The Writing discipline strives to identify students with a unique, authentic voice. Alumni of the YoungArts writing program have gone on to become award winning authors and journalists. Finalists are writers who are not just good mimics, but are gutsy enough to pursue their own vibrant and original voices.

Their writing brings a fresh perspective and a deft sense of craft. They convey simplicity as well as bravura with their words. During their experience at YoungArts Week students have the opportunity to work with world-renowned authors such as playwright Edward Albee.

Finalists can submit works in the categories of poetry, short story, selection from a novel, play or script writing and creative nonfiction. Each submission is read by a panel of accomplished authors who consider language, originality, imagination and overall excellence of the pieces.


We consider five categories within writing. The writing panelists will also determine recipients of Honorable Mention and Merit awards.

Notable Alumni

  • Allegra Goodman, 1985National Book Award Winner
    Intuition, Paradise Park, Kaaterskill Falls,
    The Family Markowitz
  • Maria Dahvana Headley, 1996The Year of Yes
  • David Lipsky, 1983Absolutely American, The Pallbearer