Juniper seeks creative students who are dedicated to exploring experimental writing processes and developing their skills in a collaborative environment. We encourage writers from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and writing styles to apply. 

The deadline for all applications and scholarship consideration is March 7, 2024.

This is the application for all of the Juniper summer 2024 programs for young writers:

The Juniper Institute for Young Writers (JIYW) provides an immersion in the writer’s life, a pre-college experience on the UMass campus, and an unforgettable week for rising 10, 11 and 12th graders. Please visit our website to learn more.

  • One-week residential program dates are July 29–August 2, 2024.
  • One-week JIYW tuition, room, board, and all activities: $2,600

New for 2024, our two-week residential program is designed for young writers who have already established a regular writing practice and are ready to work on completing a longer project with the 1-1 guidance of a Creative Writing Instructor. Please visit our website to learn more.

  • Two-week residential program dates are July 29–August 9, 2024.
  • Two-week JIYW tuition, room, board, and all activities: $4,950

Juniper Young Writers Online (JYWO) is an online summer creative writing program for young writers in grades 8-12. JYWO provides young writers with opportunities for experimentation, creativity and wild invention, with the added benefit of being hosted in a virtual classroom with University Without Walls at UMass Amherst. Please visit our website to learn more.

  • Online program dates are August 5–9, 2024.
  • Online program tuition: $1,280

Admissions and Notification

Admission to Juniper’s in-person program is competitive, and we have a limited number of available spots. Admission and scholarship awards are based on the strength and promise of the writing sample and the writer's statement; please review our application materials instructions below. Applicants for the in-person Juniper Institute for Young Writers can indicate in their application if they would like to be considered for acceptance to the Juniper Young Writers Online program.

If a student is offered admission, enrollment in a Juniper Young Writers program is contingent on responding to email communications from Juniper and Pre-College @ UMass Amherst. Please add these email addresses to your contacts and check your junk/spam folders: notifications@submittable.com; juniper@umass.edu; juniperyoungwriters@hfa.umass.edu; summerprograms@umass.edu; precollege@umass.edu. 

Admissions and scholarship award decisions will begin to be sent out in late March 2024. Your admissions offer will come to the email address provided on your application as a Submittable message. If you are offered admission to Juniper, you must email us within one week of notification to confirm your attendance. After one week, we will accept our next wave of applicants, and our program may fill to capacity quickly.

After Juniper collects pre-registration information, you will receive enrollment instructions from Summer Pre-College @ UMass Amherst. Families must pay a non-refundable $500 deposit within two weeks of enrollment to secure the student's space at Juniper. Full-scholarship awardees do not have to pay a deposit. The full balance of tuition is due by June 30 for all Juniper programs. Please visit this website for more information on the payment and cancellation policy, and please contact Summer Pre-College with any questions about enrollment and payment.

Scholarship consideration

Scholarship support is intended for those participants who cannot afford the full cost of the program. BIPOC and writers of marginalized groups are especially encouraged to apply for the available funding. Our scholarships are awarded based on the strength and promise of the application. We do not request financial information as part of our scholarship selection process. We plan to offer several full Juniper scholarships this summer for our one-week and two-week residential programs as well as our online program.

To apply for scholarship consideration, under the "Scholarship consideration or self-pay?" question, select "Please consider me for a scholarship."

If you're a resident of Hampden County, Massachusetts, please check the "Hampden County Resident" box to be considered for a full scholarship in partnership with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

Select schools and after-school programs in NYC and Boston are a part of the Hayden Foundation Coalition. Your school or program must be part of this network in order for you to be considered for the "Hayden Scholar nominee" scholarship. If you are a Hayden Scholar nominee, you must select "Please consider me for a scholarship" under the "Scholarship consideration or self-pay?" question and check the "Hayden Scholar nominee" box.

Application Materials and Instructions

  1. Writing Sample: 3 to 5 pages of fiction (double-spaced; short stories and/or excerpts from longer pieces of writing are OK) or poetry (one poem per page, or longer poems spanning up to 5 total pages of poetry). Creative poetry or prose only; no academic essays or playwriting, please. The writing sample should be saved in one document (doc, docx, pdf, rtf, or txt). Please include your name & email address as a header or footer. 
  2. Writer's Statement: 300 to 500 words describing your current writing projects and goals, any identities that inform your work, and what being a member of a writing community means to you. Tell us what you write and why you write it!
  3. Recommendation Letter: The application will ask you to enter the email address and name of a teacher, educational consultant, professional tutor, guidance counselor, or after-school leader who has agreed to provide a confidential letter of recommendation on your behalf. Once you submit your application, the reference will receive an email with instructions for how to attach the letter to your application (you will not be able to view the contents of the letter). Please let them know that their letter must be received for your application to be complete. 

We do not accept extra materials such as test scores, financial disclosures, or multiple recommendation letters. 

If you have questions about the Juniper Young Writers programs or this application, please review our website, particularly our FAQ. You can reach out to us at juniper@umass.edu. 

There is a "save draft" button at the end of the application; your progress will be saved on your Submittable account. You will receive a confirmation email if your application was successfully submitted.

The deadline for all applications and scholarship consideration is March 7, 2024.

The Juniper Institute