Do you have a penchant for writing outside of your traditional English class? If so, CVHS now offers Creative Writing: a semester-long English elective offered to upperclassmen.
English Department Chair Anne Parris introduced the curriculum this school year following years of the shuttering of English classes, such as science fiction, to allow for classes like ERWC that are more geared for preparing students for college.
“I decided to take Creative Writing because I enjoyed Ms. Parris’ teaching style in Honors American Literature, and was hoping to bring more creativity into my school day,” said senior Carly Becerra.
As stated in the course overview, it is “the English course where—if we believe the great Italian writer Umberto Eco—we will learn how to ‘survive.’” The class is structured such that the curriculum consists of daily writing, concentrated reading, and biweekly writing workshops.
Senior Ian Doporto speaks for many Creative Writing students in his appreciation for the class writing workshops: “I enjoy constructive criticism and cooperating as a team… It makes me happy to see all of us help each other revise our writings and peruse detail. We are our own creators and critics.”
Creative Writing’s first semester hailed a staggering nine-person class, leaving the classroom emptier than others, but just as full of energy.
“The class is small and there isn’t a strict way of doing things, so we get a lot of freedom with what we do,” says Becerra. “There’s less pressure about being ‘perfect’ and more importance on being true and open to everything.”
Aside from creative writing prompts, the class is also suplemented with texts such as “Mirrors” by Umberto Eco; “Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories from Around the World,” edited by James Thomas, Robert Shepard, and Christopher Merrill; and “The Woman Warrior” by Maxin Hong Kingston.
“Someone who I think would enjoy creative writing is imaginative but also willing to put those ideas down a paper,” said junior Nadine Strand. “The relatively small class makes me feel comfortable opening up a bit more. I feel safe enough to read out loud what I write because everyone is very supportive.”
Students are currently compiling their portfolios of original works written and revised for submission at the end of the semester.
“I’m very excited to submit my work… my pieces mean a lot to me,” said senior Miranda Xie.
Students who want to improve as a writer or are looking for a creative outlet in the traditional schoolday are recommended to sign up for second semester Creative Writing to learn about the features of descriptive essay, more writing techniques, etc.
“If you’re not looking for another AP class but one that is just as creatively challenging, this is the class for you,” Beccera said.