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Lamplighter Writing Institute

Have a story to tell? Enjoy writing poems? Want to write a screenplay? Interested in essay writing? Or do you want to learn more about journalism?

Maybe you just want to improve your writing this summer.

Spend two weeks on the sprawling Northfield Mount Hermon campus for in-person (boarding or day student) classes or join one of our online workshops this summer. You’ll learn from professional writers and meet friends who are as passionate about their craft as you are.

The Lamplighter Writing Institute provides a writing community for any student entering grades 7 through 12 and will provide individual and group instruction and time and space to work on your craft. It won’t be all work, though. They’ll be s’mores and swimming, and other fun on-campus activities, and you’ll meet other writers with whom we hope you become lifelong friends!

Check out Lamplighter, a literary journal featuring student works from our 2021 institute.

The Lamplighter Writing Institute offers middle and high school students from around the globe the opportunity to join a community of writers and journalists and study the fundamentals and nuances of their craft from professional teachers who are also published writers and passionate about helping young writers achieve their potential.

“My rising senior connected immediately with his teacher and was motivated to revisit and significantly improve
older writing projects. Daily feedback from his teachers and other attendees was instrumental to his writing success.
I would highly recommend this program to any aspiring young writer.” — Judah, a parent

Quick Facts

Who: Students entering grades 7–12. In-person students will be separated by grades: Emerging Writers (grades 7–9) and Young Writers (10–12). 

What: Intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, narrative nonfiction, play/screenwriting, and journalism. Read workshop descriptions here.


  • In person: July 2–16, 2022
  • Online: July 4–15, 2022

Where: In-person workshops will be held on the Northfield Mount Hermon campus in Mount Hermon, Massachusetts.

Are you a teacher who would like to nominate a student? Fill out this student nomination form.

Workshop Descriptions

See list of workshops here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you walk me through a typical day?

If you join us in person, your days begin early and end late. You’ll spend your days writing, reading, and talking with friends and instructors about writing!

Each morning, the writing community will gather after breakfast for announcements and a community moment, such as a brief journal-writing activity, a short meditation, or a pause for silent reflection. (Oh, and carry your journal with you everywhere. You never know when the muse will reach out and grab you.)

Next, it’s off to your Craft Talk, where you’ll discuss readings, respond to prompts, and learn from your workshop leader and peers. You’ll have classroom space for the week, but the 500-acre campus offers breathtaking views, and you can count on writing outside as well. 

After lunch, you’ll meet with your workshop leaders for one-on-one conferences and then write and revise until 3 pm, when your group workshop begins. Students will submit pieces each day for feedback. This is when you’ll really appreciate being part of the writing community. You’ll get honest and helpful feedback from your peers (and workshop leaders), and you’ll learn information about writing that will help you not only this week but well into the future. You’ll also learn how to participate in a workshop and to offer helpful feedback in respectful ways.

After dinner, you’ll attend a reading by a workshop leader or a published writer who’s come to visit and have a little social time before returning to your dorm or leaving for the day (for day students).

And then you’ll do it all again the next day!

Finally, you’ll have the chance to publish in the 2022 edition of Lamplighter, our literary journal featuring student work.

If you join us online, you’ll select a course in fiction, poetry, journalism, narrative nonfiction, or play/screenwriting and join a virtual writing community. You’ll participate in 25 synchronous and asynchronous hours spent discussing model texts, completing writing activities, and in critical response groups, giving and receiving feedback. You’ll also have the opportunity to view our in-person readings and visiting writers, which we will record and offer livestream as well. Read more about the online program here.

What should I expect from my Workshop Leader?

Workshop Leader’s Role
Your workshop leaders have been carefully chosen. These are people who love the written word and for whom writing plays a large role in their lives. They’re also writers who are eager to share their love of their craft. Each day, they’ll encourage and challenge you. They’ll provide writing prompts, activities, and exercises, and offer you feedback. Throughout your week, these guides will inspire you to write often and to love every minute of it.

Assistant Workshop Leader’s Role
This is someone in whom you’ll probably see a lot of yourself. This is a young writer (maybe a college student), carefully chosen, who loves writing and is on their own journey to discover who they are as writers. Participants in our in-person program will see a lot of them. They’ll be with you in your craft sessions, helping you individually throughout the week, and with you in the dorm. And you’ll definitely see them working on their own material.

What should I bring?

You’ll want to bring a laptop or tablet, if you have one. If you need one, please let Director John Corrigan know.

You’ll need the standard dorm-room items: bed linens, toiletries, a fan, a good book to read (we’ll encourage you to read when you’re not writing), a bathing suit, a writing journal, pens/pencils, comfortable clothing, sneakers, and a rain jacket. It’ll be warm, so plan accordingly.

Is this school?

It’s not school, per se, but if you engage thoroughly, your writing will certainly become stronger, which will help you when you start your academic year. Unlike your typical courses, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on the kind of writing you love and/or want to learn more about. You’ll be assigned readings at night; nothing too long, rather a model your workshop leader wants you to see. You’ll write and revise a lot. But you’ll write what you want, and you’ll be with a group of peers (soon to be friends!) who have similar interests. We predict these friends will be people you keep in touch with long after you leave this writing institute.

Are we doing fun things?

There will be cookouts and trail hikes to explore the NMH woods. The NMH pool will be available. And you can count on s’mores and firepits at night.

What happens if the pandemic gets worse or there’s an outbreak?

We have a contingency (online) plan that we will turn to if deemed necessary and in conjunction with Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommendations.

How will COVID-19 impact my experience?

All students attending any NMH Program must provide the following:

  • Proof that they are fully vaccinated (14 days from their final dose) by an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine. 
  • Proof of a negative PCR test collected within 72 hours of arrival on campus. 
  • Agree to all required surveillance and diagnostic testing while on campus. (A fee of $150 will be charged to cover testing requirements).
  • All students must provide details of a U.S.-based guardian who is able to collect the student within six hours of notification whether due to medical (including COVID-19) diagnoses, mental health, or dismissal.

Additional details regarding COVID protocols will be provided to families closer to the start of the program.


“The engaging and motivating atmosphere of the
journalism workshop was incredible, but what I loved
most was the level of support we got from the teachers.
It was inspiring.” — Ria, a student

Ready to take the next step?




Get in touch with John Corrigan, head of the Lamplighter Writing Institute, with any questions: