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, and undergraduates from the Department of Literature and the Department of Education, as well as 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 Department of Literature faculty in consultation with Santa Cruz County high school teachers.

Will the student essays be handwritten or typed?
Students will be given a bluebook, a notebook typically used for exams at the UC, to handwrite their essay in.

Can students attend A Day of Writing more than once?
Yes. We encourage juniors to return to A Day of Writing during their senior year. Our program is designed to offer juniors extra support for high school examinations and to provide seniors with an introduction to college life before entering into 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. This year, we will be reading and discussing Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield and Frances Harper’s Iola Leroy. 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 LIT112C: Charles Dickens course. This upper-division course is an intensive course that coincides with the Dickens Universe. Students will receive 5 UC credits that are transferable within the larger UC-system. For juniors, successful completion of UC courses looks great on a college application; for seniors, this means they will enter into their university career having already completed some course requirements.   

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