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, and enjoy cool writing exercises, mingling with fellow young writers, snacks, and an optional open mic. YAWP has been recognized by the The Boston Globe as Boston's hub for writing teenagers. 

2017-2018 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 (we'll provide plenty of snacks, but you are encouraged to bring your own lunch...though sometimes we find enough money for pizza!). We close every day together with a low-key open-mic reading from 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM.

Fall 2017-2018 Schedule

Mark your calendars!

Remaining Fall 2017 Classes:

November 18th

Writing the Risky Personal Narrative with Ethan Gilsdorf ALMOST FULL!

Mystery in Fiction with Sean van Deuren FULL! (Taking names for waitlist)

Writing Inspired by Found Objects with E.B. Bartels FILLING FAST!

December 9

Writing on the Edge of Our Seats with Katie Bayerl SPACE ADDED! ALMOST FULL!

Poetry as Witness with Ashley Wong SPACE ADDED! FILLING FAST!

Slam Poetry with Regie Gibson SPACE ADDED! ALMOST FULL!

Slam Team Auditions with Regie Gibson: 4:00-6:00pm (Right after the Saturday YAWP open mic! No experience necessary!)

Upcoming Spring 2018 Classes: 

January 27th (already filling up!)

I Can't Believe They're Not Real! - Creating Memorable Characters with Kelly Dalke 

What Makes a Novel? with Katie Bayerl 

When Visual Art and Words Meet: Ekphrastic Poetry! with Heather Nelson

February 10th

Warm-Up for Camp NaNoWriMo in April 2018 with Anneli Matheson 

Beyond Fan Fiction with Drew Jameson 

Writing the Risky Personal Narrative with Ethan Gilsdorf (Back by popular demand!)

March 24th 

Finding Story: Using Pixar's Storytelling Strategies with Sean van Deuren (Back by popular demand!)

Supernatural from Scratch: Writing Hair-Raising Ghost Stories with Jess Mann 

TBD with Sarah Colwill-Brown

April 28th 

Publishing Your Short Work: Submission Tips to Get Your Work Out There! with Jonathan Escoffery (Back by popular demand!)

Trying Out New Voices to Discover Your Own with Heather Wells Peterson

Screenwriting: Crafting Moving Pictures with Stephanie Brownell (Also good for novelists and short story writers!) 

[We might add two more days of classes on May 12 and June 2, if classes continue to fill up so quickly. Stay tuned!]

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.