Butler University Creative Writing Camp

A Community for Young Writers

Creative Writing Camp and Butler Bridge combine learning, laughter, and compassion to inspire young writers and readers. The programs connect bright, young people with talented mentors and like-minded peers to nurture intellectual and artistic discovery.

This learning-rich community rejects a narrow version of education, in which, too often, assessment structures learning. We reach for a goal that is harder to define: enhancing creativity, developing the imagination, and finding our own voices. We help our students and campers be so engaged with the joys of literary arts that they don’t even notice how much they are learning.

In Person: June 12-16 and June 19-23

Virtual: June 26-30

Registration is now open! 

Camp Hours: 9:00 AM–3:00 PM Monday through Friday. Additional “less programmed” option to stay from 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Monday through Friday. The 3:00 PM-4:00 PM hour will be an additional $50 cost.

Students entering grades 3–12 in fall 2023. Children will be grouped by ages. Camp will meet on the Butler campus, in Jordan Hall, third floor, room 304.


  • College student mentors
  • Daily visits from guest writers
  • Field trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Campers will attend entertaining, lively workshops designed to inspire young writers. Students will write and read stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, personal narratives, song lyrics, and experimental pieces, experiencing the power of the literary imagination while developing language skills.

The week also includes forums on the birth of ideas, slam and performance art, free writing, nonsense verse, haiku, and abstract and concrete poetry. Campers will meet in small groups of peers over lunch to design and publish a creative webpage, as well as in daily workshops in the computer labs. Campers will also make a walking visit to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and have a pizza party and explore visual art (children need to bring a sack lunch on other days).

On Friday, we’ll cap the camp with a presentation of certificates, an open-mic reading (with ice cream). Families are welcome. Throughout the camp, students will work with Butler student mentors and professors to create a website where work from the camp will be displayed and enjoyed by participants and families.

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Screenwriting
  • Playwriting
  • Children’s Books
  • Journalism
  • Liar’s Club/Slam Café
  • Imagination Tag
  • The Art of Twitter
  • The Graphic Novel
  • The Blogosphere

Butler University’s Creative Writing Camp offers an intensive and entertaining week of workshops to help young writers develop their talent and passion for writing. Campers will converse and work with accomplished novelists, poets, editors, and teachers of writing, including:

Hilene Flanzbaum, PhD, Professor of English and Director of Writing for Wellness at Butler University

Colby Ornell, MFA (2018), Ph.D. candidate at the University of Houston, Fiction Editor at Gulf Coast

Elisabeth Speckman, MFA (2016), Adjunct Professor, Butler Bridge Program Director, fiction, playwright, actress

Chris Speckman, MFA (2013), Adjunct Professor, Writing in the Schools Director at Butler University, poet

Susan Neville, Demia Butler Chair English and Professor of English at Butler University

Alessandra Lynch, Senior Lecturer and English and Poet-in-Residence at Butler University

Chris Forhan, Professor of English at Butler University and author of My Father Before Me: A Memoir

One session (In Person)—$295 – 9:00 AM–3:00 PM (M-F)

One session (Virtual)—$245 – 9:00 AM–3:00 PM (M-F)

Additional discounts available for both in person weeks.

Refund Policy

Prior to June 1—Campers withdrawing from camp will be given a refund less a 20% admin fee

After June 1—No camp refunds will be given

Butler University requires students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated. As of February 26, 2022, Butler also follows the following policy:

“Given the rapid decline of COVID-19 cases, Butler University is making face masks optional across campus, including classrooms, dining areas, and residence halls, effective Wednesday, March 2.”

The Creative Writing Camp will follow Butler’s guidelines as well, and camp’s guidelines are the following:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are required for both our campers and staff.
  • Masks are optional. We will have masks on-hand for any campers, families, and staff who request one.

More information on Butler’s COVID-19 guidelines can be found here.

If anyone has any questions regarding Butler’s COVID polices, please contact Dominique Weldon: (bucwc@butler.edu).

Geoffrey Sharpless, PhD, Director

Dominique Weldon, Creative Writing Camp Coordinator