Youth Programs

The Writers Place has a strong history of reaching out to young writers through workshops and writers-in-the-schools programs.  These go to the heart of our mission “to nurture an interest in writing and literature in a wide, diverse audience; and to reach out to the next generation through educational programs for students at all levels.”  Deep cuts in arts education budgets and the dropping numbers of people who read and enjoy poetry make our youth programs particularly relevant.  They help students grow beyond simple literacy to creative self-expression and appreciation of the art form.

The Writers Place offers creative writing workshops led by professional writers throughout the year in three different formats.  Our programs serve teens in grades 7-12.

Writers Blocks Camps

Our summer camp features workshops led by published, experienced writers and renowned guest speakers.  Workshops are an interactive and exciting way to fight the summer brain drain.  Scholarships are available. We will announce the dates for the 2018 Writers Block in April . Please email for more information and to get on the contact list.

In Our Own Words

Designed to reach inner city youth, The Writers Place sends published, professional writers into schools to teach writing from real experiences. Creative writing can be an important tool for students' personal empowerment, and can help them develop life-long coping skills.  In Our Own Words is an in-school poetry program, coordinated by Judith Roberts and taught by various local poets at several schools throughout the greater Kansas City area. Each poet meets with a class (or classes) of students to teach creative writing. Together, they explore the writing process from brainstorm to final draft. This program culminates with a public reading and an edited anthology. For a report of the 2015 in-school residencies, click here.

This program sends professional writers into selected urban schools to lead writing workshops for students in grades seven through twelve.  The program helps students tap into their real experiences to use as the basis of their creative work, and teaches them that writing can be empowering.

The program coordinator is Judith Towse Roberts, MA English Education, MA Counseling and Guidance.

Major funding for In Our Own Words is provided by the Francis Family Foundation and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.