Summer programs give young writers the attention and guidance they need.

Led by practicing, published writers, students spend time creating fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction—all in a constructive, supportive atmosphere. Students write and read every day and gain a new appreciation for what it is to not only write, but write well.

Arts Odyssey Program  
Rising 8th & 9th-Graders
June 16 - 22  /  June 23 - 29

During this one-week session, emerging writers are encouraged to discover their talents in poetry and fiction through daily workshop sessions, during which they share original compositions for critique. Under the tutelage of published, practicing writers, students compose poems and stories, then submit them for peer review in a relaxed, positive workshop setting. In addition, the Arts Odyssey writers expand their knowledge of contemporary authors and expand their critical vocabulary through a variety of reading materials. At the end of the Arts Odyssey session, students present their works at a pair of public readings. Students apply in the 7th and 8th grade and must be a legal resident of South Carolina to apply.

Academy Program 
Rising 10th-Graders
July 7 - 20, 2019

During the two-week Academy session, creative writing students participate daily in a workshop-based curriculum, focusing on poetry and fiction. Student-writers compose original poems and stories during the session - under the tutelage of published, practicing writers - and submit these pieces for peer review in a positive workshop setting. In addition, the creative writers are required to read constantly during the two weeks and discuss what they’ve read, expanding their knowledge of contemporary writers, as well as their critical vocabulary. At the end of the Academy session, students present their works at a pair of public readings. Students apply during the 9th grade and must be a legal resident of South Carolina to apply. 

  • Creative Writing students in class
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Academy Application

Apply Now 

Application Process

If you already have an account from a previous year, then you can login using the same login credentials. If this is your first time applying, then you’ll need to create an account in our online application system. The application has several different components, and you don’t have to complete it in one sitting. Once you create an account, you can pick up where you left off at any time.

Candidates may apply for up to two art areas, but may attend in only one.

Here’s what you’ll need to complete the online application.

ID Photo

A passport-style photo of yourself from the shoulders up. This will be used as your student ID photo if you are accepted.

Grades and Attendance

A copy of your most recent report card can be uploaded to the application on the Current School page. If attendance is not part of your report card, you will also need to include an attendance report.

Teacher Recommendations

You’ll complete a short online form that will let us request grades and attendance and send the appropriate recommendation forms to your teachers while you continue to work on your application. You’ll need names and email addresses for:

  • Arts Teacher Recommendation
  • Academic Teacher Recommendation
  • Homeschool Recommendation (if applicable)
Writing Experience

List any writing classes/training/experience you may have had in the past two years. Not having any of these experiences will not hurt your chances. 

Portfolio

The portfolio must contain one of the following:

  • Five Poems (5 poems / 1 per page) OR 
  • One Short Story (no longer than five pages)

Mandatory Writing Portfolio Format

  • Name (upper right-hand corner)
  • Page numbers (lower right-hand corner)
  • Poetry - typed and single-spaced with Times New Roman, 12-point font
  • Fiction - typed and double-spaced with Times New Roman, 12-point font
Parent/Guardian Contact Information

General contact information for the legal guardian(s).

Once you have submitted the application, you can login to your account at any time to view the application checklist. When all required application materials are received, you will receive an email confirming your audition. Audition locations fill up quickly, so please submit your completed application as early as possible.

The Admissions Office will notify you if information is missing from your application. Incomplete applications cannot be processed.

Arts Odyssey Application

Apply Now

Application Process

If you already have an account from a previous year, then you can login using the same login credentials. If this is your first time applying, then you’ll need to create an account in our online application system. The application has several different components, and you don’t have to complete it in one sitting. Once you create an account, you can pick up where you left off at any time.

Candidates may apply for up to two art areas, but may attend in only one. 

Here’s what you’ll need to complete the online application.

ID Photo

A passport-style photo of yourself from the shoulders up. This will be used as your student ID photo if you are accepted.

Teacher Recommendations

You’ll complete a short online form that will let us request grades and attendance and send the appropriate recommendation forms to your teachers while you continue to work on your application. You’ll need names and email addresses for:

  • Arts Teacher Recommendation
  • Homeschool Recommendation (if applicable)
Writing Experience

List any writing classes/training/experience you may have had in the past two years. Not having any of these experiences will not hurt your chances. 

Portfolio

The portfolio must contain one of the following:

  • Five Poems (5 poems / 1 per page) OR 
  • One Short Story (no longer than five pages)

Mandatory Writing Portfolio Format

  • Name (upper right-hand corner)
  • Page numbers (lower right-hand corner)
  • Poetry - typed and single-spaced with Times New Roman, 12-point font
  • Fiction - typed and double-spaced with Times New Roman, 12-point font
Additional Arts Odyssey Questions

These four short answer questions are provided to help us get to know you.

