About the Course

Fiction and Poetry

Saul Bellow said, "A writer is a reader moved to emulation.” This course draws inspiration from the published works, journals, and drafts of writers such as Alice Munro, John Updike, Rita Dove, and Li-Young Lee. As a class, we’ll learn to read like writers by examining a range of content, styles, structures, and techniques. You’ll debate the distinction between the realistic and the fantastic in works such as Gabriel García Márquez’s I Sell My Dreams and the value of imagery in Elizabeth Bishop’s The Fish. While writing short fiction and poetry in various forms, we’ll workshop drafts with your classmates under the guidance of your instructor, building a community that fosters your development as writers. You’ll not only learn to tactfully give and receive criticism, but also to refine your work, building a common understanding of how voice, style, and structure constitute strong poetry and prose.

Note: This course focuses on realistic literary fiction and poetry. The genres of science fiction, fantasy, romance, and mystery are not part of this course.

Typical class size: 16-18

Course Overview

Summer Dates & Locations

Registration deadline:

Session Two

Dickinson College
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Residential cost: $6,599
Commuter cost: $5,799
University of California Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California
Residential cost: $6,819
Commuter cost: $5,999

Testing and Prerequisites

  Math Verbal
Required Level Not required CTY-Level
Check your eligibility using existing test scores If you do not have existing test scores:

Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.

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Cost and Financial Aid

  • Tuition
    • Varies
  • Application fee
    • Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
    • Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)

Financial Aid

We have concluded our financial aid application review process for 2024 On-Campus Programs. We encourage those who may need assistance in the future to apply for aid as early as possible.

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Course Materials

Students should bring basic school supplies like pens, notebooks, and folders to their summer program. You will be notified of any additional items needed before the course begins. All other materials will be provided by CTY.

Technical Requirements

Students must bring a tablet with a keyboard, laptop computer, or Chromebook for use during the session. A smartphone will not be sufficient.

About Language Arts at CTY

Explore storytelling

Want to have fun reading popular stories and writing your own tales of adventure? Pen your hero's journey and explore a diverse range of books in Behind the Mask: Superheroes Revealed, or have fun shaping your prose and experimenting with different formats and styles in Fiction and Poetry.

Find your voice

Take your writing to the next level! In Writing and Imagination, you can build your vocabulary and gain the tools to write your own creative fiction. You'll learn to craft compelling narratives about your own experiences at the college level in Crafting the Essay, and have fun learning new literary devices and figurative language in Writing Your World.

Meet our instructors and staff