Student reviewing work at UNH Writers Academy in Library

Writers Academy

UNH Writers Academy is a creative writing program for students entering grades 5-12.

This is not a technical/remedial writing program, but if you want to get your creative juices flowing, please join us!

Three week-long sessions are offered that meet Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm at UNH's Hamilton Smith Hall.

2020 Dates (subject to change):

  • June 29 - July 3
  • July 6 - 10
  • July 13 - 17

Students are grouped according to the grade they will enter in the fall. These sessions are limited to 20 students with 2 teachers.

NOTE: Before and after care is not available. Please plan accordingly.

For the program website: Writers Academy


Travel Information


Writers Academy

UNH Writers Academy is held in the newly renovated Hamilton Smith Hall, 95 Main St., Durham, NH:  Travel to Durham

Additional information, including check in location and times are sent to participants by the program staff prior to the session start date.


Program Staff


Writers Academy

  • Writers Academy Instructors - 2019

    Tomasen M. Carey is the Director of the UNH Writers Academy, Field Coordinator for the Learning Through Teaching Program, and Instructor of the New Hampshire Literacy Institutes. Her articles have appeared in the New England Reading Journal and she is an avid blogger at conversationeducation.com .

    Karen Atherton was a student of Donald Graves at UNH where she learned to use the Writing Process in her classroom. She has over 25 years of experience teaching elementary and middle school, currently in Barrington, NH.

    Pat Boyle-Steed has been an educator for more than 30 years, sharing her passion for writing with both children in classrooms and adults in corporations. She recently taught middle school writing and reading in Plaistow, NH.

    Sarah Cook taught middle and high school students in Roxbury and Brookline, MA, as well as rural Vermont. She was also a GED instructor for the Exeter Adult Education program. She currently teaches middle school in Stratham, NH.

    Lauren de Constant has been a literacy educator for more than 25 years and currently teaches middle school in North Hampton, NH. She loves working with young adults as they develop their individual voices through the power of language.

    Shelley Girdner teaches at the University of New Hampshire. Her poems have been published in several journals, including most recently Hunger Mountain and Painted Bride Quarterly, as well as The Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Poet Lore and others. She’s been a featured poet in the Aurorean, a finalist for the Slapering Hol Chapbook Prize, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. More recently, she was featured for PBS News Hour’s Poetry spotlight.

    Christian Gompert has 14 years of experience as a high school educator, currently teaching literacy skills and movie making at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy.  He believes that choice, risk-taking and positive feedback are essential in bringing the movie of our minds onto the page.

    Ashley Healey is a proud graduate and educator of UNH. She currently teaches elementary school in Stratham, NH, where she enjoys working with students who share her passion for reading and writing.

    Mark Holt-Shannon has taught middle school in New Hampshire for more than 10 years. He has published a scattering of essays and stories and works as a freelance photographer in the New Hampshire Seacoast.

    Clark Knowles teaches writing at the University of New Hampshire. The Arts Council of the State of New Hampshire awarded him an Individual Fellowship in 2009. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in recent issues of: The New Guard, RE:AL, Outlook Springs, The Collagist, Northern New England Review, Harpur Palate, Conjunctions, Limestone, Nimrod, Eclipse, and Glimmer Train Stories. If you can't find him, he's probably at yoga.

    Dennis Magliozzi and Kristina Peterson teach high school English in Exeter, NH. Dennis has an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is currently enrolled in the Philosophy of Education program at UNH. Kristina is an avid reader of YA fiction and believes in the importance of student choice in both reading and writing.

    David McCormick has been an elementary school educator for more than 20 years. He currently brings his experience to Lee, NH, where he builds learning communities in multi-grade classrooms.

    Pam Murphy has taught elementary school in Barrington, NH, for more than 20 years. Her classroom was a research site for Donald Graves. She works hard to see and honor the individual strengths in all her students.

    Chris Pirkl has been teaching middle school for ten years. He is an avid reader especially young adult fiction. To see what he’s reading now, visit: bit.ly/PirklGoodreads He enjoys nurturing his students’ creativity and sharing his passion for reading and writing.

    Alison Ritrosky is currently a language arts teacher at Dover Middle School. She enjoys working with students of all ages to help them find their individual voices through reading and writing.

    Alicia Spates-Messier has taught middle school language arts and specializes in creative writing, public speaking, and technology. She is currently a consultant for the UNH Learning Through Teaching program, where she combines her love for the arts and technology with writing in a masterful, creative way.

    Branden Wood offers a session on Cartooning. He has been a middle school teacher for more than 15 years and is currently writing the Letters of Charles R. Ziegler, which is accompanied by Brian Defferding and Thomas Mauer (2009 Harvey Award Nominee for Best Letterer).


    John Klossner is a cartoonist and illustrator whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Reader’s Digest, and all the places fine cartoons can be found. Check out his Website at: www.jklossner.com

This course is currently unavailable.