Purchase Area Writers Workshop (P.A.W.W.)

Purchase Area Writers Workshop

Workshop Dates: June 24-30, 2018

Are you a young writer bitten by the creative bug? The Purchase Area Writers Workshop at Murray State offers talented high-school writers (grades 9-12) a chance to have a fun and exciting summer experience while also getting a real taste of the sophisticated, vibrant, and life-altering educational experience that is college. Make friends from all over the region and learn from experienced and published Murray State faculty. The classroom environment is intimate enough to gain the individual attention you need to thrive as a writer, and the residential life is full of exciting excursions and activities. You get three meals a day in the University dining hall, and sleep in University dormitories (supervised by responsible resident advisors). You will also have access to the university’s swimming pool and fitness center and, of course, there will be plenty of extracurricular events such as film screenings, student readings, and other fun and relaxing activities.

Courses Offered

Poetry Workshop

Evelyn Conley has an MFA in Poetry and teaches English, Art History, and Creative Writing at Marshall County High School. She is the recipient of the 2015 Bermuda Triangle Prize for Poetry, was awarded a Puschcart Prize nomination, and her work also appears in ZO magazine.

During Ms. Conley's time with students in workshop, they will work on modeling the poetic forms of a range of authors, take a close look at how poetry relies on the careful balance of image and abstraction, and will consider how the senses may be used to, as T.S. Eliot says "elevate sense for a moment to regions ordinarily attainable by abstract thought[...]" and "clothe the abstract with all the painful delight of flesh". They will explore the value of the end of the line in poetry, evaluating the purpose of punctuation and the function of space in writing. In general, they will learn what it means to translate the world around us into poetic expression, and discover some of the ways we can make that expression something that is meaningful and accessible to those who read our work.

Fiction Workshop

This workshop is designed for writers of all levels who want to sharpen their storytelling skills. We'll read and discuss published stories, but the main focus will be on generating and refining your own work in a supportive environment. We'll focus on elements of fiction writing, including characterization, pacing, point of view, structure, voice, and scene. We'll also use a variety of writing prompts, and every student will have an opportunity to share their work with the whole group.

Will Miller is currently a visiting professor of creative writing at Murray State University, focusing on fiction and creative nonfiction. Will earned his MFA in fiction from Murray State, and his work has appeared in Language Lessons: Volume 1 from Third Man Books, New Madrid, and elsewhere.

Poetry Seminar

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Line Breaks in Poetry

The line break is the element of poetry that most immediately sets it apart from other genres of writing, but it’s also one of the most mysterious. How do writers decide when or where to break their lines? In this seminar, students will learn about how line breaks shape meaning and affect other poetic elements such as sound, image, and voice.

Carrie Jerrell is the author of the poetry collection After the Revival, winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize and published in the United States and Great Britain by Waywiser Press. Carrie received her M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and her Ph.D. in English from Texas Tech University, where she was honored as a Chancellor's Fellow. She is an Associate Professor of English at Murray State University, where she teaches creative writing and literature and directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Genre Seminar: Fiction

Jeff Osborne is Associate Professor of English at Murray State where he teaches mostly American literature. He has published on Herman Melville, Ben Franklin, and the Federalist Papers.

In this seminar, students will encounter works of fiction that exemplify some aspect of the craft of writing fiction. For instance, how does dialogue work to tell the whole story? how does a writer get inside the head of a character in an effective way? how does an incredible first sentence or first paragraph immediately consume the readers attention? Students will leave the seminar with a better understanding of fiction writing and fiction itself.

PAWW Campus Life


The workshop fee is $450 for resident campers. This fee includes tuition, room (double occupancy), board (three meals a day), accident insurance, and most instructional materials. The fee for commuter students is $350, which includes tuition, accident insurance, most instructional materials, and lunch daily.

There are limited scholarship opportunities available. To apply: Have your parent or guardian email the PAWW Camp Director indicating whether you receive free or reduced lunch. Use the subject heading “PAWW Scholarship.” If your parent/guardian prefers, he or she may mail the statement to PAWW Camp Director at: 7C Faculty Hall, Murray State University, Murray, KY 42071. Make sure a return address is included. These will be awarded on a first-come/first-serve basis, so apply EARLY.


Jeff Osborne, PAWW Camp Director
7B Faculty Hall


Click here to register onlineThe deadline to register has been extended to Friday, June 8, 2018.

For information about registration, please contact:
Janeen Winters
Phone: 270-809-3662