Creative Writing Syllabus - Saint Joseph High School

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all
others: read a lot and write a lot.”
― Stephen King
Saint Joseph High School
Creative Writing
Amy O’Brien
[email protected]
Texts and Other Materials:
The Practice of Creative Writing: A Guide for Students by Heather Sellers
Other materials needed for course – composition notebook to use as Writer’s Notebook
Pen and highlighter, folder or binder to use as a portfolio of works
Course Description:
This course, based on Indiana's Academic Standards for English/Language Arts and
emphasizing the High School Composition Standards, is a study and application of the rhetorical
(effective) writing strategies for prose and poetry. Using the writing process, students
demonstrate a command of vocabulary, the nuances of language and vocabulary, English
language conventions, an awareness of the audience, the purposes for writing, and the style of
their own writing. CREATIVE WRITING PROJECT: Students complete a project, such as a
short story, a narrative or epic poem, a persuasive speech or letter, a book review, a script or
short play, or other creative compositions, which demonstrates knowledge, application, and
writing progress in the Creative Writing course content.
Course Outcomes:
Students will be able to …
*demonstrate their ability to create interesting, entertaining, and emotionally-charged poetry,
prose, and drama.
*demonstrate in their writing that they have become acute listeners, keener observers of their
world, and more imaginative and adventurous wordsmiths.
* effectively discuss a literary work in a group setting, including the necessary vocabulary and
*recognize the elements of a well-written short story, poem, play, and essay.
*critique their writing as well as the writing of others.
Daily: Students are expected to come prepared to class each day – bringing necessary
materials and homework, ready to participate in the classroom activities.
Quarterly: Students will write pieces in each of the following genres: poetry, short story,
play, and creative non-fiction. Students will also choose pieces to re-write during
the course of the semester.
Portfolio: Students will keep a portfolio of their completed pieces. Students will write a
final reflection on their progress during the semester.
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light
on broken glass.”
– Anton Chekhov
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a
typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Course Strategies:
This class requires you to focus on the four aspects of creative writing: writing, reading the
works of other writers, working with other writers, and taking your writing to the next level by
sharing it with others. You are also highly encouraged to take your writing to the next level by
submitting one or more pieces of your work for publication. Becoming a writer means that you
have to find a time and place in your life for writing. All writers struggle. This class will teach
you strategies to help you overcome these obstacles.
Class Expectations:
Be attentive in class
Participate in all writing prompts
Share your writing with the class and offer others suggestions on their writing
Come prepared (and on time) to every class
Respect the ideas and property of others
Disruptive Behavior:
Students who disrupt this class in any way will receive an initial warning that will negatively
impact the student’s participation grade.
Further disruptions will result in a 30 minute P.M. to be served that day or the very next
school day.
Repeat offenders or those who fail to serve P.M.s will receive a school detention.
Continuous disruptions will also result in a phone call home.
Extra Credit Policy and Opportunities:
Extra credit is not given.
Late Work Policy
Generally late work on major assignments (essays, projects) will result in the loss of a letter
grade for each school day it is late. Some minor assignments may lose more credit (25% per day
Final Exam:
A final exam will be given at the end of each semester.
Grade Components:
Computation is on a straight percentage basis (total points achieved ÷ total points possible).
Grading Scale:
99 – 100
94 – 98
92 – 93
90 – 91
85– 89
83 – 84
81 – 82
76 – 80
74 – 75
72 –73
67 – 71
65 –66
64 and below