In lieu of our traditional spring break camp, which has been canceled as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, we are introducing a new online writing workshop for students in grades 3-12. While we're stuck at home the next few weeks, we might as well write together!

At Badgerdog, we have a team of talented professional writers (we call them “teaching artists”) ready to take you on a trip through your creative imaginations. In these daily workshops, you will explore a new genre (fancy word for “writing form”) by reading, writing, and sharing your own original work with a small group of fellow writers. The goal is to grow a community for you even though it may feel like we’re far apart right now.

How will this work? Great question! Classes will meet over Zoom, an app that allows you to video conference with your workshop group in real time. Students will receive the links to each day's Zoom session and click on it to join the class. In addition, each student will also receive access to a Google Drive folder, where they will upload their work for instructor feedback and communication. Access to Google Drive and Zoom will be necessary in order to participate. 

What will the week look like?
- Once you register, you will receive an email from Badgerdog with instructions linking you to your workshop's Google Drive folder and your Zoom meeting link.
- Students will have a small prework assignment (located in the workshop folder) to complete before their first sharing session on Monday.
- Sharing sessions take place at the designated time listed on Sawyer. Each sharing session will last one hour.
- At the end of sharing session, your teaching artist will send you materials to guide you through the writing process.
- After spending some time exploring those materials, you'll get to write your own original piece. This might be a poem. It might be a short story, a letter, or a micro-play.
How you create your piece will be up to you! You'll write this piece and keep it in your writing folder in your Google Drive.
- The next day, you'll be invited to share what you wrote with your workshop. You'll get to listen to your workshop group, share your ideas and opinions, give feedback on writing, and celebrate your creations together.
- Read. Write. Share. Repeat!

Did you know that the famous playwright William Shakespeare wrote some of his most genius plays while stuck at home under quarantine? It’s true! Here at Badgerdog, we believe that writing has the power to transport us anywhere. Writing is its own type of magic! We can’t wait to see what magic you’ll create with us in these online workshops.

Additional Info:

-       Workshops are capped at 10 students maximum.

-       The time listed on this registration page will be the time of your one-hour “sharing session” on Zoom.

-       Once your registration is complete, you will receive an email from The Library Foundation’s programs manager, Kate Kelly, with more information about your specific workshop.

-       Students can register for daily drop-in programming ($25/day) or for the full week ($100/week)

-       Scholarships will be awarded on an ongoing basis in order to help families impacted financially by the COVID-19 crisis. To apply for a scholarship, please complete this form.

What is Badgerdog Creative Writing Camp?

Each spring break and summer, Badgerdog hosts writing workshops for rising 3rd- through 12th-graders. These fun and challenging writing workshops allow students to work closely with a professional writer as they explore the arts of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and playwriting. All campers experience the joy of performing and publishing their original work.

For more than 10 years, Badgerdog's Creative Writing Summer Camp has given Austin youth a space to fall in love with writing, discover authentic self-expression, learn from a professional writer, and publish original work. Workshops are limited to a maximum of 15 campers per workshop. Badgerdog workshops are grouped according to grade level. You will see the following workshop labels on the registration site:

  • Lower Elementary School: campers who will be entering 3rd + 4th grade in the fall
  • Upper Elementary School: campers who will be entering 5th + 6th grade in the fall
  • Middle School Workshop: campers who will be entering 7th + 8th grade in the fall
  • High School Workshop: campers who will be entering 9th - 12th grade in the fall

Parents say Badgerdog helps kids and teens write with greater skill, comfort, and enthusiasm. Campers say Badgerdog helps them find confidence and play in the writing process. Read about camper Anya Van Arnam's evolution as a writer through Badgerdog here in the Cedar Park High School Paper.

Scroll down or click here for Frequently Asked Questions and more information about discounts and scholarships.


