Kids Writing Workshops

Young Authors Writing Camps
Wednesdays beginning June 27, 2018
Teton County Library’s Ordway Auditorium

Updated (as details unfold): June 7, 2018

The Camps Are Filled. There is a wait list. See below for information.

“My son loved the writing workshops! Thank you JHW for all the work you did to organize this event. He attended all 3 days and was so inspired. He came home each day wanting to write more, expanding on something they discussed in the workshop or starting a new story. Already looking forward to next year.” –Lauren Rues

Jackson Hole Writers is once again partnering with the Teton County Library to offer writing sessions for middle-graders (10-13), though older students are always welcome to attend. A young open attitude is all that is required. Our faculty does not dumb down these workshops. All levels of writers are welcome. And you will get lots of time to write this year.

This year’s camps will offer six weekly sessions: two for sci-fi/fantasy (some humorous twists); two for realistic fiction, and one for nature/outdoor writing. The last session will be for those who want to play with words and make nonsense to music and maybe write some poetry or prose with a lyric tone–a kind of anything goes session. Just because you LOVE fantasy doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from realistic fiction. Or vice versa. Dialogue, setting scenes, making it real are important ingredients in ALL writing. Whether you are 10 or 100. (Nobody that old is allowed to come to this camp!)

Be prepared to let your imagination take flight.

Each session will be four hours–because 2017 participants wanted more time to write!–and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on consecutive Wednesdays (skipping July 4). There will be a 20 to 30 minute break for lunch,so participants should bring a sack lunch (unless we come up with a lunch sponsor). We will provide snacks and juices in the morning and afternoon as well.

“She gave us examples, and made us participate actively. (She) couldn’t have been better.”–Student evaluation for 2017 camp.

This year’s author/teachers come from Arizona, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, and include award-winning, nationally-recognized, best-selling writers, who have all worked with young people. Read about them below. Depending on the author ,there were will be books available for sale and author signing following each session. And we are working on a celebratory public reading for friends and family in August.

On the final day there will be drawings for prizes (books, gift certificates) for the youngsters who attended at least five out of the six sessions. Come to the entire series and there will be other special prizes! We are planning an ice cream social as well AND want to hear what students read. So bring your family and friends back at 2:15 on Aug. 8.

Remember to register separately for each session. (The registration button is at the bottom of this page.) If you have problems, email us through Contact. To keep apprised of writing happenings in the area, please sign up for our e-news there. If you attended the Kids Camp last year, you are already on it.

We are proud to have received support from Center of Wonder through the Arts for All grants (formerly Cultural Council of Jackson Hole), from the Center of Wonder’s C3 grant initiative for creative education, from a Community Grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, and from Teton County Library. We are working to obtain more funding. If you are interested in supporting this effort, Contact us.

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jewell Parker Rhodes is the award-winning, best-selling author of Towers Falling and the Louisiana Girls Trilogy:  Ninth Ward, Sugar and Bayou Magic. Ghost Boys will be her fifth novel for middle-graders and is forthcoming in April, 2018. Jewell writes about the real world and real world events as seen through middle-grade age youngsters. She is not afraid of tackling tough topics. Her affection for teaching and her joy for life are contagious during her workshops.

Sassy and Smart Characters: Speaking The Truth and Saving the World is all about creating empowered characters. You will learn character-building techniques and how to write realistic dialogue and create scenes to develop plot. Jewell believes that characters, especially written from the first person point of view, can express an author’s–yours–vision about overcoming conflict. “Good stories help readers to be more empathetic,” she says. “Good stories help make the world a better place.”

Throughout her sessions she shares stories about her childhood in PIttsburgh, Pennsylvania, her writer aspirations, and her writing process. Rhodes is the Founding Artistic Director and the Piper Endowed Chair of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She is also a professor of Creative Writing and American Literature and the former Director of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing You can read more about her on her own website or at wikipedia. Jewell will also be a featured speaker and workshop leader at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference on June 28.

There will be a book sale and signing to follow.

Frank L. Cole

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Frank L. Cole was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Sadly, he has since lost that manuscript and can no longer remember what it was about. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot.

In 4X4X4 Frank will take you on a journey to discover the four basic needs of character creation, the four steps to writing awesome dialogue, and the four keys to crafting amazing first chapters–what will hook the reader.

Currently, Frank he resides with his wife and children in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted. He is the author of nine published books, including The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine and The Afterlife Academy. His tenth novel, Potion Masters (Book One) – The Eternity Elixir, will be available in January. Frank also teaches “boot camps” for young writers, which incorporate fun and writing. Learn more about Frank’s writing. He also offers up discussion questions for teachers and parents as well.

There will be a book sale and signing to follow.

