In a positive, collaborative environment, rising seniors will learn the principles of an effective college essay, study successful models, generate original ideas, draft essays, and receive meaningful feedback. They will end the week with less fear, more inspiration, and a solid draft of their Common Application essay. They will leave the course with writing strategies they can use for the rest of their lives.
In this encouraging, supportive, and in-depth creative writing class, we’ll read and write a variety of short narrative pieces from microfiction and poetry to works of a thousand words, exploring the wonder and meaning possible in brief stories. We’ll try out both traditional and experimental forms and learn techniques and tools. Students will emerge with a portfolio of work and ideas of where to go next: how to revise and assess their own work and others’, leads for joining a writers’ community, where to publish and perform (if they so choose), and how to sustain themselves through the ups and downs of a writer’s apprenticeship.
In this course offered exclusively for middle school students, come explore different writing forms and genres. Based on student interest, we may play with dystopia, mystery, memoir, humor writing, scriptwriting, and poetry. We will also experiment with a variety of writing strategies, such as idea generation, dialogue, imagery, foreshadowing and/or suspense.
Our staff consists of highly qualified, practicing teachers and writers.
Tarn Wilson has been teaching creative writing to high school students and adults for over twenty-years. She currently works at Gunn High School. She earned an MA in education from Stanford and an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop, specializing in memoir and the personal essay. In 2014, she published her first book, the memoir The Slow Farm. Her essays have been published in numerous literary journals, including Brevity, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, River Teeth, and The Sun, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Lita Kurth has taught at Santa Clara University and De Anza College as well as in private workshops for many years. A co-founder of San Jose’s Flash Fiction Forum, she holds three Master’s degrees, including an MFA. She is a recipient of the Diana Woods Memorial Award and a two-time Pushcart nominee (creative nonfiction and fiction). Sample publications include Lunchticket, Redux, Raven Chronicles, Main Street Rag, Tikkun, Chicago Literati, NewVerseNews, and ellipsis…literature and art, Compose, and more.
Kari Nygaard has taught middle school English for over fourteen years and has been a teacher mentor for more than ten years. She currently works at JLS Middle School. She has also taught numerous summer programs for youth in civic leadership, design thinking, creative writing, Italian, music, and HIV/AIDS education. Kari received a BA in International Studies from Middlebury College and an MA in Educational Administration from Santa Clara University. In 2015, she co-wrote a staff-student musical for her middle school.
Renee Johnson has a passion for helping others express themselves through writing. She moved to California from Massachusetts and graduated from California State University, Hayward with a BA in English and a focus in creative writing. She has been a full-time seventh and eighth grade English teacher in the Palo Alto Unified School District since 1998. She has experience teaching a variety of summer writing courses, including Future Author Camp, a writing camp for gifted creative writers. She also enjoys coaching adults and teens in a variety of writing projects, from personal statements to essays and speeches.
Chris Bell has been teaching math and computer science since 2006. He has taught courses intended for beginning students and advanced students alike, including Programming for Mobile Devices which he created. Recieving degrees from UC Davis and Notre Dame de Namur University, he has also dedicated a large part of his career to teaching teachers how to effectively integrate technology into their courses; Speaking at conferences, providing professional development and teaching at local colleges.