The creative writing program at Interlochen Arts Academy boarding high school provides guidance, support and numerous opportunities for young writers. Students in the creative writing program study and create poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, hybrid genres, and screenwriting with a faculty of writer–educators. The goal of the program is to help young writers cultivate their talents and broaden their command of the writer's craft at all levels.
The Creative Writing division offers a curriculum designed to help young writers cultivate their talents, develop their imaginations, broaden their command of the writer’s craft at all levels, and to teach them how to read like writers. Fiction and poetry workshops form the core of the program, and students are encouraged to choose from a variety of electives in other genres. Becoming adept at a broad range of genres gives students more versatility and control in their writing and provides a strong preparation for college. Just as the developing writer must learn to write, so must the developing writer learn to listen, to see, and to read critically. Thus all classes involve reading, thinking deeply about, and discussing writing models. Through individualized mentorship and intensive workshops, faculty seek to instill in students an awareness of their challenges and strengths and to empower them with the patience and self-discipline needed to hone their own unique voices and visions. Students leave the program with a portfolio of carefully revised work in a variety of genres.
A new Creative Writing student must take (a) Workshop and (b) Elements of Poetry and Fiction in his/her first year. Workshops rotate between Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction (prerequisite for Nonfiction Workshop is the The Writing of Nonfiction elective). Workshop placement is determined by Creative Writing faculty on the basis of student interest, portfolios, and the need for balanced workshop sizes. Returning seniors are eligible to apply for a one-semester Capstone projects in lieu of Workshop. Capstone Projects are contingent on faculty approval.
After the first year, majors must take Workshop and one other writing course. In their junior and senior years, majors are encouraged (not required) to take three creative writing courses.
Majors are also required to attend one-on-one tutorials with their writing instructors on a weekly basis, and they are expected to participate fully in all program activities, including all visiting writer events, student readings and faculty readings.
For information on graduation requirements and academic curriculum, please visit Academy Academics.