For Teens
Online: Zoom

Teen Summer: Finding Your Voice Through Spoken Word

Monday through Friday, July 24th - July 28th, 10:30am-3:30pm (ET)
Remote! (Live Zoom Meetings)
See Map
Level: Teens
Teen (13-18)
20 seats max

***This class will be hosted remotely! You'll receive an email from your instructor about 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin with a Zoom link. There is no need to download or sign up for Zoom in advance!***


Class Description:

Reading and writing in quiet has it's own perks, but what about the sounds and rhythms of words spoken out loud? Many people don’t realize that the spoken word predates the written word and is considered one of mankind's first art forms. In this class students will learn about the history/evolution of spoken word poetry and try their own stylistic imitation of spoken word's most popular icons to find inspiration and get comfortable peforming their work aloud. Students will practice finding, creating and hearing their own voice, possibly for the first time and get feedback on both writing and performance of spoken word pieces. We will study poets who have excelled in both literary and performance spaces, and think critically about what makes them successful in these similar but different genres of writing in order to identify spoken word writing techniques. 

With the success of youth centered spoken word programs like YouthSpeaks and Young Chicago Authors as well as National Youth Poetry Slams like Brave New Voices and Louder Than A Bomb, young people are in a constant search for the knowledge, understanding and technique required to write for the stage. Writers of all experience levels are welcome! For writers age 13-18 ONLY.


Students will leave with edited work, a clear understanding of the fundamental differences between writing for the page and writing for the stage as well as the skills, techniques and methods that are used when writing with the intention to perform. 

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session post-class. 

Online Class Format--Sustainability and Community:

Based on student suggestions and to offer writers a sustainable learning experience, this YAWP weeklong provides a balance of craft sessions and exercises with plenty of optional components so that teens can take screen breaks as needed. 

Each morning session will feature a craft talk or group exercise with your designated instructor, and in the afternoon you’ll have optional and lowkey meetings that could consist of:

  • Q&A chat with your writing instructor
  • Group writing with music
  • Reading party
  • Movie viewing followed by a chat about craft
  • Writing games
  • Open mic/sharing

Students are encouraged to self-advocate, opting out if they are fatigued or diving in if they want more creative activity. Either way, instructors will always be available to answer questions via email and/or Zoom chat!

Registration Instructions:

  • If the student is under 18, parents/guardians must complete this permission form online. You only need to fill this form out ONE TIME, NOT for every class. If you cannot remember whether you have already filled it out, please email [email protected] and we will check for you! If you do not complete this form, your registrations could be voided and the cancellation policy will apply.
  • If the student is 18, simply let us know by emailing [email protected].
  • If you are registering on behalf of a student, add their email in the “For a Friend or Child?” field on the right-hand side of the screen at check out. This will send them a direct link and reminder to create their own profile with GrubStreet.
  • Please register with your preferred name :)


***If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected]. We’re looking forward to writing with you this summer!***



grubstreet Image
Imani Cezanne
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • You'll Be Inundated with Great Info
  • Lots of Practical Tips
  • Supportive Environment


  • Get Feedback
  • Revision
  • Inspiration


  • Poetry
  • Professional Development & Skills

Commitment Level



Need a scholarship?

Learn more