Publishing Academy

Big Idea

So you want to be a writer…but you don’t know how to get there?

Open Books Publishing Academy is a year-long program that turns young writers (7th-12th grade) into published novelists. Writers participate in a rigorous five-week intensive in the summer, followed by monthly workshops on the second Saturday of the month from September through April. During this time, they write full-length novels with guidance from teachers and volunteer writing coaches. Students learn the fundamentals of fiction writing, consult with industry professionals about design and publication, hear first-hand advice from published authors, and foster peer relationships with other writers.

At the end of this journey, we celebrate these newly-published authors with a book release party, where we roll out the red carpet in the Open Books store and toast to their impressive accomplishments.


At A Glance

What: An intensive writing workshop experience that takes students from blank page to finished – and published – novel.

Where: Open Books West Loop (651 W. Lake St.)

When: Five intensive weeks starting July 8 to August 8 (Monday – Thursday), from 9am–2pm (45min lunch break, lunch not provided) followed by workshops on the second Saturday of each month from August–April.

Who: 7th–12th grade authors, Open Books staff, and volunteer writing coaches.

How: Applications for Publishing Academy will be considered on a rolling basis. The Publishing Academy Team will review the candidate’s application, writing sample, and financial aid application (if applicable). Once reviewed, all accepted students will be invited to interview at our West Loop office.


  • $550 Early Bird (registered by March 15)
  • $600 Regular (registered by May 10)
  • $650 Deadline (registered by June 7)

*A limited number of need-based scholarships available. Deadline for financial aid applicants is May 10.

Plus: Each session culminates in a book release party at the award-winning Open Books store. Friends and family gather to hear excerpts from the newly published novels, and join in a toast to their authors’ achievements.

For more information, contact [email protected]

Our 2019-2020 Course Syllabus Coming Soon