Wittenberg hosts Champion City Writing Camp to help high schoolers

Wittenberg is hosting the Champion City Write Now (CCWN) camp for high school creative writers for the second year.

Open to students in the Clark County area, CCWN welcomes rising students in grades 10 through 12. The event started Monday and runs until Friday. Additionally, Wittenberg will now open a second week of the camp to rising students in grades 7 through 9 from June 24-28.

Attendees will be led by CCWN’s team of instructors and will participate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in four days of instruction with the genres fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and graphic comics.

With help from The Springfield Foundation, the immersive writing program was awarded $5,000 for operational expenses, including marketing materials, program supplies, and student supplies. The additional funding also allowed for an extension to the one-week program to ensure more local budding writers could participate.

Erin Hill , CCWN creative director, said: “We wanted to allow the students to be creative and network with other students who enjoyed writing as much as they did.”

Hill said she was excited about the new and returning students in the program.

Returning senior Alissa Askryd talked about her experience with the program.

“It’s really fun that I get to come back and listen to professional tips from great writers, I feel like I’ve learned so much,” she said.

Returning sophomore Synclair Smith talked about how much the experience helped her in school.

“This program honestly helped me ace English last year, so I’m excited to do this program again,” she said.

Smith also talked about the different genres she’s explored as well.

“I’m more open to different styles of writing with the help of this program,” she said. “Currently I’m working on a mystery novel and hopefully soon a horror short story.”

The genres and classes are as follows according to the Wittenberg website:

Hill teaches in the education and English departments at Wittenberg and earned her master’s from New York University. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in The Sun, Oh Reader, The Belladonna Comedy, The Brevity Blog, The Under Review, and Words and Sports Quarterly.

Andy Graff, associate professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Wittenberg, is the author of the 2021 novel Raft of Stars and the 2024 novel True North. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, he earned a master’s from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his fiction and essays have appeared in Image and Dappled Things.

Marlo Starr, assistant professor of English at Wittenberg and a recent Ohio Arts Council grant recipient, earned her Ph.D. in English from Emory University and a master’s in poetry from Johns Hopkins University. Her poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Ghost City Review, Napkin Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

Nora Hickey has worked as an instructor at Colorado State University, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and the Columbus College of Art and Design, and holds a master’s in poetry from the University of New Mexico. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Guernica, Electric Literature, Narrative, the Massachusetts Review, and other journals.

Four students ranging from sophomore to senior are part of the first week’s program. Each student has different pieces to work on, ranging from mystery novels to research, and poetry.

The writers’ camp will conclude with a final evening of celebration and showcasing as campers will read their best work at a public event. All participants will also publish their selected pieces in the printed CCWN Anthology.

Applications opened in January, and all local area students were encouraged to apply, however, applications are still available if students want to apply. The cost for this year’s camp is $100 and applicants must submit a short writing sample of their best original work in their preferred genre (fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic work/comics) to be considered for the workshop.

About the Author