Morning workshops allow students to focus on a major genre of their choice (Poetry, Fiction, or Personal Essay), while afternoon presents a choice between "staff" and "craft." Students who choose to be a part of the magazine staff study Magazine Writing, Editing & Publishing, producing an online literary magazine featuring student writing. Those who choose the craft classes get the opportunity to learn about and experiment with an eclectic menu of genres, from Digital Storytelling to Science Fiction & Fantasy. After class, students enjoy a range of campus activities, from swimming to Quidditch.

Classes are held Monday through Friday. Over the weekend, students will enjoy more writing time and more opportunities to see Ithaca—including the Farmers Market and Taughannock Falls State Park—as well as to interact with students in the Summer College for High School Students, who share the campus with Institute students.

Outside of workshops and classes, students are chaperoned by Ithaca College Writing majors, residential assistants who double as teaching assistants. These experienced undergraduates are available to guide students in their writing throughout the day, starting with a morning warm-up session in the writing lab. And in the evening, the Institute's reading series brings students, TAs, and faculty together to share their work.