2022 Great Smokies Young Writers Workshop – Limitless Poetry and Writing Ghosts

Hone your literary skills through workshops with experienced local authors and poets. Generate new pieces, revise works-in-progress and critique works of others in a collaborative workshop setting. Learn about our region’s vibrant history and culture through field trips to local landmarks.

Limitless Poetry:  This course will encourage students to think about the limitations of genre and how we write around them. Students will be encouraged to write poetry that doesn’t necessarily look like poetry—definition poems, diss tracks, ekphrasis, and odes—this course will provide students an opportunity for emotional exploration, form-building, and experimentation—and write great poems while doing it.

Writing Ghosts:  Every story is a ghost story, whether you are writing an actual ghost story—a piece of horror or Gothic fiction—detailing events of the past, or capturing a moment in the present. When we tell an anecdote or a funny thing that happened to us, when we talk about the way things used to be, when we look at pieces of the past. Any time we remember, we’re talking about ghosts. This class will explore the ways ghosts, real or imagined, can serve as metaphors, shadows, and foils for the things that really haunt us, and how they can focus and improve our fiction.

Registration Details

    • June 26 – July 1, 2022
    • $1,200
    • Scholarships are available through Great Smokies Writing Program (Click here for more information)
    • Price includes lodging, meals, all course materials, activities, and excursions
    • Students reside in campus residence hall and dine in campus dining hall
    • Due to the continued effects of COVID-19, we are maintaining a flexible refund policy.  There is a full refund available minus a $50 administrative processing fee
    • Enrollment is open until spaces are filled
    • Students that register for two back-to-back Pre-College programs, have the option to also register for an optional stayover weekend in-between programs for an additional $350.  The stayover weekend is all-inclusive of housing, meals and activities in and around Asheville

Topics icon


  • Limitless Poetry
  • Writing Ghosts

Sample Schedule

  • Morning

  • 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 9:00 a.m. – Limitless Poetry
  • 12 p.m. – Lunch & free time
  • Afternoon

  • 1:00 p.m. – Writing Ghosts
  • Evening

  • 5:00 p.m. – Dinner
  • 6:30 p.m. – Activities / recreation / free time
    Options include: swimming, beach volleyball, Asheville Tourists game, observatory, game night, movie
  • 11 p.m. – Lights out

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  • In this writing workshop, students will be writing, critiquing the work of their peers, and learning from experienced authors.   

Meet Your Faculty


Diamond Forde

Diamond Forde is a University Fellow in UNC Asheville’s Department of English. Her debut collection, Mother Body, is the winner of the 2019 Saturnalia Poetry Prize. She has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Pink Poetry Prize, the Furious Flower Poetry Prize, and CLA’s Margaret Walker Memorial Prize, and placed in the Frontier Poetry’s New Poets Award.

She is a Callaloo and Tin House fellow, whose work has appeared in Massachusetts Review, Ninth Letter, NELLE, Tupelo Quarterly and more. Diamond serves as the assistant editor of Southeast Review, and the fiction editor for Nat. Brut.​​

Diamond has earned a Bachelors in English from the University of West Georgia and an MFA from The University of Alabama. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Florida State University.

Dr. Jamieson Ridenhour

Dr. Ridenhour is the writer and producer of the popular audio drama Palimpsest (half a million downloads and counting), the author of the werewolf murder-mystery Barking Mad (Typecast, 2011) and writer and director of the award-winning short horror films Cornerboys and The House of the Yaga. His ghost play Grave Lullaby was a finalist for the Kennedy Center’s David Cohen Playwriting award in 2012. Jamie’s short fiction and poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, TheNewerYorkAcross the MarginsMirror Dance, and Architrave, among others, and has been podcast on PseudopodCast of Wonders, and Radio Unbound.  His newest play, Bloodbath: Victoria’s Secret, premiered in October of 2021.

Jamie has a Ph.D. in Victorian Gothic fiction. In addition to publishing scholarly articles on Dickens, LeFanu, and contemporary vampire film, he edited the Valancourt edition of Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla (2009) and wrote a book-length study of urban gothic fiction, In Darkest London (Scarecrow, 2014). He has taught writing and literature for over twenty years, currently at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC.

Contact Us

Questions? Please contact us at camps@unca.edu.