It’s easy for young writer to feel unfulfilled or under-challenged in high school English classes;
the creative writing student at CSS is in search of something more. Small class size, the highest caliber
instruction, and student-centered material will produce creative ideas and proud students.
To better cater to individual interests, this year CSS will be divided by age when appropriate. We will keep our classes small, so we can give our students the best and closest attention possible.
A Writer’s Workshop
This course focuses on a diversity of material, especially that with the most ‘creative’ bent. Students will write short stories, personal narratives, and learn a variety of poetry styles. There’s also room for personalization: everything from song writing to fan-fiction is fair game if the student
has the passion for it. Expect a wide array of creative modes of writing in this course; some more familiar, some with which the student may otherwise have never be exposed.
The most important thing is to develop our writers’ voice. One of the best ways to develop their voice is to have students write about subjects they know and love. In some cases, we don’t care about what they write about; we care how they write it.
College Admissions Essays as a Skill Building Exercise
Virtually all of our students will be applying to college. And that means they will be writing essays. That’s why we include essay writing, and particularly college admissions essays, as part and parcel of our program.
All levels accepted: Previous Experience Not Required, Current Pros Welcome
While previous creative writing experience is by no means required, students are welcome to bring any ideas or projects they may have been working on into the class. In the past there have been students who’s writing leans towards the romantic, towards fantasy, horror, wittily hilarious or a dry and gripping realism. Our writing students will find an encouraging
environment that draws strength from a diversity of styles, backgrounds, and interests.
Journalism and narrative nonfiction offer an outlet for the creative writer obsessed with the truth and bent on analyzing what’s around them as they see it. This might mean interviews, opinion pieces, or honing the art of description. It also could come in the form of tackling those issues most important to the students themselves, whether it be curfews or gay rights. The world is a fascinating place, and there are so many things, people, and ideas worth writing about. It’s also increasingly important.
The education of writing at both the high school and college level has been growing ever more nonfiction-based. This course is therefore especially well-suited for those students who want to get a leg up on the freshman composition classes required by most all colleges and universities. But don’t think that makes it less creative. Writing nonfiction in an engaging way can is a vital and empowering skill. In this spirit, part of this course will be dedicated to writing the college personal statement, where a student analyzes themselves. In much the same way, this course challenges them to analyze the world.
Tara Andreas (Writer’s Workshop): Tara is thrilled to spend her third summer teaching creative writing at CSS. While growing up on Long Island she spent many summers at different camps, and it has been her dream to pass on that wonderful camp experience to others. She currently lives in and teaches high school English and Creative Writing in New York City. She considers herself a lifelong poet, Zumba enthusiast, and explorer of all things NYC.