Summer Creative Writing Workshop

Come walk a mile in Chopin and Balzac’s shoes and discover your own unique writing style in this immersive 8-week course!

Locations: Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside

Cost:$100/hr – $110/hr.

Recommended hours: Ideally 16 hours over the course of 8 weeks, plus weekly free optional group workshops


  • Explore a variety of creative writing styles, such as poetry, short stories, flash fiction, longer narratives
  • Encourage and develop the work of aspiring writers while also helping students find their own unique writing voices
  • Teach organizational and planning skills to improve writing
  • Finalize students’ writing for a personal portfolio that will be self-published and that can be submitted to to contests or student journals

To Enroll Call (650) 331-3251/ (408) 345–5200


Course Description:

In this eight-week long creative writing course, students will have the opportunity to discuss and experiment with a variety of linguistic styles.  This course is designed to meet twice each week to discuss a written work by authors such as Faulkner, Poe, Hemingway, Bradbury, Chopin, and LeGuin.  Students will explore the literary and stylistic techniques employed by these authors and use their works as the basis for weekly stories.  These stories may later be discussed, edited, and revised at optional weekly group workshops.  In this way, aspiring writers will be able to experience and experiment with a range of styles and genres of fiction to develop their own individual voices as writers.  While the emphasis of the course will be on fiction, students will also write poetry and drama.  

Activities will include writing a fifty-three word story and adapting it into a short story, poem, and screenplay, writing stories in the style of a specific author, and writing a follow up/preface/spin-off of a text.  By the end of the eight weeks, students will develop a comprehensive and polished portfolio of their writing.  Students will then self-publish these works in a professional format and submit pieces they are most proud of to literary journals and contests such as Scholastic, Bennington Young Writers, and the Middlebury Breadloaf program. 


Summer Creative Writing Workshop Schedule:

Each week, students will read assigned works and complete a writing assignment in that style.

Week 1: Monologue/Narration

Poe (Tell-Tale Heart, Cask of Amontillado), Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper), Morrison (Sweetness)

Week 2: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Fairy Tales (Grimm, Perrault, Hans Christian Anderson), Bradbury (The Veldt, A Sound of Thunder), Marquez (A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, The Handsomest Drowned Man)

Week 3: Direct Language/Very Objective Narrators

Hemingway (Cat in the Rain, Hills Like White Elephants), London (To Build a Fire), Chopin (Story of an Hour, A Pair of Silk Stockings), Chekhov (Lady with a Dog)

Week 4: Poetic/Experimental Language

Faulkner (A Rose for Emily), Le Guin (Horse Camp), Kafka (The Hunger Artist), Dickinson, Frost, e.e. Cummings (Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town), Merwin, Baudelaire (Red-Haired Beggar Girl)

Week 5: Genre bending

Coleridge (Rime of Ancient Mariner), Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Arcadia), Sophocles (Antigone), Tennyson (Ulysses), W.C. Williams (Landscape with the Fall of Icharus), Atwood (Siren Song),  Wicked (play)

Week 6: Genre bending continued

Atwood (Happy Endings), continuation of readings from Week 5

Week 7: Open

O’Connor (A Good Man is Hard to Find), D.H. Lawrence (The Rocking Horse Winner), O’Brien (The Things They Carried), Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun), Chekhov (Ionych, The Lady with the Dog), Maupassant (The Necklace), Jhumpa Lahiri, Roald Dahl

Week 8: Wrap Up, Publishing, and Submitting Stories

Complete readings, mainly focus on finishing stories for self-publishing and submitting to contests

Make the Most of the Summer!

Students who stay actively engaged in the learning process during the summer perform better during the school year.

Contact AJ Tutoring to Enroll in Summer Tutoring
Peninsula Main Phone Number (650) 331-3251
Free Consultation