Three-week Camps:

Session A
June 1-19
Times: 9:00am - 12:00pm, M-F
Locations: Meridian School (Round Rock)*
Grade levels: Open to rising 3rd-12th graders
Cost: $485
Curriculum Focus: All-genre creative writing camp

Register for Session A at Meridian HERE

Session B
June 15-July 3
Times: 9:00am - 12:00pm, M-F
Locations: Austin International School (Northwest Austin)*
Grade levels: Open to rising 3rd-12th graders
Cost: $485
Curriculum Focus: All-genre creative writing camp

Register for Session B at Austin International School HERE

Two-Week Camps:

Session A
June 1-12
Times: 9:00am - 12:00pm, M-F with afternoon options available
Locations: St. Andrew's Episcopal School*
Grade levels: Open to rising 3rd-8th graders
Cost: $385
Curriculum Focus: All-genre creative writing camp
Registration: Registration for St. Andrew's will open in March via the St. Andrew's School website.

Session B
Dates: June 15-26
Times: 9:00am - 12:00pm, M-F
Locations: Griffin School (Hyde Park) & Trinity Episcopal School (Westlake)*
Grade levels: Open to rising 3rd-12th graders
Cost: $385
Curriculum Focus: All-genre creative writing camp

Register for Session B at Griffin School HERE
Register for Session B at Trinity Episcopal HERE

Session C
Dates: July 6-17
Times: 9:00am - 12:00pm, M-F
Locations: Austin International School (Northwest Austin),  Headwaters School (Downtown) & Parkside Community School (South Austin)*
Grade levels: Open to rising 3rd-12th graders
Cost: $385
Curriculum Focus: All-genre creative writing camp

Register for Session C at Austin International School HERE
Register for Session C at Headwaters HERE
Register for Session C at Parkside HERE

Session D
Dates: July 20-31
Times: 9:00am - 12:00pm, M-F
Locations: Parkside Community School (South Austin),  Headwaters School (Downtown)  & Girls’ School of Austin (West Austin)*
Grade levels: Open to rising 3rd-12th graders
Cost: $385
Curriculum Focus: All-genre creative writing camp

Register for Session D at Parkside HERE
Register for Session D at Headwaters HERE
Register for Session D at Girls' School HERE

One-week Camps:

Creative Writing and Play
Dates: July 6-10
Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm, M-F
Locations: Griffin School (Hyde Park)
Grade levels: Open to rising 3rd-12th graders
Cost: $435
Curriculum Focus: Poetry, Fiction, & Craft-based storytelling with curriculum from LetterpressPLAY!

Register for Creative Writing and Play HERE

Personal and College Essay Workshop
Dates: August 3-7
Times: 10:30am - 4:30pm, M-F
Locations: Headwaters School (Downtown)
Grade levels: Open to rising 10th-12th graders
Cost: $435
Curriculum Focus: The Art of the Personal Essay + other elements of nonfiction
Register for Personal and College Essay Workshop HERE


Frequently Asked Questions

Lessons are designed to be creative, surprising, and engaging. Each morning, campers learn through discovery, practice, mentorship, and collaboration in workshops with a student to teacher ratio of 1:15. Each day, campers encounter the work of classic and contemporary writers, and they study the techniques these writers use to craft artful poetry and prose. Campers author numerous creative pieces in various genres, sharing their work along the way with their workshop colleagues. These summer workshops emphasize all aspects of the writing process, from idea generation to revision to publication.

At the end of the summer, all students will have their work published in one of two professionally produced anthologies—Rise, for elementary-aged writers, and Emerge, for middle- and high-school writers. In October, Badgerdog hosts an end-of-summer reading, where selected campers from each camp location perform their work at the annual Austin Teen Book Festival. All summer camp writers are invited to attend, and the reading coincides with an anthology-release party and book-signing event that includes all campers.

Of course! Both eager and reluctant writers find Badgerdog’s workshops engaging and empowering. Our creative approach to the craft of writing allows hesitant writers to practice an essential skill in a no-fail, supportive environment—while also having fun! For more advanced writers, Badgerdog’s teaching artists provide challenges and offer personalized feedback.

