The Creative Writing Club at Canons was set up several years ago to provide a space for students to develop their Creative Writing skills. I have taken over the club during this academic year, and from the very beginning have been amazed by the talent and work being produced by its members. These are students who come to have fun, but are also interested in crafting and developing their skills, and they return faithfully every week in order to work on their writing. They also enjoy writing creatively in a structured school setting with no concerns about mark schemes and rules passed on from an exam board. Students find it freeing to be able to take their work in any direction that they might choose.
Since my tenure began, we have worked on different mini-projects together. I have tried to vary these projects in order to appeal to different members of the Club. It is not simply a case of the students turning up and writing in silence- I also want them to read different examples of literature, and learn different approaches to writing creatively.
We started the term by reading the short story The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs. The students used the story as a basis for their own short stories about wishes going wrong. Another reason for choosing this story in particular was to get students to read a piece of 19th Century fiction with words they might not have come across before, in order to help them to develop their vocabulary.
Members have also made up three different ‘elements’- for example ‘a stolen ring, a fear of spiders, and a sinister stranger’- which another student had to use for inspiration for a short story or poem. This gave students a chance to think outside the box, and use their imaginations fully.
Students often enter National Competitions and have their work printed in the School Newspaper. I also plan to create an Anthology this year of their work. The other great positive with Creative Writing Club is the friendships that have been formed between students from different year groups. They all have something in common- the sincere wish to write.
Setting up a Creative Writing Club is relatively easy, and the rewards and growth of the students are well worth it. I now pass over to some of the members of the Club, with their own thoughts:
Student S, Year 10
I’ve been at the club since the beginning. When I first heard about the club, I thought that it would be a great way of having the opportunity to express myself through creative writing. Ever since then, I’ve always enjoyed coming to Creative Writing Club because I find it easier to write next to fellow creative writers. I wrote this haiku poem which is about how words can create worlds and characters that transcend reality:
Pen clasped in one hand,
Black ink sprawled against thin sheets,
Lives and worlds are made
Student L, Year 9
I was introduced to the Creative Club by our Librarian, Miss Franklin as I was waiting to take a book out of the library. When I met the club members for the first time we all became friends. After that I introduced one of my friends to the club and then we started to make our memories together. This poem is about all the things that I remember and happened at the Creative Writing Club and what it means to me:
Miracles in Room 1
We meet each other in room 1,
Where the miracles are written.
We salute each other with a big smile and say,
“Nothing will come of nothing.”
If there are no hopes and dreams,
There will be no ideas to create miracles.