Young Writers Workshop

In 2024, the Great Smokies Young Writers Workshop will be offered as one of UNC Asheville’s Pre-College Programs. The Pre-College Programs give high school students the opportunity to experience university life through engaging in college-level classes, staying in residence halls on campus, and exploring the surrounding community.

When: June 16-21 and June 23-28, 2024. Students can attend one week or both.

Who’s Teaching: We’re thrilled to welcome back Mildred Barya, Sondra Hall, Luke Hankins, and Jamieson Ridenhour.

Who’s Eligible: UNCA’s Pre-College Programs are open to rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

What Topics: June 16-21: Sondra Hall will teach “Come to Your Senses: A Sensory Writing Adventure,” and Luke Hankins will teach “The Poet’s Toolbox.” June 23-28: Mildred Barya will teach “Nature-Based Poetry,” and Jamieson Ridenhour will teach “Developing Voice in Fiction.”

How Much: See the Pre-College website for details. Tuition includes lodging, meals, all course materials, activities, and excursions.

Learn more and Register

If you have any other questions about the Great Smokies Young Writers Workshop, please email Lilly Danzis:


The Cori Gross Scholarship for the Young Writers Workshop covers the full cost of tuition for one week of the program ($1,430) and is awarded to a young writer who would otherwise not be able to attend or who would have financial difficulty attending.

Applications for the 2024 Cori Gross Scholarship are open through May 1, 2024. 

  • Submit the online application (linked below), which includes
  • A short essay (3-5 paragraphs) detailing what the applicant hopes to learn in the workshop, and how the opportunity would contribute to their growth as a writer, and
  • A writing sample (not to exceed 10 pages total) in the genre or genres of the applicant’s choice.  

    Complete the Online Application

The scholarship is made possible by the contributions of the family and many friends and loved ones of Cori Gross (pictured at the top of the page), 2011 UNC Asheville alumna and beloved sister, daughter, irreplaceable family member, and friend. Cori passed away unexpectedly in 2020, but her passion and legacy live on.

In the words of Cori’s family, “Cori had an unquenchable love of the arts which permeated her life. It seems like she was writing poetry before she could walk. She was a voracious reader, a deep thinker, and she loved dance, music, photography, film & television, and storytelling. Cori loved UNCA, and her friends and family are thrilled that this scholarship will continue her memory and provide the necessary funds for deserving children and teens to attend a wonderful summer arts camp or learning program. We know that this act would bring Cori joy… and this opportunity to ‘pay forward’ Cori’s beautiful life and generosity gives her family & friends joy.”