Arts Academy Boarding School: Creative Writing Major

The creative writing program at Interlochen Arts Academy boarding high school provides guidance, support and numerous opportunities for young writers. Students in the creative writing program study and create poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting and screenwriting with a faculty of writer–educators. The goal of the program is to help young writers cultivate their talents, broaden their command of the writer's craft at all levels, and to teach them how to read like writers.

Students hone and polish their unique voices through readings, discussion, writing exercises, group critiques and individual tutorials with the faculty. Writers also develop their skills by studying masterworks in a variety of traditional and contemporary genres. Literature and craft-based electives are offered to help the student tailor the experience to their own needs and interests. 

Join us online on Thursday, April 17 at 7:30pm EDT for a webcast of the Red Wheelbarrow reading, live from The Writing House. Red Wheelbarrow is our quarterly literary publication, and features diverse voices in poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

After Graduation

Graduates go on to attend a wide array of small liberal arts colleges and larger universities. Recent graduates have attended Harvard University, Princeton University, Columbia College Chicago, New York University, Emerson College, Knox College, Oberlin College, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Michigan, Bard College, Reed College, and Boston University, among others. 

Awards and Recognition

Nineteen Interlochen Arts Academy Creative Writing students have been named Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Writers from Interlochen regularly earn national recognition in contests including the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts' youngARTS competition and The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Recent graduates have won the Gold Portfolio Awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards contest and been selected as finalists in the youngARTS competition, as well as placing in numerous regional and national contests for high school writers. 

Notable Alumni

  • Mohammed Naseehu Ali, author
  • Terry Apter, author
  • David Blum, journalist and editor
  • David Bowman, author
  • Karin Gottshall, poet
  • Julia Lieblich, author
  • Jennifer Lynch, film director
  • Jay Peterzell, investigative reporter
  • Lisa Powers, art director/designer, Newsweek
  • Josh Rathkamp, poet
  • Teresa Scollon, poet
  • Paula Sharp, novelist
  • Faith Shearin, poet
  • David Shenk, author
  • Doug Stanton, author
  • Jeffrey Taylor, journalist
  • Pamela White Hadas, poet

The Writing House

The Writing House provides an inviting and spacious home for the creative writing program and offers students comfortable quiet writing spaces complete with indoor and outdoor fireplaces and a kitchen, wireless internet access, a literary publications room with computer and printing stations, and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system for guest, faculty and student readings. 360-degree virtual tour.

Recent Visiting Writers

  • Carolyn Forché, author of four poetry collections including The Country Between Us and Blue Hour
  • Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and Oscar-nominated screenwriter, author of Angels in America
  • Kwame Dawes, Emmy-winning Jamaican poet and writer, author of 16 poetry colletions, including Back of Mount Peace and Hope's Hospice
  • Peter Matthiessen, New York Times bestselling author of The Snow Leopard and winner of the National Book Award for Shadow Country
  • Antonya Nelson, author of numerous short story collections and novels including Bound and In the Land of Men
  • Barry Lopez, winner of the National Book Award for Arctic Dreams
  • Brady Udall, author of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint and Letting Loose the Hounds
  • Dorianne Laux, author of four poetry collections including Facts about the Moon
  • Cornelius Eady, author of six collections of poetry, including The Gathering of My Name, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize
  • Lia Purpura, acclaimed author of 3 poetry collections and the essay collections Rough Likeness and On Looking, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

Student Publications

How to Apply

  1. Prepare the materials listed here: portfolio requirements
  2. Complete the online application
  3. Submit your portfolio materials online: http://academy.interlochen.org/submit

Though not required, a campus visit is recommended. You can tour the campus, visit classes, and possibly take in a performance or reading. You can meet and talk with students who are living the Academy experience. You may also arrange for a portfolio review.

Our enrollment officers are here to help you in any way they can. If you wish to talk with someone about Academy programs, the application process, a campus visit, portfolio presentations, or other topics, they will be happy to work with you. Simply call 800.681.5912 or 231.276.7472 or email admission@interlochen.org.

Follow Us on Tumblr

Faculty

David Griffith

Director of Creative Writing, Interlochen Center for the Arts

M.F.A., fiction writing, University of Pittsburgh; B.A., English, University of Notre Dame

Anne-Marie Oomen

Instructor of Creative Writing, Interlochen Arts Academy
Instructor of Creative Writing, Interlochen College of Creative Arts

 

Mika Perrine

Instructor of Creative Writing, Interlochen Center for the Arts

M.F.A., Creative Writing, University of Michigan; B.A., English Literature (with honors), Brown University; Interlochen Arts Academy alumna

Lesley Alicia Tye

Instructor of Creative Writing and Motion Picture Arts, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp

M.F.A., Creative Writing with emphasis in Screenwriting, National University; B.F.A., Filmic Writing, University of Southern California; Interlochen Arts Academy alumna

 

Video

Photo Galleries

  • Creative writing guest Francine Harris
  • Antonya Nelson
  • Dagoberto Gilb
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Francine Harris guest reading

Share: