- Creative Writing
- Portfolio Requirements
- Master Classes
- Fiction & Poetry Scholarship Contest
Achieve more than you’ve ever thought you could in our Creative Writing Department.
We’ll free your imagination to explore all literary genres in workshops for poetry, prose, song writing and dramatic writing. One-on-one tutorials will guide you through your independent journey of self-discovery.
Collaborate with students from other IAA departments and see your work on the stage or screen, and share your work with other writers through our literary journal and public readings.
Our faculty will encourage you to take the risks that lead to authentic creativity. Let us help you tell the world the kinds of truths that only the writer’s imagination can see.
Hear about the genesis of one Idyllwild Arts student’s story, from initial idea to award-winning publication.
The Creative Writing major encourages the creative powers of young writers, teaches skills and techniques, introduces the discipline of close reading and practical criticism, and prepares students for college and the many paths a professional writing life may take. Creative Writing majors study literary history, learn to think critically, and experience literary creation and revision firsthand.
Candidates must submit a portfolio that includes several representative writing samples. The portfolio must include some poetry and fiction, but may also include work from other genres such as nonfiction and dramatic writing. The submission should be fifteen to twenty pages total. Applicants are evaluated on overall academic achievement as well as writing skills and experience. Due to the large amount of reading required, applicants should have a high level of reading comprehension.
For specific questions regarding the Creative Writing Admission Process, please contact:
Kelly Wills at 951.659.2171 x2341 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing at Idyllwild is an exploratory, self-motivated process. The teachers are there to guide you, but when it comes down to it, you’re in charge of what you create, and in that way, anything and everything you do becomes yours. You read, write, and think until your brain stops working. When you’re up at some ungodly hour of the morning but still can’t sleep because you’re repeating nonsense to yourself in the hopes it’ll turn into a piece of literature, the experience brings you near insanity. Then, though, there’s a break, the words and ideas flow, and you’re rewarded for your perseverance. The writing program at Idyllwild taught me try everything, and worry about taste and preference later. Risk is the greatest component to that education.
– Isaac Dwyer, Class of 2013, Creative Writing
Parallax Literary Magazine has been published by the Creative Writing department of Idyllwild Arts Academy since 1997. Created, designed, and run by students, Parallax has always championed the high school writer by publishing the best of Idyllwild students’ creative writing and visual art.
Parallax Online publishes the best work by high school students around the globe. Work is selected, edited and published by Idyllwild Arts Creative Writers.
Nationally recognized writers visit Creative Writing classes to highlight the particular area of concentration the students are currently working in. Their presentations are designed to give students an insight into the writing life of established and emerging writers from varied backgrounds, and to expose students to possible careers that can arise from a thorough understanding of literature and the writing process.
Recent Master Class Guests:
Claudia Rankine, National Book Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Times Book Award, and NAACP Image Award winner for Citizen: An American Lyric; author of Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; professor of Creative Writing at Yale University, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets
Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander, Paint it Black, and Revolution of Marina M.
Jane Wong, author of Overpour, published in Best American Poetry series, professor at Western Washington University
Allison Benis White, author of Self-Portrait with Crayon, Please Bury Me in This, Small Porcelain Head, professor of Creative Writing at UC Riverside
Natashia Deon, author of Grace, practicing attorney, law professor, UCLA Creative Writing professor
William Lucas Walker is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer whose television credits include Frasier, Will & Grace and Roseanne. He co-created the critically-acclaimed one-hour Showtime comedy series The Chris Isaak Show. He regularly blogs for The Huffington Post in his column Spilled Milk, the first recurring humor column by a gay parent to appear in a major U.S. publication.
Ruth McKee is a founding member of the Ovation-Award winning theatre company Chalk Rep, and serves as the Literary Manager for the Black Dahlia Theatre. She is a member of the Los Angeles Playwrights Union, and teaches playwriting and screenwriting at Cypress College and the California Summer School of the Arts.
Idyllwild Arts Academy Contest Guidelines
The Spring Contest deadline is May 1, 2018
The Summer Contest deadline is July 5, 2018
To enter the contest, please submit your work below:
1st place winner – Boarding = $25,000
1st place winner – Day = $10,000
2nd place winner – Boarding = $15,000
2nd place winner – Day = $5,000
Once finalists are chosen, they will be asked to apply to Idyllwild Arts Academy; upon acceptance winner will receive their award as specified above. Additional need-based aid may be provided. All finalists will be considered for admission and need-based aid.
- Open to high school students going into 9-12 grade
- Submit one story or up to three poems. Double-space fiction. Use a readable font. Include page numbers. Please submit files as .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf.
- Do not include your name or contact information on the story or poem. You will include this information in the online submission form.
- First page of manuscript should include the title only.
Winners will be chosen by Idyllwild Arts Academy faculty. If no works meet the judges’ criteria, Idyllwild Arts Academy reserves the right to select no winner and offer no scholarship.
Note: If you miss our contest deadline, we will have another contest in the future. Please sign up to be notified of future contests by sending an email with “Future Contests” in the subject line to email@example.com