Creative Writing Program
Curriculum covers the basics of sentence structure, paragraph development, punctuation, grammar, spelling, and usage, with an emphasis on creativity,however, with a subtle school-to-career accent, as it is important to have a practical link of creativity to the world beyond the classroom.
- Write descriptive paragraphs and stories, along with an emphasis on poetry writing,
- Emulate small advertising agencies, with a “product” to base an ad campaign concept upon, along with development of a product slogan, and production of a magazine-style ad for their product – or, working with the film class, creating an ad appropriate for the next Super Bowl!
- Critique and review writing – based on field trips to cultural events or movies, or presentations made by students in other classes at MSA.
- Learn the basics of travel writing and/or restaurant reviews, requiring concise, descriptive language
- Learn to write various portions of a newspaper – letters-to-the-editor, articles, op-ed pieces, and will possibly create a one-issue newspaper, including their ads and reviews.
In the second part of the course, students will be prepared to write larger works. They will create short stories, children’s books, one-act plays, and, possibly, write sitcoms, screen plays, and portions of novels.
Advanced Creative Writing course will send students to Bay Area businesses and agencies to mesh on-campus learning with practical, hands-on experience as the students take on internships.
Students may also learn to write speeches, grants, and to create political brochures – skills that would transfer easily to the outside world.
Students will use texts to garner more knowledge of the writings and techniques of others. Texts to be used are Creative Writer’s Handbook, by Philip K. Jason and Allan B. Lefkowitz and An Introduction to Poetry by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.
Important would be collaborating with other classes within MSA to produce a cross-curricular result. For example, the writing students would work with the drama classes to produce plays they have written in Creative Writing; the art students would assist in the ad production, and some of the poetry would be set to music, performed by the music department. All of this would work well in concert with the film curriculum.
Creative Writing students have an opportunity to share their works in a number of on campus and off-campus performances, including MSA monthly Soiree’s in the Performing Arts Center, the Fall Arts Festival at Book Passage and during the annual MSA Showcase Fundraiser. Other performance opportunities include participation in the Poetry Farm at Dr. Insomnia, in Novato.
Writing Projects (Sample)
- Descriptive Writing Advertising Journalism
- Critique and Review Critical Analysis Short Story
- Script Writing Poetry Grant Writing
- Arts Festivals (in conjunction with other MSA classes)
- Community Presentations of students’ works
- Monthly series of poetry readings, music, monologues & performances
- Student parent writing collaboration projects
- School-wide writing room staffed by Creative Writing students, teachers and parents
- Coffee house meetings
- Field trips
The state has no content standards in Creative Writing.