Summer Enrichment in Writing Program

Writers by the Park: A Literary Arts Studio

Writers by the Park provides sixth through eleventh grade students the opportunity to explore multiple genres of writing within the many resources of Manhattan. Creative writing allows students to develop their voices as writers while encouraging students to look around them for artistic inspiration. Participants will compile polished portfolios of their work ready for publication. Upper School students can register for one Language Arts credit, if needed.

Session I

Dates: Monday, June 14 – Friday, June 25

Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm; 1:30pm – 2:30pm (2 hours)

Session II

Dates: Monday, August 16 – Friday, August 27

Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm; 1:30pm – 2:30pm (2 hours)


The following three seminars are offered:

  1. In Praise of the American Short Story (Session I only)
  2. Word + Image: Writing Through Art *
  3. Creating Poems: A Seminar on Contemporary Poets and Writing Poems *

*Offered in both Session I and II. Syllabi will change in Session II.


Cost: $2100 per session (20 hours).
Please respond by June 1 by emailing Leah Mandel at for complete course descriptions, application form, and payment information.


Seminar 1: In Praise of the American Short Story (Session I only)

Instructor: Ethan Pennington

This course celebrates the American Short Story. Students create reader response journals to explore ideas from stories and develop a variety of methods to read more actively and with greater understanding. Additionally, students search the city for inspiration for writing their own stories. As we study the work of contemporary American authors, students may borrow from their craft as they develop their own short fiction for electronic publication.
Works to be Studied: Various authors from, and writing about, New York City.

Possible Trips: Grand Central Station’s “Whispering Wall,” Central Park Zoo



Seminar 2: Word + Image: Writing through Art

Instructor: Anna Martens

How do writers generate ideas for their work? How do writers become inspired? In what ways is the process of creative writing similar to the process of creating visual art? In this workshop, we explore the play between words and image. Using a wide range of sources (including visits to local museums), we examine photographs, drawings, paintings, and sculptures as a point of inspiration for vivid, image-filled writing. Careful observation of artwork and the creation of visual storyboards lay the framework for a collection of written pieces ready for publication based on and inspired by visual art in New York City.
Works to be studied: Various works of art from the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Possible Trips: Visits to local museums
This seminar will be offered both Session I & II. Syllabus will change in Session II.



Seminar 3: Creating Poems: A Seminar on Contemporary Poets and Writing Poems

Instructor: Leah Umansky Mandel, MFA

The popular U2 song “Mysterious Ways” says so eloquently “every poet is a thief,” and it is true. Inside every one of us is a poet trying to get out, and inside every famous poem is faint sliver of another, older poem. Sometimes we do not even know how our words get inside us, but when we put our words down onto paper, a poem is born!

In this class, students write poems based on assignments derived from the reading of contemporary poets.
Possible Poets to be Studied: Marie Howe, Anne Sexton, Walt Whitman, Frank O’Hara, Anne Carson, Elizabeth Bishop, Billy Collins, Sylvia Plath, James Tate, and Mark Doty.

Possible Trip: Poets House (a poetry library) in Battery Park
This seminar will be offered both Session I & II. Syllabus will change in Session II.