Summer Scholars Program

Work as a Literary Editor This Summer!

Program closed for 2020

2021 registration opens in January

The Summer Scholars Program is an 8-week online program for rising 9th - 12th grade high school students.  This program augments our online "How to Be a Literary Editor" workshop with live lectures and individual mentoring as they work as First and Second Readers for Polyphony Lit.   The Summer Scholars Program has a rigorous curricular foundation, but the fun of the program is getting experience as a literary editor.

Course Schedule

​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.

Weeks 4-6

Begin work as First Reader, responding to two First Reader assignments per week. Conference with mentor to discuss interests, feedback, and areas for focus.

Weeks 7-8

Transition to Second Reader responsibilities: live lecture and discussion with Managing Editor, provide editorial feedback on two Second Reader assignments per week.

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 post(s) 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/Skype 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 First Readers and Second Readers earn promotion to Genre Editor and Executive Editor.

"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