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

Your Choice!

60-Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult

Your Choice!

90-Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult

Your Choice!

120-Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult


Foundations in Academic Writing: Grades 9-College

Your Choice!

The Prompts Challenge: Grades 9-Adult

Your Choice!

The Prompts Challenge: Grades 6-8


Middle School Creative Writing Essentials

Meet The Gifted Writers Team

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

With more than 30 years of working as an educator, 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 series of programs 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 the University of Missouri-Columbia, and earned an MA in Education from Washington University in St. Louis. 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 and is the drummer for Flying House.

Arden Armstrong, Mentor Instructor

Arden Armstrong

Hi, I’m Arden Armstrong! I’m a senior 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.
Tara Ernst

Tara Ernst

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.
Eleanor Gilstrap

Eleanor Gilstrap

Eleanor Gilstrap is a sophomore at Rhodes College where she is majoring in Neuroscience on the Pre-med track. She has participated in the Gifted Writers Academy as a student as well as a mentor-instructor for seven years and is excited to continue working with the program.
Charlotte Marshall, Mentor Instructor

Charlotte Marshall

Charlotte Marshall is going into her senior 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

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.

Yensen LeBeau

Yensen LeBeau currently attends Bard College Berlin in Germany, where he is studying ethics and politics. Before transferring there, he studied film/video at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Though his major does not necessarily indicate a love for writing, Yensen has been involved in Gifted Writers since middle school, and is in the process of publishing his first novel. Whether it be talking about Fassbinder, Fanon, or the Beat Generation, Yensen adores the written arts in all its forms, and is always excited to help other people improve—or get help improving himself!
Dino Thesaurus, Intern

Dino Thesaurus

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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