Dickens Day of Writing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who are the writing mentors?
The writing mentors are volunteers from the community, including members of the Dickens Project board members, high school teachers, UCSC faculty, graduate students, undergraduates from the Department of Literature and the Department of Education, and local community leaders.

What type of writing prompts will students be given?
Students will be given the opportunity to write either a personal or an expository essay. These essay prompts are designed by UCSC’s Department of Literature faculty in consultation with Santa Cruz County high school teachers.

Will the student essays be handwritten or typed?
Students should bring a laptop or tablet to the event to type their essays. A limited number of laptops will be available during the event, but we request advanced notification if a computer is needed.

Can students attend the Dickens Day of Writing more than once?
Yes. We encourage juniors to return to the Dickens Day of Writing during their senior year. We designed this program to offer juniors extra support for high school examinations and give seniors an introduction to college life before entering higher education.

What is the Dickens Universe? What is the Summer Session course like?
The Dickens Universe is a week-long summer conference that is part academic conference, part summer camp. In 2023, we will read and discuss Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. Over the course of the week, the scholarship winners and any mentors, teachers, and students interested in commuting to campus to participate (with registration fees waived) will participate in a variety of faculty and graduate student-led seminars, small group discussions, and writing classes, interspersed with Victorian teas and keynote lectures.

What is the benefit of taking UC Summer Session courses as a high school student?
Our scholarship winners will attend the Dickens Universe registered as Summer Session students enrolled in the LIT 112C: Charles Dickens course. This upper-division course is an intensive course that coincides with the Dickens Universe. Therefore, students have the opportunity to receive 5 UC credits transferrable within the UC system. For seniors, this means they will enter their university career having already completed some course requirements.

Is there an age requirement to participate?
There is no age requirement to participate in the Dickens Day of Writing. However, students must be 18 years old to participate in the Dickens Universe conference and to take LIT 112C: Charles Dickens course for credit.

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