Watch the 2019 YEW Interns discuss why writing is important to them, why the MWC is important, and why they wanted to participate in YEW (video by Jeff Moore)

Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program 2021 — Applications Being Accepted through May 29!

Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program 2021 — Grant Announcement! Application Deadline Extended to May 29!

MWC is thrilled to announce that we have received a $15,000 grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency to support the 2021 Young Emerging Writers Programs! We could not be more happy and more grateful for this major support for one of our flagship programs–many thanks to the IACA!!

To celebrate this honor, we are going to keep the application window for the YEW Summer Internship Program until Friday, May 29!!


For young people in the Quad Cities who are passionate about writing and creative expression, the Midwest Writing Center offers the innovative Young Emerging Writers (YEW) Summer Internship Program. This selective seven-week program will be held Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from June 7 through July 21, 2021.

**Information on YEW Meeting Format**

As with our annual Writers’ Conference, our plan for YEW 2021 is to once again hold meetings virtually.

As we did last summer, we will meet in private meetings online via Zoom. We are still planning to have public virtual events, and are working on scheduling some special guests and visiting writers to use this format to our greatest advantage and to help our interns develop creatively and professionally together.

If you are interested in applying, but have concerns about internet or computer access, please contact us—we will work with all of our interns to make sure they have what they need to participate, and a lack of computer or consistent internet access are not required to apply. 

Download the 2021 YEW Summer Internship Application below:

MS Word version – 2021 YEW Application

PDF Version – 2021 YEW Application

YEW is for talented graduating and continuing high school students, ages 15-19, interested in creating and publishing works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and other forms. Below are the dates for 2021:

YEW 2021 – Meeting Dates
(all regular meetings are Mon.-Wed., 5-7:30 p.m. via private Zoom meeting)

Week 1: June 7-9
Week 2: June 14-16
Week 3:June 21-23 (DRC Conference June 24-26)
Week 4: June 28-30
Week 5: July 6-7
Week 6: July 12-14
Week 7: July 19-21

Virtual Public Reading
Thurs., July 22 (more info TBA)

THE ATLAS 16 Virtual Release Party
Thurs., August 19 (more info TBA)

Students who work on the school newspaper, school literary magazine or yearbook, or who just love writing and/or page layout and graphic design, are ideal candidates for YEW.  The ultimate goal of the program is development of intern writing abilities and the production and distribution of a literary journal representing the best work of the participants. 

Young Emerging Writer internships feature intensive seminars in poetry, narrative prose (fiction & nonfiction) and collaborative writing among other kinds of creative writing in a professional learning atmosphere.  Interns will learn about magazine design and layout as well as gain editorial and copy-editing experience.  The program culminates with the production of The Atlas, a high-quality literary journal featuring the best work produced by the interns over the course of the program. The journal will be released at The Atlas 16 Release Party, an open house where interns read from their selected works and the journal is made available to the public. The 2021 Launch Party will take place via livestream on Thursday, August 12, and will be available free to the public.

There will also be at least one free public virtual reading featuring YEW interns and other young writers from around the Quad Cities on Thursday, July 22.

Twelve to fifteen interns will be selected for the program on the basis of their application forms, writing or design samples, and interviews. The writing and editing of stories, essays, poems, and/or plays at home is required, as is reading and responding to work by other interns. Each intern will also receive a small stipend, a free full-conference registration the David R. Collins Writers’ Conference, a one-year membership to the Midwest Writing Center, and three copies of The Atlas.


YEW provides writing instruction in a variety of writing styles and processes, and develops professional skills in areas such as editing, collaborative project management, and magazine production and design. In 50 hours of meetings over seven weeks, the interns went from meet-and-greet to producing a high-quality literary magazine.

To order The Atlas 15, or to order back issues of The Atlas, visit the MWC Press bookstore here.

THE ATLAS 15 – A collection of works by the Young Emerging Writers 2020:

The 2019 YEW interns and staff at THE ATLAS 14 Release Party


 You can support the Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program by becoming a YEW/The Atlas Sponsor. You can use the PDF form linked below to send in a sponsorship contribution to MWC, or use the PayPal button below to make a donation online today. All donations over $10 will receive a complimentary copy of the most recent issue of The Atlas. Thanks for supporting YEW!  

Click here to download a Young Emerging Writers/The Atlas Sponsorship Form

Funding support for the 2021 Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program generously provided by a special program grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Regional Development Authority, Modern Woodmen of America, the Quad City Community Foundation, and Rozz-Tox.