Creative Writing Unplugged

Learn professional writing techniques; develop a regular, focused writing practice; and participate in supportive critique workshops that incorporate crucial elements of the writing process, like drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Find inspiration with outdoor adventures, explorations of surrounding Native American communities, and field trips to regional historical sites such as the cliff dwellings of Bandelier National Monument and an ancient pueblo village. Experience the unique desert climate and rich landscapes of the Southwest while embarking on several hikes over higher altitude and desert terrain. Immerse yourself in the creative process, unplug, and enjoy the inspiration you will find in this remarkable, serene landscape. You do not have to be a Duke TIP member to apply. This course is open to all gifted students in grades 9-12.

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student writing outdoors at Ghost Ranch

About Ghost Ranch

Some of the most breathtaking scenery in New Mexico surrounds Abiquiu Lake—including gigantic cliffs in layers of color, created over a two-hundred-million year period by sandstone deposits. The village of Abiquiu itself is rimmed by a landscape of rugged rock formations in bright crimson and white. The area has a rich history: from dinosaurs roaming the land to prehistoric people gathering flint for their arrowheads to offering the final stop on the Old Spanish Trail before travelers headed west to the Pacific. Georgia O’Keeffe, well known for her paintings of the desert Southwest, lived at Ghost Ranch for many years and drew much of her inspiration from the magnificent surroundings. Duke TIP students will have access to the Ghost Ranch Library, which provides a wealth of books and periodicals to enhance their studies. To learn more about what students can expect when they stay at Ghost Ranch, visit

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June 17–July 1
Ghost Ranch, NM