The Young Writers in Paradise Workshop at Eckerd College is a six day (five night) program designed to give rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to explore and develop their talents in poetry and prose writing. Students will hone their writing skills by attending lectures, panels, and craft discussions led by Eckerd College creative writing faculty and by participating in daily critique sessions and activities led by creative writing students.

Each morning, students will participate in talks on varied subjects such as: forms of poetry, craft discussions, narrative techniques, and more. During the afternoons, students will meet in small groups to write, read, and critique their work. Each group will give students’ work detailed attention. In the evenings, students will enhance their relationship with writing through activities, all culminating in a showcase of student work.


June 12 – 17, 2016

Students entering 11th or 12th grade in August/September 2016

$600 per student. Cost includes: participation in (and transportation for) all sessions, activities, program supplies, field trips, entrance fees, use of college recreational facilities, meals, lodging, and snacks.


Learn how art and writing intersect in ekphrasis study. Explore the museum and over 14,000 objects to inspire your work.

Explore the tenants of nature writing in this beautiful preserve.

Keep the conversation going after classes as you join your fellow students for a variety of social activities which may include: game night, movie night, open mic night, discussions, karaoke, pool party, as well as recreational opportunities! You will also meet and talk with Eckerd College creative writing students and learn about the Eckerd Experience.

Take part in creative writing lectures and workshops, where the emphasis of class is on student-generated work.

During your free time, you can enjoy Eckerd’s facilities including outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, and more.

At the end of this program, a certificate of completion and a description of the sessions offered will be available to any students completing the program, should they wish to include them in future college applications.

Room & Board

Participants will live on the Eckerd College campus in St. Petersburg on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Few colleges have a more attractive setting than Eckerd College. The 188-acre waterfront campus provides a magnificent atmosphere and safe environment. Eckerd College is located in St. Petersburg, just off I-275 exit 17. View directions to campus.

Residential counselors work with students in the late afternoons, evenings and overnight. Staff consists of well-trained Eckerd College students eager to share their enthusiasm for learning. Overnight dormitory accommodations will also be supervised by a trained adult counselor.

Students will live in air-conditioned Eckerd College student residence halls, double room occupancy, reserved exclusively for participants in this program. Counselors will be present in each single sex residence hall.

Student participants will eat in the main cafeteria which can accommodate allergies and vegetarian diets. If you have particular needs, please contact us at wip@eckerd.edu or 727-864-7994.


Interact with Eckerd College’s dynamic faculty in the classroom, during informal discussions, meals and field trips. Our faculty for this program include:


  • Jon Chopan


Jon Chopan

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, received his MFA from The Ohio State University and is the author of the novel Pulled From the River. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in several literary magazines. He is a staff reader for Epiphany. He will teach and lead the prose workshops, as well as help lead and organize all evening activities.

  • Christina Lutz


Christina Lutz

Conference Coordinator for Writers in Paradise and Creative Writing Adjunct, received her MFA from the University of South Florida. Her poetry has appeared in several literary magazines and she is working on completing her first collection of poems. She will teach ekphrasis writing and lead the poetry workshops, as well as lead and organize all evening activities.


  • Scott Ward


Scott Ward

Professor of Literature and Creative Writing, received his M.A. from the University of South Carolina and is a poet whose first volume, Crucial Beauty, won the 1990 Loiderman Poetry Prize. His most recent volume is Wayward Passages. His poems have appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines.

  • K.C. Wolfe


Kevin (K.C.) Wolfe

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, MFA, The Ohio State University, is a fiction writer, essayist and editor. His essays and short stories have appeared in a number of journals. He co-founded the literary journal Sweet and serves as nonfiction editor for the magazine and as an acquisitions editor in their books division, Sweet Publications. In addition to his teaching duties, he administers Creative Writing’s Journalism Minor and serves as faculty adviser to Eckerd’s award-winning student newspaper, The Current. He will be teaching Nature Writing.


Coming soon

Eckerd Counselors

Coming soon


Don’t Delay – Spaces Fill Quickly

To apply, you must complete and submit the following:

  • Registration Form  – complete and submit online
  • Typed Writing Sample (no more than 3 poems or 3-5 pages of prose) – submit with Registration form
  • Optional: Scholarship application form

Your application will not be complete until we are in receipt of ALL items listed above.

Registration for Young Writers in Paradise must be received no later than May 15, 2016 and will be determined on a first-come first-served basis. A $600 USD registration fee will be due at the time of registering. Registration will be available at the end of January.


A limited number of scholarships will be awarded. To be considered for a scholarship, please fill out the separate application form for scholarships . Scholarships will be awarded based on need until scholarship money is no longer available.

Refund Policy

No refund will be issued for the following:

  • Cancellations within 14 days of the program start date.
  • If a participant fails to show-up for the program.
  • If a participant is dismissed from the program by the College.

Registrations that are cancelled prior to the no refund period will be assessed a $25 administrative fee.

Participants who cancel their registration and are eligible for a refund should contact lutzca@eckerd.edu or 727-864-7994.

Those who are not accepted will receive a full refund.

Those who receive a scholarship will be awarded a refund for the amount received.