FREE Saturday Sessions

Join GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), a FREE creative writing workshop for Boston-area high schoolers. Our students come from a wide variety of high schools in the Boston area. We come together to geek out on writing/reading while mingling with fellow teen writers over snacks. There's an open mic at the end when reading is optional, and snaps and claps are always welcome. 

2018 YAWP FREE Saturday Session Information

All students MUST register in advance. We offer three sessions of classes each YAWP Saturday: from 12 PM to 4:00 PM, with a 30 minute break for socializing and lunch (on us!). We close every day together with a low-key open-mic reading from 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM.

Mark your calendars!

Fall 2018 Classes: 

Fall 2018 YAWP FREE Saturday classes will likely post by the end of July. But we have the dates and some topics already scheduled. Mark your calendars! (Links will go live once the course descriptions are posted.)

August 18th 

NaNoWriMo: YAWP Edition! Exploring Your Novel and Why You Want to Write It with Anneli Matheson

(This NEW special NaNoWriMo prep session kicks off a special series. Your novel writing support is here! We'll do it as a team. Come to one or all the sessions! Click here for more information on the national NaNoWriMo organization. This first day only runs from 12pm to 3:30 rather than the usual 12 to 4pm.)

Sept. 22 

NaNoWriMo: YAWP Edition! Unforgettable in Every Way...Creating Characters We Can't Stop Thinking About with Anneli Matheson

Slam and Spoken Word with Regie Gibson

Brief, Bizarre, Brilliant: Uncanny Flash Fiction with Maria Pinto

Boundary-Pushing Poetry: Experimenting with Visual Forms with Stephanie Brownell

Oct. 20 

NaNoWriMo: YAWP Edition! What's Happening and Why the Heck It Matters with Anneli Matheson

Slam and Spoken Word with Regie Gibson

Writing from Real Life with Candace McDuffie

Writing the Heavy Stuff with a Light Touch with Maria Pinto

Nov. 10 

NaNoWriMo: YAWP Edition! Write-a-thon Day at GrubStreet with Anneli Matheson

Slam and Spoken Word with Lin Pang

Super Stories: Taking Tips from Wonder Woman and Black Panther to Transform Your Writing with Sean van Deuren

Writing with 20/20 Vision with Karina van Berkum 

Dec. 1

NaNoWriMo: YAWP Edition! Forward Motion! What's Next for You and Your Novel with Anneli Matheson

Slam and Spoken Word with Lin Pang

Seeing Is Believing: Capturing Images to Make Memorable Poems with Angela Siew

Incorporating Magical Realism in Our Writing with Kelly Dalke

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Who are YAWPers?
Our students come from schools all over the Greater Boston area, and we all have one thing in common: we love to read and write creatively. Our program gets teens writing and the results speak for themselves. Our alumni have gone onto enroll college-level creative writing programs at such schools as Sarah Lawrence College and Brandeis University. YAWPers have also earned publication in various literary magazines and blogs like The Marble Collection.  YAWPers have also gone on to establish writing clubs at their schools and neighborhoods to help strengthen arts programs locally. 

What’s expected of me?
We ask that you come to YAWP ready to participate, think creatively, and work hard. We ask that you also respect your peers’ and instructors’ ideas. If you’re shy, that’s okay — we don’t make students read work they don’t want to. But we do encourage all YAWPers to stretch outside their comfort zone and make room for discovery! You may attend all of our events or just one of them, though we have plenty of students who come every month for an entire school year.

What do I need to bring? (Pencils? Paper?)
We’ll give you notebooks and pens. No homework. No need to bring a writing sample. Parents and guardians are always welcome to visit, though we ask them not to be in the classroom during writing. 

I’m in the 8th grade, but I really want to be a part of YAWP. Am I definitely excluded?
Generally, YAWP is intended for high school students. If you are just about to enter high school and would like to be a part of YAWP, please contact us directly by emailing, and we will see if an accommodation can be made. No guarantees, but let's chat about it.

Do I need to choose one genre to write for the entire year?
Absolutely not! We actually encourage our writers to try all the different genres offered throughout the year; we promise that it will make you a more well-rounded artist. Novelists interested in their narrator’s prose and characters’ dialogue have everything to gain from workshops in poetry or screenwriting or narrative nonfiction. We only ask that students remain in a single genre for their afternoon at Grub—in other words, please don't switch genres mid-workshop.

Okay, I’m going! Er, how do I get there?
All of our monthly sessions are held at GrubStreet Headquarters at 162 Boylston Street (5th floor) in Boston. 

Is YAWP any fun?
Don't ask us...ask our young writers.

“I learned that a whole story can be written in one sentence … and that there are teens like me who love writing as much as I do, which is cool.” 
— Jacqui G.
“Poetry can be anything.” 
— Anonymous
“Hearing other people’s works = inspiring” 
— Theresa K.
“I enjoy the whole experience – camaraderie, comedy, etc.” 
— Carter H.
“I wanted to write a memoir before I came here, and I found a great way to start it!” 
— Mia O.

YAWP Saturday Sessions are made possible, in part, thanks to the Barr Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, Esther B. Kahn Charitable Foundation, the Calderwood Foundation, the Highland Street Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, and donors like you.