  1. Why do you want to attend the Arts Odyssey Creative Writing program?
  2. Who are some of your favorite authors? Why?
  3. Other than reading and writing, what are some other things you like to do?
  4. If you had twenty-four hours completely free, what would you do with the time?

Note: 100 word or 600 character limit for each answer. 

Parent/Guardian Contact Information

General contact information for the legal guardian(s).

Once you have submitted the application, you can login to your account at any time to view the application checklist. When all required application materials are received, you will receive an email confirming your completed application.

The Admissions Office will notify you if information is missing from your application. Incomplete applications cannot be processed.

Note: See the "Important Dates" section for information on decision notification. 

Academy Audition & Tips

The Audition
All Academy applicants receive an audition. You will have a chance to choose from a variety of dates and times when you submit your application. At the audition, you will participate in a writing workshop and personal interview.

How to Handle the Interview for Creative Writing
(and not have a stroke)

  1. Don't panic. This interview is simply a way we get to know you on a personal level. We'll ask you complicated, soul-searching questions, like: What are your hobbies? Do you have brothers and sisters? What kind of music do you listen to? Yeah, tough stuff, right?
  2. Be yourself. Be honest. We want to know who you are, not which role you can play for ten minutes.
  3. Speaking of ten minutes - that's usually about the length of the interview. No marathons, just a few minutes of chit chat.
  4. Don't panic.
  5. Read some contemporary works ahead of time. One question we'll ask you, guaranteed: What do you like to read? If your answer is "Anything with vampires and the collected J.K. Rowling," we will probably roll our eyes at you. If you mention some contemporary poets or short fiction writers, you'll score big points. If you need a list of contemporary poets and fiction writers, take a look at the Suggested Reading List we've compiled. Read some of the authors. Tell us what you think about them. P.S. Know the names of the authors you have read.
  6. We want to accept students who are passionate about learning how to write. If you seem apathetic, or if you say things like, "My mom made me apply" or "I'm just looking for a way to get of the house," we probably won't meet again.
  7. It's important not to panic.
  8. Another question we'll ask is: How often do you write? Tip: The correct answer is not, "When I'm really sad or bummed out." Be familiar with your own work. We'll probably ask about your fiction or poetry.
  9. Don't ask us for critiques. Unfortunately, we don't have time to comment on everyone's work.
  10. Please ask questions about the program. Your curiosity about what we do translates into palpable passion (see #6 above).
  11. And don't panic.

Suggested Reading List

The Creative Writing program is as focused on reading as it is on writing, and the following link provides a list of suggested reading. Not sure where to start? Pick an author at random and start reading. Or, research a few authors to see who sparks your interest and start reading.

Suggested Reading List 

When you find authors you like, research to see what all they have written. Do they only write fiction or do they also write poetry or maybe non-fiction? Read some of everything so you learn what you like and don't like. Also, find out who your favorite authors like to read and read works by those authors. 

Important Dates

Academy Program

Application Deadlines
  • November 30 - Application fee waiver deadline
  • January 4, 2019 - Final application deadline 
  • After January 4 - Applications will be processed on a space-available basis.

Teacher recommendations, grades, and attendance must be submitted by the above deadlines in order for your application to be considered complete. 

Audition Dates
  • February 2, 2019 - College of Charleston
  • February 9, 2019 - SCGSAH Campus
  • February 16, 2019 - Columbia College
Admission Decision Notification
  • April 1 - Admission decision notifications sent by email 

Note: Decision status will not be given over the phone.

Arts Odyssey Program

Spaces in the Arts Odyssey program are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so applying early gives you an advantage. Students do not audition for the Arts Odyssey program.

  • November 30, 2018 - Application deadline
  • After November 30, 2018, applications will be processed on a space-available basis.
  • January 31, 2019 - Admission decision notifications sent by email

* Teacher recommendations and other art area specific requirements must be submitted by November 30 in order for your application to be considered complete. 

Fees

Application Fee

For those in need of financial assistance, the Application Fee Waiver, located on the Submission Confirmation page of the application, may be submitted instead of the application fee.

  • Arts Odyssey: no application fee
  • Academy: $25 application fee after November 30

Deposit & Tuition

Upon acceptance of an offer of admission, students must submit a $150 non-refundable deposit to secure a place in the program.

  • Arts Odyssey Tuition: $500, includes the $150 non-refundable deposit
  • Academy Tuition: $950, includes the $150 non-refundable deposit

Financial aid is available to residents of South Carolina with validated financial need.

Fees and Financial Aid