NMH’s summer institute to provide mentorship to aspiring young writers

  • A panoramic view of the Northfield Mount Hermon School campus in Gill. Contributed photo/David Warren

Staff Writer
Published: 2/24/2021 3:21:04 PM

GILL — Through an online summer writing institute for students entering grades seven through 12, Northfield Mount Hermon School will invite published writers from around the country to share their insight with teens looking to follow a similar path.

The Lamplighter Literary Arts Summer Writing Institute will be held from July 11 to July 23. Workshops are offered in fiction writing, poetry, journalism and screenwriting. Students will select the genre they wish to study and join a morning or evening workshop, led by two teams of instructors.

The cost of the program is $900, but financial aid is available. Lamplighter Literary Arts Summer Writing Institute Director John Corrigan, an English teacher overseeing student writing programs at NMH, said it is important to him that a form of financial aid be available.

“This is about giving people the opportunity to follow their passions in the field of writing, whether that’s journalism, poetry, screenwriting or fiction,” said Corrigan, who is also the writing institute’s founder. “We want to do everything we can on our end to make it financially viable.”

There will be also be a one-week offering in crime fiction, from July 26 to July 30, for $450.

Corrigan said the Lamplighter Literary Arts Summer Writing Institute will connect aspiring young writers with professionals and experienced educators. When pulling together the 15 instructors, Corrigan said he wanted to work with strong writers, but moreover educators who could offer “real exciting and rewarding experiences” for students.

“These are talented award-winning novelists, journalists, poets and filmmakers,” he said. “More than that, they’re seasoned educators who want to mentor young writers.”

Information sessions for the writing institute will be held throughout the spring, starting Saturday. Information session dates and times are: Saturday, Feb. 27, at 9 a.m.; Sunday, March 21, at 9 p.m.; Saturday, April 10, at 9 a.m.; Sunday, April 26, at 9 p.m.; and Sunday, May 23, at 9 p.m.

“I’m especially hoping to bring in young writers from the Pioneer Valley,” Corrigan said. “The literary arts are alive and well in the valley, and it would be great to attract area students.”

Corrigan said he is particularly excited to offer a screenwriting program for young students on the East Coast, who have limited opportunities to be exposed to this practice at the middle school and high school levels.

Each class will have a maximum of 15 students and will provide students. Sessions will take place for two and a half hours a day, for a total of 25 hours over two weeks, and will include synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Sessions will be held in the mornings, from 8 to 10:30 a.m., and evenings from 8 to 10:30 p.m. to accommodate students across the country. Each day at noon, an “artist’s talk” will take place, featuring readings and question and answer periods with visiting writers.

Students will partake in “craft talks” and discussions, and engage in weekly one-on-one coaching sessions with faculty. Peer workshop sessions will allow writers to practice offering and receiving feedback. At the end of the two weeks, participants will have the opportunity to publish a piece of writing they created during the program.

Establishing an online community of writers is Corrigan’s priority. He said connections among student writers that will be established in the summer workshops could continue into the future as they hone their skills.

“I want young writers to know they are supported, and to feel encouraged by their peers and workshop leaders,” Corrigan said. “Students will learn about their chosen genre, work on their craft, and also meet peers who take writing seriously.”

To register, or to learn more about the program, contact Corrigan at jcorrigan@nmhschool.org. Information on course options is available at bit.ly/3utD4g5.

NMH is also offering three- and six-week programs in College Prep, Rising Scholars and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Tuition ranges from $450 to $3,500, and financial aid is available. Information on NMH’s other virtual summer programs can be found at bit.ly/3aQ5Tvl.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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