Jennifer A. Nielsen

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

This Camp is full. There is a Wait List. If you are interested, send an email through Contact. Participants do cancel.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As a child, Jennifer Nielsen rode bicycles no-handed, cliff jumped, was the entire outfield player on a three-person baseball team, and climbed trees with power lines running through them (that fortunately, she never touched). She somehow became a semi-responsible adult who now only writes about reckless young heroes. She is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of The Traitor’s Game, The Ascendance Trilogy, the Mark of the Thief series, A Night Divided, and other titles.A Night Divided has received a Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Award. Jennifer lives in northern Utah with her husband, three kids, a dog that won’t play fetch, and most recently, a cat that hallucinates.

In her workshop, “Every Action An Act of Creation,” she will walk you through the process of getting and developing the story idea and then learning how to deal with the roadblocks that come up in that process. Lots of writing and lots of queues on how to keep generating your story.

Jennifer also has a useful page on her website with tips for young writers. A good resource at any time for any writer. More information about Jennifer here.

There will be a book sale and signing to follow.

Nanci Turner Steveson

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

This camp is full. There is a wait list as of May 31. Please send an email through Contact. Participants do cancel.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Nanci Turner Steveson is the author of Swing Sideways, a 2018 Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Award nominee; Georgia Rules; and the upcoming Lizzie Flying Solo about a recently homeless girl who loves a pony she can’t have. Nanci is blessed with Peter Pan Adventure Syndrome. When her children were grown, she packed her truck and trailer with her horse, her dog, and a mysterious antique box given to her by a ghost, and moved 2020 miles by herself to live in a historic, meadow cabin in the shadow of the Tetons where she writes books for middle grade kids, and works as a stage manager for Off Square Theatre Company in Jackson.

Nanci’s workshop, Why Does My Character Look Like a Tree? combines lessons in where young writers will find the faces that appear in their stories, and how to breathe life into an ordinary setting until it becomes so rich, it is a character all its own. This workshop is a combination of the two most popular presentations she offers when visiting schools and libraries, and incorporates “out of the chair” theater techniques to get the creative juices flowing.

There will be a book sale and signing to follow.

David Romtvedt

Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Besides having been a Wyoming state Poet Laureate, David Romtvedt has taught poetry-in-the-schools throughout the West. He also was a song-writing and poetry instructor for the Alaska Arts Southeast Summer Fine Arts Camp for high school and middle-grade students from 1979-84. Since that he has directed the Children’s Band laboratory program at Centrum Foundation’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington.

“I grew up in southern Arizona and moved to the Pacific Northwest to go to college.  I loved school because it let me think about people and places I longed to visit.  Indeed, I’ve traveled a lot and those travels show up in all kinds of way in my writing which includes poems, songs, novels, and essays—often about places.  Maybe what I’m most interested in is language itself—how we talk to each other, what words and music sound like.  Do we talk to each other without words?  I think so but I love words, too.
“Sense and Nonsense—making poems from the love of both sounds and words” is the working title of his workshop. Participants would work with writing that might accompany songs, writing in invented languages, and writing that uses the words of our daily speech. He is keen to have young writers play with both the meaning and the rhythm of a poem.
David lives in Buffalo, Wyoming, and is a professor emeritus from the University of Wyoming, where he taught in the creative writing program. He is a nationally recognized poet, with a long list of published books. When he is not writing, he is playing music with the Fire Ants and traveling to Basque Country.


Matt Daly

Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Matt Daly likes writing poems while sitting in the dirt. He also likes writing poems in the dirt, preferably with a crooked stick. He enjoys listening to the conversations of wind and water, birds and other critters. He also likes joining these conversation by reading poems aloud to whichever winds, waterways, birds and critters care to listen.

In the workshop, “Who Said That?” Matt says participants will explore the environs outside the library with all of our senses. We will let our writing follow the natural rhythms of our bodies in motion. We will make poems in our own voices and in voices other than our own. Once our poems are “finished,” we will use natural materials to write them temporarily onto the landscape. We will read our poems aloud to whichever critters hang around long enough to hear them. Come to the workshop prepared to get out in the weather, to get dirt under your fingernails and to end up with grass stains on your knees and laugh lines on your cheeks.

Matt Daly grew up roaming the fields and willow thickets of Wilson, Wyoming. Since his return to Jackson Hole as an adult, Matt has led creative writing workshops for people age 5 to 95. He has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in the US and internationally. He has exhibited word-based visual art collaboratively and independently. Matt has also worked on projects combining writing and performance. His first book-length collection of poems, Between Here and Home, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2019. In his free time, he chases trout, usually with limited success.

Early registration is suggested as space is limited. You will have to sign up for each day separately.

Teachers who might be interested in sitting in, please use contact form to let us know. We are happy to accommodate teachers who are working with the same age group, but space is limited by the size of the Youth Auditorium.



With the support from:


The Musser Fund