During this chaotic year with the pandemic hitting the world like a ton of bricks, students and teachers have found themselves looking for new ways to keep their academic lives going and more alive than ever. An area that has thrived at Wakefield High School has been the Creative Writing Club and Book Club. Collaborating since October, they gave new opportunities to students with a passion for writing and reading and flourished their creativity to new lengths.
“During quarantine, there wasn’t much to do so I mostly focused on writing more and my music,” said Rachel Seth, participant of the contest.
In spring 2021, the Creative Writing Club hosted a creative writing contest where students could express themselves through various different genres like poetry, short stories, spoken word, storytelling or performative writing. After choosing their genre the writers got to creating and looking for different ways to stand out the most while expressing themselves within their stories. Then virtual and non-virtual students had an opportunity to perform their piece in front of their fellow classmates and also had a chance to see what they did differently and get some new ideas for the future.
“The writing club and the contest ends up being a different type of motivating experience that is not relying on traditional grades, but rather their personal passion,” said Joyce Deaton, one of Wakefield’s Media Specialists and a supervisor and coordinator of the Creative Writing Club and contest.
Having the contest in the middle of the pandemic has brought not only struggle but positive aspects as well. Many students have used this obstacle to their advantage to help inspire their own writing.
“This year has definitely introduced a lot of struggles, but trying to portray those struggles in writing is one of the best motivators,” said Maya Johnson, Creative Writing contestant.
The contest had several judges, three faculty members at Wakefield, and two from the community who are creative writers themselves. Usually, during a contest, judges can see a clear winner which was the case for the short stories section with senior Sage Cooley being awarded top prize winner with her short story “Before Dawn”. On the other hand in the poetry section, it was difficult choosing one winner because each judge had their own favorite which made it even harder to narrow it down to one writer. Instead, they decided to award everyone a winner since they didn’t think it was fair to give the award to only one individual.
“I stayed up several evenings reading and re-reading the submissions to think whether I could justify giving a ranking of ‘best’ to any of these,” said Deaton. “It was the first time I had such a challenge in a competition,”
The Creative Writing team encourages any students with a love and passion for writing to consider joining the Creative Writing Club next year. The members of this club, including those in the Book Club, are a wonderful and welcoming community of supportive and creative students coming together to build something bigger.
Check out their website for more information and to read the submissions! https://sites.google.com/wcpss.net/biblio-files/clubs