Creative Writing Core Curriculum

The Creative Writing division offers a curriculum designed to help young writers cultivate their talents, develop their imaginations, and broaden their command of the writer’s craft at all levels. Students also learn how to read like writers.

For information on graduation requirements and academic curriculum, please visit Academy Academics.

Workshop is the central component of the Creative Writing Program. It is a seminar-style course in which students focus on producing their own poems, short stories, and essays. Workshops use the literature of both professional models and student models to provide extensive training in the writing process. Through discussion of readings, generative exercises, group critique and exchange, tutorials, feedback on drafts, and discussion of the elements by which a piece of writing may be assessed, the student participates in the development of writing and builds a vocabulary of the writing craft. In the process, the student gains consciousness of writing as a communal and cultural act. Creative Writing majors rotate each term so that students receive instruction and practice in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and experimental forms. Workshop is a two-part course, with the first part devoted to seminar-style discussion and critique and the second part typically reserved for independent writing time and individual tutorials.

This course introduces students to the stylistic and thematic elements of short fiction through the close reading and analysis of published stories by a diverse range of authors. Students participate in in-class writing exercises and are asked to turn in short written exercises and assignments. Students have the opportunity to meet with their instructor in tutorial sessions to gain insight into the revision process and further hone their stylistic techniques.

This course introduces students to the stylistic and thematic elements of poetry through the close reading and analysis of published poems by a diverse range of authors. Assignments advance students’ skills through intensive attention to imagery, voice, setting, form, and narrative. Students participate in in-class writing exercises and are asked to turn in poems that draw from the techniques discussed in class. They also have the opportunity to meet with their instructor in tutorial sessions to gain insight into the revision process and further hone their stylistic techniques.

The goal of the Capstone is to provide an opportunity that caters to students wishing to complete projects that feature conceptual and formal dimensions that would make it difficult to complete in the normal workshop environment, which focuses on individual pieces (poems, stories, essays), not on book-length projects or shorter projects that require extensive research. The Capstone Project is open to any senior who has been enrolled for at least one year at Interlochen Arts Academy.

Introduction to Screenwriting / CRW305
Experiments in Poetry: Laws and Wildness / CRW351
Writing About Music and Writing Musically / CRW354
Hybrid Genres / CRW316
Literary Publications / CRW312
Manifesto and Aesthetics
Narrative Play and Writing for Video Games
Writing the Novel / CRW352
Sense of Place / CRW357
Stories in Verse
Advanced Screenwriting / CRW314 
Writing the Fantastic / CRW325

Sample Creative Writing Curriculum for a 4-Year Student

Semester I

Required Courses
Writing Workshop / CRW051 
Elements of Fiction / CRW301

Sample Academic Courses
Algebra I; Biology; English I; French I


Semester II

Required Courses
Writing Workshop / CRW052 
Elements of Poetry / CRW304

Sample Academic Courses
Algebra I; Biology; English I; French I


Semester III 

Required Courses
Writing Workshop / CRW051

Elective Courses
Introduction to Screenwriting / CRW305
Experiments in Poetry: Laws and Wildness / CRW351
Writing the Body / CRW353
One elective required, two may be taken with approval from Creative Writing Division Director

Sample Academic Courses
Geometry; World History; English II; French II


Semester IV 

Required Courses
Writing Workshop / CRW052

Elective Courses
Introduction to Screenwriting / CRW306
Writing About Music and Writing Musically / CRW354
Hybrid Genres / CRW316
Literary Publications / CRW312
Writing the Novel / CRW352
One elective required, two may be taken with approval from Creative Writing Division Director

Sample Academic Courses
Geometry; World History; English II; French II


Semester V

Required Courses
Writing Workshop / CRW051

Elective Courses
Introduction to Screenwriting / CRW305
Writing the Body / CRW353
Experiments in Poetry: Laws and Wildness / CRW351
Sense of Place / CRW357
One elective required, two encouraged

Sample Academic Courses
Algebra II; U.S. History; English III; Chemistry


Semester VI

Required Courses
Writing Workshop / CRW052

Elective Courses
Introduction to Screenwriting / CRW306
Writing About Music and Writing Musically / CRW354
Hybrid Genres / CRW316
Literary Publications / CRW312
Writing the Novel / CRW352
Advanced Screenwriting / CRW314 

Sample Academic Courses
Algebra II; U.S. History; English III; Chemistry


Semester VII

Required Courses
Creative Writing Capstone / CRW501

Elective Courses
The Writing of Nonfiction / CRW307
Introduction to Screenwriting / CRW305
Writing the Body / CRW353
Writing the Fantastic / CRW325
Experiments in Poetry: Laws and Wildness / CRW351

Sample Academic Courses
Precalculus; Ecology; English IV


Semester VIII

Required Courses
Creative Writing Capstone / CRW501

Elective Courses
Introduction to Screenwriting / CRW306
Writing About Music and Writing Musically / CRW354
Hybrid Genres / CRW316
Literary Publications* / CRW312
Writing the Novel  / CRW352
Advanced Screenwriting* CRW314

Sample Academic Courses
Precalculus; Ecology; English IV

*may be repeated 

Updated for course catalogue 2020-21.