Summer Scholars Program

Train and Work as a Literary Editor This Summer!

June 21 - August 13, 2021

The Summer Scholars Program is an 8-week online program for rising 9th - 12th-grade high school students.  At the end of this program, students will have advanced knowledge of the craft and art of literary editing and be prepared for senior editing roles at Polyphony Lit or their high school literary magazine.

We believe being an active participant in a global community of peer writers and readers helps teens better understand their value as human beings. It is fun and rewarding!

The program combines asynchronous training modules, live sessions that combine lectures and collaborative group discussions, and weekly assignments to respond to actual past submissions to Polyphony Lit.

Space is limited. Register now to guarantee your spot!

Course Schedule

Training:  Weeks 1 - 3

Week 1

Approaching Poetry:  online content, live lecture and discussion with poetry instructor.  Collaborate with other Scholars on one poetry submission.

Week 2

Approaching Fiction: online content, live lecture and discussion with fiction instructor.  Collaborate with other Scholars on one fiction submission.

Week 3

Approaching Creative Nonfiction:  online content, live lecture, and discussion with creative nonfiction instructor. Collaborate with other Scholars on one creative nonfiction submission.

Work:  Weeks 4 - 8
Weeks 4 - 8

Work as Junior Editor, responding to two editorial assignments from active Polyphony Lit submissions per week. Scholars will receive feedback on every assignment.. Conference with mentor to discuss interests, feedback, and areas for focus.

Learning Outcomes

We expect Scholars will advance their literary skills while doing meaningful work.  Specific learning goals include:​

Craft & Technique
  • Method to approach poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction

  • Understanding of elements of each genre

  • Practice using literary devices to interpret and analyze submissions and give editorial feedback

  • Consideration for how the overall effect of structure, devices, and themes contribute to the effect of the piece

The Responsibility of Criticism (Judging Quality) & The Writer/Editor Relationship
  • Embracing multiple standards of quality: diverse aesthetic, authentic voice, style, technique

  • Awareness of contemporary challenges of creative works in a diverse world

  • Honing judgment about quality

Process & Challenges in Publishing
  • Responsibilities and functions of the editorial pipeline

  • Acceptance and rejection criteria and decision-making

  • Polyphony Lit's unique mission to encourage and support emerging writers

Program Details

  • Detailed written feedback on all editing assignments.

  • Optional opportunity to write a post for our “Voices” blog.

  • Opportunity to meet and learn from other scholars through collaborative assignments, our online community forum, and in our live online lectures.

  • Phone/Zoom conference with instructor.

  • Cost: $350/student

Expectations of Scholars

  • Expected commitment: 3-5 hours per week

  • We expect Scholars will have other work/study/vacation commitments, all live lectures will be taped in event of schedule conflicts.

  • We welcome international students and will do our best to work around time zone issues.

  • We hope that Summer Scholars will continue working on staff with Polyphony Lit after concluding the program. Instructors will give you personal feedback about your path to promotion, but enrollment as a Summer Scholar is not a guarantee of promotion. Historically, about 10% of our Junior Editors earn promotion to Genre Editor and Executive Editor.


"I absolutely loved this program! The quality of the feedback that my TA's gave me, getting to read and edit all the fantastic submissions, and especially, my personal mentoring call . . . thanks so much for this excellent program!"

— 2020 Summer Scholar

"I've loved literature all my life and was starting to think about editing as a career when I stumbled across the Polyphony Lit Summer Scholars program and was thrilled. I learned so much about the nuances of editing, met some brilliant people, and enjoyed every assignment given to me."

— 2020 Summer Scholar

"Polyphony Lit is a learning community, and it’s a community of inspired, creative, and motivated individuals—a community that constantly educates me, inspires me, wows me with its creativity, and motivates me towards my goals."

— Lara Katz, Editor-in-Chief and Summer Scholars Teaching Assistant