Creative write or wrong? Why you should take creative writing.

Mrs. Mumford's rather small creative writing class. They are seen doing a warm-up, where they have to describe the city they live in as a person.

Mrs. Mumford's rather small creative writing class. They are seen doing a warm-up, where they have to describe the city they live in as a person.


During this school year at Patterson Mill, the creative writing class has made a return after several years without having enough students to keep the class running. Creative writing is a class where students can express their ideas in the form of short stories and poetic writing.

            Autumn Lidke, 11th grader, is taking the class this year. “I really enjoy writing stories,” Lidke states, “and I think some of them could have a lot of potential in the future.” She mostly likes to write poetry in the form of haikus, but she also likes to write stories like novels. She says she would recommend it to anyone who enjoys writing. “In English, you do more reading and analyzing. In creative writing, you read others’ works in workshop.” Because of this class, Autumn found herself becoming a more skilled writer. She also explained that it gives you more experience with, “show, don’t tell.” This concept encourages the writer to give the reader an idea of a character’s emotions without giving it away through the use of literary elements such as imagery and tone.

            Ms. Mumford is the teacher for the course and stated that she wanted to give back to students. “I also do a lot of creative writing and I want to share that with my students.” Mumford also runs an after school group loosely related to creative writing called “Literary Magazine.” She explained that you don’t have to be in the group to submit your work. “The group is open to anyone who wants to have their works published.” Lit Mag collects art and writing from people in late winter and early spring and, after that is finished, the works are sent to a publisher. The final product is printed in May, when students can read their works along with other talented students.

Mumford explains that some of the stories and poetry she sees make her sad. She states that some students are too shy to write their stories and share them and some get anxious about writing. Although most of the grade levels are juniors and seniors, Mumford recommends the class to anyone who likes writing, even “nervous beginners.” The class is split into two semesters. The first semester is all about poetry and the second semester focuses more on writing creative short stories, mostly non-fiction. Compared to a normal English class, Mumford describes it as more of a studio class. “Writing is like art,” Mumford explains “because a lot of critiquing goes into writing.” In English, you mostly do a lot of research papers and essays on text analysis, but creative writing allows you to do your own thing for once. For those coming in next year, Mumford welcomes them and hopes they enjoy the class.

            Matt Gartside, a senior, is also taking the class this year. He states that creative writing let his creativity flow, and it makes him feel like his ideas matter. His ideas will matter in the future, as he says that one of the reasons he took the class was because he wants to be a game designer. “If you want to be a good game designer, you have to have good ideas to develop into a game. If you have a good and creative story, eventually you can plan ahead to make the game.” Another reason he took the class was to get more experience with the flow of English. He reports that you have to think things through since writing is such an involved process. Compared to the environment of a regular English class, its very different. “You don’t just have to be there,” Gartside states, “you want to be there. You want to be able to write stories and poetry” He recommends the class to anyone who has a “creative mindset,” and wants to be able to show awareness of their world and what they have been through.

While poetry and short stories are the main works of writing that are prevalent, Gartside thinks that one leads into the other. “Poetry is more of a warm-up to get your creativeness flowing. Short stories are a collaboration of those ideas.” He goes on to say that by the end of the year, you can even write a 10 page story if you really want to. Gartside has also been a music student throughout his school years, and for those aspiring singers in Patterson Mill, he says creative writing can help with song writing. Gartside explains that it could help with lyrics and good dialect. The lyrics can be catchy or can express the mood that the singer is feeling. The challenge in the class is actually wanting to put ideas on paper. “Most students are scared that ideas will be shot down, but it depends on the way you use the idea.” He describes creative writing as very flexible when it comes to certain concepts.

            Creative writing is an interesting way to express your ideas on paper and is more of an art class. For those who aren’t necessarily interested in the visual arts, give creative writing a try, even if you are nervous to write!