Badgerdog’s Creative Writing Summer Camp is staffed by professional writers who inspire, instruct, and encourage young people to explore the literary arts. We approach writing as a creative pursuit—an outlet for imagination and personal expression. Lessons are designed to be creative, surprising, engaging, and challenging. From 9 a.m. to noon each morning, campers learn through discovery, practice, mentorship, and collaboration.


Workshops are held in three-week sessions across Austin and open to rising 3rd– through 12th-graders. Each day, campers encounter the work of classic and contemporary writers, and they study the techniques published writers use to craft artful poetry and prose. Campers author numerous creative pieces in various genres, sharing their work along the way with fellow campers. These summer workshops emphasize all aspects of the writing process, from idea generation to revision to publication, and all campers are invited to publish their best work in Badgerdog’s two professionally bound anthologies—Rise for elementary-age writers and Emerge for middle- and high-school writers.


Each camp session culminates with a reading on-site, where students perform an original poem or story before an audience of fellow writers, parents, family, and friends. At the end of the summer, coinciding with the anthology release, Badgerdog hosts an end-of-summer reading, where selected campers from each workshop perform their work at the annual Texas Teen Book Festival. All summer camp writers are invited to attend and sign books for their fans.


We believe Badgerdog not only helps young people improve their writing skills, but also increases campers’ confidence and improves attitudes towards writing.


Parents and campers confirm this belief:

  • 66% of our campers say they like writing more as a result of Badgerdog (m
  • 71% said they are better writers as a result of Badgerdog
  • When asked how they felt about writing, 94% used a positive phrase, like “energized,” “alive like a bird,” “like I have a workable outlet for all of my ideas,” or “like a balloon of happiness has just gotten blown up inside me”


Campers say they appreciate:

  • Badgerdog’s small, supportive classes
  • Being able to express themselves without judgment
  • Hearing other classmates share their work
  • The different types of writing exercises that get campers “out of their comfort zone”
  • Meeting new friends and fellow authors


Here’s what we hear from parents:

  • 92% said Badgerdog had a positive impact on their children’s writing skills
  • 94% said Badgerdog had a positive effect on their children’s attitudes toward writing


For more information about about Badgerdog’s Creative Writing Summer Camp, visit the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation online or contact Programs Manager Cecily Sailer at or (512) 542-0076.

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