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Butler University Creative Writing Camp

Butler University Creative Camp

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.

General Information 

2020 camp dates are June 15-19 and June 22-26

6/17/20 UPDATE: Creative Writing Camp has filled for both weeks but we do have a waiting list.

5/1/20 UPDATE:  Our Creative Writing Camp has now switched to a Virtual Creative Writing Camp. Dates are the same, but the times are new. Mornings will be from 10am-12pm with a break for lunch then afternoons from 1pm-3pm. 

We will miss the happy synergy that’s part of being gathered in Jordan Hall, but our teachers and staff, all experienced with online education, will combine learning, laughter, and compassion to inspire our young writers and readers. 

The technology presents opportunities and challenges. You’ll obviously have to have a computer and Internet access, but we are hopeful most campers will already have some experience handling remote learning. We will have a combination of video conferencing, like Zoom, google docs, and a platform like Canvas that will allow us to continue to connect our bright young people with talented mentors and like-minded peers.

Our low student teacher ratio, 5-1, will meet one of the main challenges of remote learning. In small video rooms, our campers can still be heard, known, and have a chance to grow towards the best version of themselves. Our teachers will design programming that fits the students in front of them, and will be creative about adjusting to the needs of the moment, including an increasingly rich collection of  Internet resources, music, games, and videos. We will still be a literary community.

The day will be various, and fun. We propose to run M-F, with a morning session, from 10-12, and an afternoon session, from 1-3. We will structure the week as we have: Monday, poetry; Tuesday, fiction; Wednesday, other forms; Thursday, art; Friday sharing and performing our work. We will hold workshops every day, allowing campers to follow their interests and curiosity, and give campers a chance to meet and share with a variety of talented mentors.

Though expressed in a new form, we remain committed to our progressive version of education, and our complex goal: enhancing creativity, developing the imagination, and helping children to find their own voices. I am sure that we can meet the challenges here, and continue to help our students and campers be so engaged with the joys of the literary arts that they don’t even notice how much they are learning.

Thank you for your support.


3/31/2020 UPDATE: At this time, we are hopeful that the Creative Writing Camp will be able to take place this summer. Thank you for registering for camp. 

In the event that camp will not take place due to the Coronavirus pandemic, participants will be notified and refunds will be processed and/or held for camp 2021. Thank you for your support.

3/4/2020: We are currently a little over half full for camper registrations for summer 2020. 

Please click on "REGISTER" link below to register with a credit card.

Camp Hours: 9:00 AM–4:00 PM Monday through Friday.

Students entering grades 3–12 in fall 2020. Children will be grouped by ages. Camp will meet on the Butler campus, in Jordan Hall, third floor, room 304. Please register early as both weeks fill every year.


Financial Information 

One session—$225

Both sessions—$400 (must use discount code provided on registration form)

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                               

Contact Anne Minnich-Beck, Camp Coordinator at 940-9293 or
Contact Geoffrey Sharpless, Director at

For more information 

Geoffrey Sharpless, PhD, Director 

Anne Minnich-Beck, Program Coordinator 


  • 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. 

Workshops Included

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

Camp Instructors and Guests

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

Katelin Rice, Butler University (2013), MAT graduate, Language Arts teacher at Northview Middle School, poet

Karin Salisbury, MFA (2018), Adjunct Professor, novelist, poet, painter, musician

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


Our Vision

The Butler Bridge and Creative Writing Camps—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, 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.

For accessibility information or to request disability-related accommodations, please visit our Event Accommodations page.