BADGERDOG CREATIVE WRITING CAMPS

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.

Due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Badgerdog will be offering all summer camp workshops online this year. If you have already registered for summer camp and would like to transfer your registration to an online workshop, please click here. Each online workshop will meet daily, M-F, for an hour and a half to read, write, and share together via Zoom. These workshops will be capped at 8 students per workshop. Campers will also use Google Drive to upload their work and receive feedback from their teaching artist as they move through the editing and revision process. Access to Zoom and GDrive will be necessary in order to participate. Online workshops will also have a reduced registration cost: $300 for a three-week workshop and $125 for a one-week workshop. Book Crush workshops are $320 and include a copy of the book. The revised summer camp calendar can be found below.

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. 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.

SUMMER CAMP SCHEDULE

Click on the grade level and time to register for that workshop.

SESSION A: June 1-19 (three weeks)

SESSION B: June 22-26 (one week)

FAQ

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 one copy of our student anthology, Rise or Emerge. 

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 two-thirds of the registration cost will be granted for requests made between 7 to 30 days prior to the start of the workshop's session. Refunds are not granted for requests made within 7 days of the start of the workshop. Prorated rates and daily drop-in rates 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.

Scholarships: 
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. Due to a high demand, scholarships will be limited to one workshop per applicant. Follow this link to complete a scholarship application form. Due to COVID-19, we are extending our period for scholarships. Please submit this form by June 1st to be considered.





  • 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."



INTERESTED IN CAMP BUT CAN’T ATTEND THIS YEAR? TELL US WHY.

For more information about Badgerdog’s programs, contact Programs Coordinator Katelin Kelly at kkelly@austinlibrary.org

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