Creative Writing: Where Are They Now?

In the dawn of a fresh year at Woodland, students are entering their electives with newfound interests in mind. Whether it’s music, writing, art, you name it: there’s something for everybody. If you’re more creative and interested in literature, Creative Writing might be the elective for you.

Creative Writing, run by Michele Papa, has been with Woodland since the beginning. Along with Journalism, it was one of the first electives students could take in Woodland’s early days.

“It started off as a group of students in a class,” Papa stated, “I was a creative writing teacher prior to my career at Woodland, and I wanted to bring the course to these students.”

Over the years since Woodland opened, the elective has seen some changes in the way the material is structured. Splitting into advanced, introductory skill levels and basing the assignments on expectation from the students.

“The material she’s teaching us is very helpful,” said sophomore Jacob Flores, a newcomer to the elective. “It’s very interactive and makes it easy to comprehend.”

“I thought it was going to be very pros focused,” added junior, Robert Hansen, who has taken the course since his freshman year. “It ended up teaching me methods that I could use in all types of writing, including nonfiction.”

Throughout the course, Papa has had former students return and give advice to current students of the elective. She feels this is a very positive aspect of the program.

“It’s very rewarding to see kids graduate and incorporate what they learned into their studies,” Papa commented. “I’ve had at least one senior every year go on to major in English.”

Creative Writing has also seen some great talent come and go during its run, but one particular standout is Woodland alumni, Aniqa Islam. She published a book of poetry works last year titled “Everything In Between”, which can be found on Amazon. Aside from individual students, the elective is also acclaimed for the Contact Literary Magazine, which took home a gold award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association last year.

“We submitted it again for the 2018 edition, and are waiting to hear back,” Papa commented. “It’ll be hard, but we have hope.”