Structure of Courses
First Year Courses
The creative writing course here at JWMHS are intended to offer students the opportunity to have fun with but also understand the importance of the written word. From exploring the basics of non-fiction and fiction to one-act playwriting, to exploring both traditional (strict form and meter) and non-traditional (free verse and spoken word) styles of poetry and songwriting.
Creative Writing 1
Creative Writing 1 is a semester class that introduces students to the fundamentals storytelling and playwriting. Through exploring and analyzing various authors and playwrights, students will begin to experiment with their own storytelling voice as they brainstorm, draft, revise various non-fiction and fiction writings as well as one-act plays. A small research project on a 20th century writer/playwright will also be completed during this course.
Creative Writing 2
In Creative Writing 2, students shift away from prose and drama and spend a semester exploring the basic fundamentals of poetry and songwriting. Similar to that in CW1, students will explore various poets and songwriters, experimenting with their own poetic voice as they brainstorm, draft, revise various forms of both poetry and lyrics. There will also be a research project on a 20th century poet/songwriter to be completed during the course during the 1st quarter of the course. During the second quarter, students will learn some desktop publishing as they create a chapbook collection of their favorite writings throughout both CW1 and CW2.
Second Year Course
Creative Writing 3 Honors
In Creative Writing 3 Honors, students are now allowed to explore creative writing on their terms, keeping in mind that there is always an audience. They will work through weekly workshops and peer edits as the use their creative voice to be a part of the many social narratives running and at times conflicting today. Small run chapbooks of their favorite writings will be created as they learn various print publishing techniques, while also taking on staff roles of the school’s literary magazine Equinox. Along with print publishing, these students will build and maintain an online digital portfolio of the many writings, reviews and desktop publishing designs they have created throughout the course. By the end of the year, these students will work to create and publish the school’s literary annual review Wild Horses, with guidance from the Lit. in the Media students. This is the school’s annual review of all things creative going on here at JWMHS: writing, painting, photography, graphic design, etc.
Third Year Course
Literature in the Media (Creative Writing 4 Honors)
In Literature in the Media (Creative Writing 4 Honors), students take on more leadership roles in the literary magazine as they become editors to the Creative Writing 3 Honors staff (both course run during the same period). In addition to the literary magazine, these students are responsible for helping and guiding the creative writing 3 students as they design and publish the school’s literary review Wild Horses. All of this is happening while students are continuing to further develop their writing as they work to submit to various writing contests throughout the year.