Creative Writing Program: Established in 1975 with a Ford Foundation grant, the Creative Writing program at Interlochen was the first creative writing program in an American high school. It has a mission to help young writers cultivate their talents and broaden their command of the writer’s craft at all levels, preparing them for the increasing variety of writing experiences and opportunities presented by the digital world of the 21st century. The program provides guidance, support and an extraordinary series of experiences and opportunities for young writers. Key to the Academy program is Workshop, which rotates between fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and includes extensive individual tutorial time. Additional courses include Elements of Fiction, Elements of Poetry, Introduction to Screenwriting, Advanced Screenwriting, The Writing of Nonfiction, Literary Publications and various electives reflecting the special backgrounds and interests of the instructors. Recent electives have included Hybrid Genres, Experiments in Poetry: Laws and Wildness and Writing the Fantastic, among others. Target enrollment for the Arts Academy is 40-45 students with 3-4 faculty.

The Creative Writing division benefits from a Visiting Writers series that offers students access to readings, master classes, and Q&A sessions and with nationally renowned writers. Recent Visiting Writers have included Carolyn Forche, Antonya Nelson, Tony Kushner, Stephen Dunn, Kwame Dawes, Peter Matthiessen, Terrance Hayes, francine j. harris, Stuart Dybek, Tyehimba Jess, Garth Greenwell, Elena Passarello, Alexandra Kleeman and Danez Smith. Creative Writing students regularly win the highest awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and the YoungArts competition, and earn significant scholarships to outstanding collegiate writing programs. 20 Creative Writing students have been selected as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. The Creative Writing program annually awards a $30,000 prize as part of a juried competition, the result of a $500,000 gift from the Ball Foundation honoring trustee and creative writer Virginia Ball. Renowned writers who graduated from the Academy include Doug Stanton, Karin Gottshall, Paula Sharp, Mohammed Naseeehu Ali, Garth Greenwell, Julie Buntin, Brittany Cavallaro, Kea Wilson, Mary Stewart Atwell and Jennifer Lynch.

During the summer, the Creative Writing Division runs a full program for young writers ages 12-18 at the Interlochen Arts Camp. In addition to the approximately 150 students who major in Creative Writing, the division offers a number of elective courses for students ages 8-18 majoring in other arts areas. Close to 300 students participate in some aspect of the summer Creative Writing Program during the seven weeks of programming for the Camp. The summer Creative Writing faculty consists of 7-8 instructors in addition to the Director. There are a variety of evening readings given by students, faculty, and guests.

Facilities: Built-in 2002 with a $2 million gift from a single anonymous donor, the Writing House is the only facility of its kind at an American high school dedicated to the craft of writing. The Writing House provides an inviting and spacious home for the Creative Writing program and offers comfortable, quiet writing spaces complete with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a kitchen, a literary publications room, media space, conference rooms, offices and a large living room for guest, faculty and student readings.

Responsibilities: This administrative and faculty position reports to the Dean of the Arts. The Director typically teaches 2 classes per semester during the Academic year, as well as teaching at least one class during Camp. Courses taught may vary depending on enrollments, experience, and areas of literary interest and expertise. The 12-month administrative responsibilities include active and ongoing recruitment of students for both Academy and Camp; regular meetings with the Dean for Enrollment Management and the enrollment officer assigned to Creative Writing as well as the Director of Marketing; hiring, orienting and evaluating writing faculty and staff; providing direction for the writing curriculum; developing and managing the annual departmental budget; oversight of the student literary publications for the Arts Academy in collaboration with Academy faculty; scheduling and engaging guest writers and readings; networking with others in the recruitment and development of students for both Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; establishing and nurturing partnerships with a variety of organizations in an effort to engage with both regional and national literary communities.

Qualifications: Advanced degree (MFA or Ph.D. in Creative Writing preferred). Candidates must have proven teaching and administrative experience with significant knowledge of writing on the national level as well as a deep interest in and commitment to understanding the emerging role of the writer in the 21st century. Experience teaching Creative Writing at the secondary level is desirable. Professional writing experience and publishing credentials are also required and will be strongly considered. Interlochen seeks candidates qualified to teach in multiple genres, including, but not limited to: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenwriting, playwriting and hybrid genres. A strong commitment to collaborative work with other arts disciplines is also very important.