Summer Camp

As our flagship program, The Olive Writers Summer Camp is a six-day intensive creative writing seminar for young Moroccans.

For information about the 2019 Summer Camp, please scroll down.

Thanks to the generous support of the ALC—Casablanca and though our partnership with the International Writing Program, we are proud to announce that our Summer Camp is fully funded. As such, all accepted participants are automatically awarded a full scholarship, which covers tuition, room and board for the duration of the program.

Our inaugural edition of the Summer Camp took place in Casablanca in 2017. Some 25 young writers from across Morocco participated in the Summer Camp, attending daily bilingual (English/Arabic) creative writing workshops and seminars on literature, critical thinking and literary translation.

Our program instructors included creative writers Christine Aziz and Nesma Gewily, along with literary translator Hodna Bentali Gharsallah Nuernberg and guest speakers Zineb Aladioui, Zineb Beladel, Eileen Colucci, Soukaina HabibAllah, Achraf Jazz, Naima Lahbil, Laila Lalami, Christopher Merril and Salma Takky.

2019 Summer Camp


  • Applications are currently CLOSED
  • To apply to the 2019 Summer Camp, please click here
  • Applications will be accepted June 26-July 12, 2019
  • The Summer Camp will occur July 29-August 2, 2019 in Casablanca

Program Details

The 2019 Summer Camp is a six-day bilingual creative writing program. Participants will attend creative writing workshops from 9:00 a.m. until noon daily. In the afternoons, participants will participate in a literary translation workshop and will have the opportunity to meet with leading writers such as Fatena Al Ghorra, Hoda Barakat, Mohammed Benmiloud, Ahmed Bouzfour, Raymond Foye and Naïma Lahbil Tagemouati. They will also attend a variety of enrichment activities, including a criticial thinking workshop and a cultural excursion. Evenings are reserved for free writing time, community-building activities and networking.

Our Instructors

Ben Bush
, who will lead our English-language creative writing workshop, is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a Fulbright Fellow to Bulgaria, and a Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California's creative writing PhD program. His fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Literary Review, and Yeti. His non-fiction has appeared in Salon, Bookforum, The Believer,Flavorwire, Los Angeles Review of Books, Poets & Writers and theSan Francisco Chronicle.   He has also worked as managing editor at The Organist podcast from McSweeney's / KCRW (NPR-LA), and a counselor for Between the Lines, a program that brings together young writers from Russia, the United States, and Arabic-speaking countries. Ben has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Sofia University, and the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Youth Workshop.

Soukaina HabibAllah, who will lead our Arabic-language creative writing workshop, is a Moroccan poet and novelist. She has published four books of poetry, including [A Quarter Century of Sight] (2014), [There Is No Need for You] (2015) and [Five Wingless Butterflies] (2016), as well as a novel, [The Barracks] (2016). She was a recipient of the Buland al-Haidari prize for young poets, an Arab Fund for Arts and Culture grant, an al-Mawred al-Thaqafy grant and the Nadeen Chamss Prize. In 2017, HabibAllah participated in a reading tour sponsored by the Turkish Ministry of Culture. Her poetry has been translated into French, English, German, Spanish and Montenegrin.

Hodna Bentali Gharsallah Nuernberg, who will lead our literary translation workshop, holds an MFA in Literary Translation and an MA in Francophone World Studies, both from the University of Iowa. She has taught languages, literature and translation at universities in France, the U.S. and Morocco, where she served as a Fulbright English Teaching Fellow at the ENS-Rabat. Her translations from French and Arabic have appeared with Two LinesAnomaly, Asymptote, QLRS, Poet Lore and elsewhere. Her co-translation of Madam St. Clair: Queen of Harlem is forthcoming with Diálogos Press in January 2020.  

For a list of frequently asked questions about the Summer Camp, please click here.