This online creative writing class can be viewed as either an Intermediate or Pre-AP level English class. It could even be taken concurrently with AP English Language or Literature.
The Creative Writing course is intended to be an enjoyable series of readings and writing exercises that explore many aspects of the writing craft. All of the genres and forms included are categories featured in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. By the end of the course, students will have worked toward building a vibrant and varied writing portfolio they can submit to Scholastic and/or other contests. Submitting work to Scholastic is optional but highly suggested; I will guide students closely in this process.
This class will also give students the opportunity to develop textual analysis and reading comprehension skills that will help them succeed in both AP English Language and AP English Literature.
The first section of the class will focus on the five most fundamental elements of storytelling: plot, characterization, conflict, narrative perspective, and dialogue. Reading assignments will focus on specific elements which the students will explore in the accompanying writing assignments. Students will complete a short story for each module that focuses on the specific element highlighted in each module.
Students will have the opportunity to work through at least two drafts of each major project. They will receive teacher critiques and peer feedback for each draft. I typically post student work “anonymously” to make peer critiques as stress-free and helpful as possible. Receiving and giving peer critiques is one of the most valuable ways to grow as a writer.
In addition to these major assignments, students will be able to complete short exercises that practice such skills as: employing imagery and figurative language, using correct dialogue punctuation, controlling tone, practicing grammar skills, etc.
The second section of the class will focus on genre and form. Reading assignments will focus on specific genres and/or forms of writing, such as realism, fantasy, poetry, and drama. Written assignments will help students develop versatility as well as a portfolio with a wide breadth. Special attention will be paid to the reasons why an author may choose to write in a specific genre and the tools and formatting skills necessary for each form.
Homework will be assigned/due weekly on our course website. Students may view the detailed syllabus at any point to see what is coming up next. I will also send out a weekly homework update email to both students and parents. Required reading includes regular handouts, posts, and activities on the website.
Each week may include:
- An optional live meeting. You may choose to either attend or listen to the recording after the fact.
- A reading assignment of short fiction, poetry, or drama.
- A writing assignment or a section of a larger project.
- In-depth website discussion questions.
- Conceptual handouts with important information about the elements of fiction and course terminology.
Who should enroll?
This course is intended for 10th-12th graders who enjoy telling stories and have a competent grasp of English grammar.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Students will have the opportunity to work through at least two drafts of each major creative project. Only final drafts receive final grades based on our rubrics that generally base 80% of a grade on content (i.e., strength of storytelling elements) and 20% on clarity and style. All grading rubrics are detailed and clear.
Each student receives detailed teacher critiques and peer feedback for each draft. This is one of the major benefits of this class, as it allows students to benefit from community support as well as instructor feedback. I typically post student work “anonymously” to make peer critiques as stress-free and helpful as possible. Receiving and giving peer critiques is one of the most valuable ways to grow as a writer. It is a vital experience to have before college-level language arts work.
An application is required for this course. Once a student has been accepted and is registered, I will contact families within 1-2 business days of registration. I believe very strongly in keeping parents in the loop at all times; I send weekly class update emails to parents and students. Parents also have the ability to view their child’s progress via an Observer Canvas account.