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Front Street Writers

About Front Street Writers

When NWS co-founder Doug Stanton was a high school student and aspiring author, a local benefactor offered to help fund his final year at Interlochen Arts Academy, where he was a creative writing and theater major. The experience changed his life and led him to a successful career as a bestselling author and screenwriter.

Motivated by the belief that even more students in our area should have access to creative writing opportunities, the National Writers Series set out to form Front Street Writers. The program has been supported over the years by Traverse City Area Public Schools, Northwest Education Services (formerly TBAISD), and countless amazing donors, grantors, and sponsors. A grassroots movement, led by volunteers and created specifically for northern Michigan students, blossomed into a program that has connected and empowered hundreds of talented young writers. Learn more about the history of Front Street Writers here.

Our Classes

Today, we’re proud to offer three pillars of Front Street Writers: a semester-long Creative Writing Intensive for high school juniors and seniors; monthly Writing Workshops for students in grades 7-12; and Author Masterclasses with visiting National Writers Series authors.

We’re incredibly grateful to the Gerstacker Foundation and other grantors and donors for allowing us to provide all of these programs free of charge to students in our community. Thank you for making these programs accessible to everyone!

Masterclass with Mary Roach

Masterclass with Mary Roach

Making Nonfiction Funny and Fun!

Bestselling author Mary Roach will walk students through 10 ways to punch up nonfiction writing in this one-hour virtual masterclass for high school students.

Class Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Age Group: High school (grades 9-12)

Screenwriting Workshop

Screenwriting Workshop

Want to learn how to turn your idea for a story into a movie or TV script? This course will teach you how! You’ll learn the technique, structure, and story-telling skills that enable you to write a script that brings your story to life. Start the course with an idea, and finish it with a full script that will take your characters on an exciting journey of personal change and emotional growth fit for the big—or small—screen. 

Class Date:Saturday, October 9, 2021

Age Group: 11 and 12th grade

Playwriting Workshop

Playwriting Workshop

In this workshop, you'll learn how to tell a story for the stage. Instructor Sam Collier, an award-winning playwright, will give you the tools to write dialogue, great characters, and a plot that carries you through to the final act. This virtual workshop is taught over two days via Zoom and will leave you with drafts, ideas, and lots of skills to take to your next play!

Class Date: Saturday November 13 and Sunday November 14, 2021

Age Group: 9th-12th grade

Creative Writing Intensive Fall 2021

Creative Writing Intensive Fall 2021

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. STAY TUNED FOR WINTER/SPRING 2022! Calling the writers, dreamers, and poets. If you're ready to dive into your writing with likeminded peers and learn from some of the best writers in Michigan, this course is for you. The Front Street Writers Creative Writing Intensive is a virtual, semester-long program modeled after a Master of Fine Arts, with a small cohort of 10-12th grade students studying poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Class Date: Application due 9.15.21 | Classes begin 9.30.21

Age Group: 10-12th