If your child has dyslexia, dysgraphia, ASD we can accommodate your child. We’ve heard from parents of other campers with these challenges that Badgerdog is an ideal place to practice writing and learn new skills. We ensure that campers feel encouraged to continue trying, experimenting, finding their voices. We welcome technology that makes writing easier and more accessible for campers. We want to avoid the use of smart phones or anything that may distract other campers, but otherwise such devices are encouraged. Our registration form will allow you to share information about your child with us so we can provide tailored support, or you can contact our Programs Coordinator to discuss questions or concerns before signing up.

In and of itself, writing is a worthy pursuit, but at Badgerdog, we allow writers to take their work from the insides of a spiral notebook out into the world. That’s why each camp session culminates with a reading on-site, where students perform an original poem or story before an audience of fellow writers, parents, family, and friends.


The registration fee includes a writing journal for each student, a Badgerdog T-shirt, and one copy of Rise or Emerge. Three-week camps also include a writing field trip or a visit from an author or a teaching artist in another discipline.

Refund Policy: Full refunds, minus a $50 processing fee, will be granted for requests made more than 30 days prior to the start of the summer session. A partial refund of $200 per registration will be granted for requests made between 7 to 30 days prior to the start of the summer session. Refunds are not granted for requests made within 7 days of the start of the summer session. Prorated rates, daily drop-in rates, and partial refunds are not available for summer camps.

Early Bird Discount: A $15 discount will be applied to summer camp registration before March 1. Use discount code: badgerbird at checkout.

Sibling & Friend Discounts: Parents registering more than one camper at the same time will receive a 5% discount per registration. This discount can not be used with other discounts and will be available after the early bird discount expires on March 1.

A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. Scholarships are open to rising 3rd-12th graders who demonstrate financial need and a commitment to writing. Students need not consider themselves “excellent writers” (or even “good writers”) in order to apply. We are most interested in a student’s willingness to grow as a writer and to become part of a community dedicated to learning together. Follow this link to complete a scholarship application form. Please complete this form as soon as possible, no later than April 1, 2020. Applications will be reviewed in early April. Applications submitted after April 1 will be considered on a rolling basis.

  • 66% of campers say they like writing more as a result of Badgerdog.
  • 71% of campers say they are better writers as a result of Badgerdog.
  • When asked how campers felt when writing, 94% used a positive phrase, such as "energized," "alive like a bird," "like I have a workable outlet for all of my ideas," or "like a balloon of happiness has just gotten blown up inside me.

What do campers like most about Badgerdog?

  • small, supportive classes
  • expressing themselves without being judged
  • hearing other classmates share their work
  • different types of writing exercises to "get us out of our comfort zone"
  • meeting new friends and fellow authors
  • the creative ways "we learned to write"

Here's what we heard from parents:

  • 92% of parents say Badgerdog has a positive impact on their children's writing skills.
  • 94% say Badgerdog has a positive effect on their children's attitudes toward writing.

We asked parents to identify the most significant positive effect of summer camp:

  • "Attending Badgerdog  was the best activity C. participated in this summer. I was so impressed with the high quality of his instructor. The class was well-organized, with engaging, creative activities each day. And she created a safe space for C. to do something he finds pretty terrifying -- explore his own talent. It's a mark of how safe he felt that he actually participated in the end-of-camp reading with very little resistance."
  • "Badgerdog drastically reduced writing reluctance, increased writing fluency, and increased interest in sharing writing with others."
  • "The green light for self-expression."
  • "Having a positive experience with a subject my child doesn't like."
  • "It was great seeing and hearing my daughter describe each day of camp -- what she did in class, seeing her so enthusiastic about writing and speaking."
  • "Exposure to different forms of writing. My older child was only interested in writing novels before attending camp, and this experience really opened her eyes to other forms."
  • "Excitement about being published and having a 'real' author work with my daughter."
  • "My daughter is dyslexic and has always been very negative about writing. However, she has had only positive things to say about her experience at camp."


For more information about Badgerdog’s programs, contact Programs Coordinator Katelin Kelly at

Read students' poems and stories on our blog, Unbound.