Join A Community Of Writers

Gifted Writers Academy is an asynchronous online program featuring creative writing and academic writing classes. Writers may sign up for classes at any time of the year.

Gifted Writers Academy is a place to learn, give and receive feedback, make friends, and become a better writer.

We're a tight-knit group of story writers, poets, playwrights, and documentarians.

Become A Better Writer

Writers gain confidence and technical skill in friendly, supportive, and challenging courses.

Share Work with Writing Peers

Students interact and share work with their writing peers for feedback with additional guidance from mentor-insttructors.

Build Lasting Relationships

Students have the opportunity to create lasting and deep friendships with their course-mates and instructors.

Our Courses

Whether you're a rising poet, story writer, documentarian, or playwright, The Gifted Writers Academy is the perfect place to delve into creative or academic writing. We offer the Writing Essentials course, a creative writing program that exposes writers to a diverse array of genres: fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction through videos and written lessons. Foundations in Academic Writing sets up learners for success in high school, college, and beyond. With a variety of examples, video tutorials, and hands-on lessons, the writing styles we provide instruction on include essays, literature reviews, research papers, and annotated bibliographies. The Writing Prompts Challenge provides one engaging prompt per day for a month or as long as six months with writing tips and mentor texts in one of four genres. If you are passionate about writing and want to connect with other writers from around the world who share your dedication and joy for the process of creating and learning while working at your own pace—this is the right place for you!

Your Choice!

30-Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult

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Your Choice!

60-Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult

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Your Choice!

90-Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult

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Your Choice!

120-Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult

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$125

Foundations in Academic Writing: Grades 9-College

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Your Choice!

The Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult

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Your Choice!

The Prompts Challenge: Grades 6-8

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$125

Middle School Creative Writing Essentials

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Meet The Gifted Writers Team

Ted Ibur, Founder and Instructor
Ted Ibur — Founder & Instructor

Now in his 30th year in education, program founder/director, Ted Ibur, has had the good fortune to be an English teacher and administrator at the middle school, high school, and college levels. At Saint Louis University, Ibur is the Executive Director of the St. Louis Literary Award and also works as an English liaison for the 1818 Dual Enrollment Program. He received a BA in both English and Sociology with a minor in Journalism and Creative Writing from Mizzou, and earned an MA in Education from Washington University. For the first ten years of his teaching career, Ibur was also a full-time musician playing drums in several bands. His 2012 debut novel written under his full name, Edward Scott Ibur, is called Teacher of the Year, a satirical comedy set in a middle school. He is currently working on a collection of short stories.

Arden Armstrong, Mentor Instructor

Arden Armstrong

Mentor-Instructor
Hi, I’m Arden Armstrong! I’m a junior at Tulane University studying Marketing with a minor in Legal Studies. I joined Gifted Writers Academy in the fall of 2012 and haven’t looked back. Within 10 seconds of meeting me, I will probably mention one of three things so let me spare you that time by telling you now: I have a 60-year life-plan, I am a meme queen, and this writing class changed my life. I look forward to getting to know all of you this summer!
Tara Ernst

Tara Ernst

Mentor-Instructor
Tara Ernst is currently in her third year of doctoral study in the Curriculum and Instruction Ph.D. program at Saint Louis University’s School of Education (focusing on curriculum development and the inclusion of fine and performing arts in education). She earned a BA in Psychology from SLU in 2016 and an MA in Higher Education Administration from New York University in 2018. While at NYU, Ernst taught a graduate seminar for new international students and served as an Assistant Residence Hall Director at The School of American Ballet in Lincoln Center. Currently, she teaches a section of University 101 for new, first time freshmen at Saint Louis University. She has 15 years of on-stage experience in theatre, having been involved in both community and semi-professional companies in and around the St. Louis area. She enjoys rainy days with moody books, running half marathons (never full), and day dreaming about becoming an astronaut.
Olivia Bickford, Mentor Instructor

Olivia Bickford

Mentor-Instructor
I’m Olivia Bickford! I’m a junior at the University of Louisville where I am a Music Therapy major. I was a part of the GWA from my sixth grade year until my senior year of high school, participating as both a student and a mentor! I’m your go-to poetry gal and will talk villanelles with you all day. I’m so excited to work with you this summer, and I can’t wait to see what you create!
Charlotte Marshall, Mentor Instructor

Charlotte Marshall

Mentor-Instructor
Charlotte Marshall is going into her third year at the University of Kansas, where she is majoring in English. She is also a part of the LEAD (Legal Education Accelerated Degree) Program, an accelerated Pre-Law program, and plans on attending Law School at KU after completing her undergraduate degree. Charlotte has been a part of the Gifted Writers Academy since seventh grade (2013!), participating in the program as a student until her graduation in 2019. She has been an avid writer for as long as she can remember, her favorite style being free verse poetry. Charlotte is so excited to collaborate with all of you!
Sydney Cimarolli, Mentor Instructor

Sydney Cimarolli

Mentor-Instructor
Sydney is a senior at American University studying Literature and Political Science, where she also works as a Teaching Assistant. Sydney has been involved with Gifted Arts for eight years as both a student and mentor-instructor and is looking forward to another summer with the program.
Dino Thesaurus, Intern

Dino Thesaurus

Intern
Well, hello there. I'm Dino Thesaurus and I make the coffee, get postage stamps, and keep things tidy around the Gifted Writers Academy office. I look forward to taking your job one day, Mr. Ibur.
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