gambier, so we provide a shuttle service. There is a $70 round-trip ($35 one-way) shuttle fee for this service.
On the first Sunday of the program, please plan to arrive on campus between 12:00-4:00 p.m. for registration and orientation. Arrivals by plane should be scheduled to arrive no later than 4:00 p.m. when possible.
The last Saturday of the program is a travel day. If you are driving, please plan to depart between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. If you are departing from the Columbus airport, a shuttle will pick you up at least two and a half hours before your departure time. Shuttles typically run between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., so flights should be scheduled to depart the Columbus airport between 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. when possible.
For serious medical issues, students are taken to the local urgent care clinic or the emergency room of the local hospital (located about 10 minutes from campus). For minor illnesses and injuries, program staff consults with parents/guardians to determine the best course of action for the participant. In many cases, minor illnesses and injuries are treated at one of our local walk-in clinics. In order to enroll in Young Writers, you must submit an extensive medical form, which staff will refer to in the event of a medical issue. All health information provided on this form is kept confidential.
All participants and their guardians must read and agree to the Young Writers Community Contract, which spells out the following guidelines:
Anyone who deliberately violates the rules and the spirit of the Young Writers program, including the respect and tolerance we owe each other, will be sent home at their parent’s expense.
Click on photos to enlarge.