Welcome to Young Writers' Institute

Every Writer is Welcome!

Our programs are great for any writer at any level! We maintain a stress-free environment where students can feel supported and successful. We welcome every writer - from those who need extra support to those who are accomplished authors. We offer a variety of classes, camps, and workshops so that students can work on what interests them. 

 Writing is an art as well as a skill. We recognize that writing can be intimidating for students who lack confidence with the "art" part or who struggle with the "skill" part.  We make an effort to meet each writer at their current level and take small steps to grow from that point.  Small class sizes ensure that each student receives plenty of individual attention as well as support, guidance, and feedback along the way. Most parents report great growth in their students' willingness to write, confidence, quality of content, and skill in mechanics.   

Click on the tabs at the top of the page to learn more about our programs.

Meet Your Teachers

Casey Midkiff


Miss Casey is a graduate of Elon University and has been teaching for eighteen years. She taught public school in Alamance County and Wake County before moving on to homeschool her own two children. During her years as a homeschooling mom, she began tutoring and running writing groups at her kitchen table on Sunday afternoons. In 2013, she decided to move her groups into a classroom and give her little community of authors a name - Young Writers' Institute. Since then, she has had the privilege of working with hundreds of amazing young authors who come together to learn, grow, and express themselves confidently through the written word.   

Dawn Bertrand


Miss Dawn has a MS in Education and holds a NC teaching license. She is a Certified IEW Instructor. She has been working with children of all ages for over twenty-five years, both in the public schools and in private facilities. She has been with YWI since 2016, tutoring students in reading and writing, as well as teaching IEW classes. She loves working with students and helping them to achieve their writing and educational goals.

Alice Hancock


 Alice Hancock graduated with a Master’s in Education  from North Carolina State University, holds a BA from North Carolina State University, a teaching certification from Meredith College and has over 20 years of teaching experience. She has taught public, private,  and homeschool students. She has been privately tutoring and teaching writing classes to the community, helping students to become stronger and more successful writers. 

Samantha Lazar


 Samantha has been teaching English/Language Arts for twenty years. She has a Bachelor of Science in English and Secondary Education from Appalachian State University and a Masters degree in Education and Academically & Intellectually Gifted Education from Meredith College. She loves books and family and traveling to the mountains. She enjoys helping students become confident writers! Samantha lives in Durham with her son, husband, and the boss of her house- their cat, Simon.  


 Mrs. Casey is such an amazing teacher. My son loves her classes and has grown tremendously with his writing skills. Each sessions brings out so much of his creativity. Each session is tailored to a different genre and gives the kids exposure to all kinds of writing. So happy we found it! 

- HR, Holly Springs mom

 Talk about a talent! Casey makes writing exciting and my son (a feet-dragging work-avoider) wants to go in to camp early every day to get a jump start on his story. She is a miracle worker! 

-KS, Cary mom

 My kids have been with Casey since middle school and all through high school. Her instruction makes writing a fun process for both of them. They've become much stronger writers and I'm so grateful for all she's done with them. 

- TK, Apex homeschooling mom

{Student} loves your writing class.  He wants to keep going all the way to college!

-HW, Cary mom

If I had not found YWI, I would not be homeschooling right now. Teaching writing at home just wasn't working for us. My son has been taking classes for four years, and I'm blown away by what he can produce now!

-CC, Cary homeschooling mom

My kids adore their teacher and have so much fun in class.  I never expected they would come out smiling and laughing from a class on writing persuasive essays.

-LM, Cary mom

Contact Us

Young Writers' Institute

312 West Chatham Street, Ste. 203, Cary, North Carolina 27511, United States


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