Thank you for your interest in the BCA Summer Writing Program

For students in Bergen County entering 9th to 12th grade!

The 2019 program will run July 15 - July 25

Plus an added class July 29 - August 1!!! (see below)

Classes run Monday through Thursday each week, 10:00am - 3:00pm, at Bergen County Academies in Hackensack

This year, the program is offering THREE classes: one in Fiction, one in Poetry, and now offering a class in Playwriting/Screenwriting!!!

Classes run separately.

The Fiction class is currently full, but you can place yourself on the waiting list.

Seats are still available in Poetry and Playwriting/Screenwriting. 

We have also added a one-week Fiction Intensive, run by Richard Weems, that will run July 29 - August 1. Registration is $375, and seating is limited. Go to the registration button to secure your seat!

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to know about any other summer opportunities.


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 The Bergen County Academies Summer Writing Program


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The Bergen County Academies Summer Writing Program offers two-week intensive creative writing courses on fiction, poetry and playwriting/screenwriting taught by master teachers and visiting artists. Individuated instruction, group feedback sessions as well as experience in other art forms will coax your writing from inception to revision and provide you a fuller appreciation of writing as an art form.

Course enrollment will be limited so faculty and guest artists can provide individual attention to your work.

Classes run on the campus of Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, NJ


 Previous attendees of this program in have won the following accolades:

- national medals, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

- finalist, National Student Poets Program (X2)

- NJ Governor's Awards in Arts Education

- gold medals, NJCTE

- the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

- Bergen High School Writing contest, short story and poetry


For the first week, you will explore your ideas through various writing exercises to develop your sense of story, character and image. Then, you will receive individual and group feedback to give you guidance towards revising selected works to new levels.  

Writing new work is the emphasis of this class. You will explore your poetry through varied writing exercises, feedback and individual guidance and critique to provide you with a multitude of perspectives and aesthetics.


Playwriting & Screenwriting:

You will learn to write standout scenes that ripple with emotion and gain a better understanding of how to create ‘real' characters with distinct voices and backstories who jump off the page. You will also delve deeply into the nuances of story structure to develop a one act play, the script for a short film, or the start of a larger project with a plan for the rest of the story. 



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Richard Weems, director and Fiction faculty

Richard Weems (program director, Fiction faculty and BCA faculty) holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Florida.  He is a former Director of Creative Writing for the NJ Governor's School of the Arts and was named a Distinguished Teacher of Writing by the National Federation for Advancement in the Arts as well as an Outstanding Educator by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.  His students have gone on to MFA programs, publications and editorships, and have won scholarships and national awards, from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, to the US Presidential Scholar in the Arts program. He is the author of Anything He Wants, winner of the Spire Fiction Award and finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award, the Cheap Stories eBook series, The Way of It - New and Selected Cheap Stories, Stark Raving Blue, and his latest collection is From Now On, You're Back. His publications include North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, Other Voices, The Mississippi Review, Crescent Review, Pif Magazine, The Florida Review, Barcelona Review and The Beloit Fiction Journal.


Elizabeth Dylan Bercovici (Playwriting & Screenwriting faculty) has a BA in English Literature from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She has an article published on detailing her philosophical beliefs on writing and language and is currently working on two pieces: a lyrical memoir describing her travels and spiritual journey in China and South East Asia, where she lived and taught English for a year, as well as an original screenplay she is in the process of selling.

2019 Visiting Artists

Gregory Allen (playwriting/screenwriting) has been writing since his first musical was produced at 14 years old. His feature screenplay He is Gone is an official selection in the 2019 Beverly Hills Film Festival. His current short film Hiding in Daylight is on the film festival circuit across the country and winner of an award of excellence in screenwriting from the IndieFest Film Awards. He wrote and directed the award-winning short film Mother four years ago. He has a dozen plays and musicals which have been fully produced or had staged readings. Gregory has been the recipient of grants from BMI, ASCAP, the Watershed Foundation and is a member of The Dramatist Guild, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and a former member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop.  He is the award-winning author of four novels, one nonfiction memoir,  two shorts, and three children's books.

Svea Barrett (poetry) has taught Creative Writing at Northern Highlands Regional High School for 34 years. Her chapbook, Why I Collect Moose, won the 2005 Poets Corner Press Poetry Chapbook Competition, and her book I Tell Random People About You won the Spire Press 2010 Poetry Book Award. Her work has appeared in Samsara Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, The Journal of NJ Poets, LIPS, Caduceus, US 1 Worksheets, Ariel XXVII, and other journals. In 2013, she tied for first place in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry contest.

Lauren Clark (poetry) holds a BA in Classics from Oberlin College and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan, where they were the recipient of four Hopwood Awards.  They have received scholarships from the Sewanee Writers Conference and the New York State Summer Writers Institute, and they collaborate with Etc. Gallery in Chicago. Their first collection, Music for a Wedding, won the 2016 AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry.

Robbie Clipper (fiction) has published two novels-in-stories under the name Robbie Clipper Sethi, The Bride Wore Red (Picador, 1997) and Fifty-Fifty (Silicon Press, 2003) as well as short stories in The Atlantic Monthly, Mademoiselle, The Philadelphia Inquirer and a number of literary magazines and anthologies. Her fiction has won a National Endowment for the Arts award and two fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Robbie teaches fiction, poetry, expository writing and literature at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ and on a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship spent a "monsoon semester" (August-December 2009) teaching creative writing at the International Institute of Information Technology in Hyderabad, India.

Twice Oscar Nominated, Pen Densham (playwriting/screenwriting) is co-founder of the Trilogy Entertainment Group. Pen co-wrote and produced Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves. Pen and his partners have produced 16 films with stars like Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Jeff Bridges, Bill Murray, Jodie Foster, Tommy Lee Jones, Johnathon Schaech, Emile Hirsch, Rose Byrne, Jay Baruchel, and Ed Harris. Pen has written and directed Moll Flanders, starring Morgan Freeman and Robin Wright, and Houdini, starring Johnathon Schaech and Mark Ruffalo. His latest movie as a Producer is Last Full Measure with Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan and Christopher Plummer. Pen has a book on creative screenwriting, Riding the Alligator : Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing. (And Not Getting Eaten).

Amy Meng (poetry) holds degrees from Rutgers University and New York University. She is the author of Bridled (Pleiades Press, 2018) and a Kundiman Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in publications including: Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, New England Review, and Narrative Magazine. She currently lives in Brooklyn. 

$750 for each two-week course


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