Creative writing is a way for someone to express themselves and is a unique, imaginative outlet. Writing is considered to be an essential skill, whether for work or fun. But many have also found a love and passion for writing that inspires them to write in their free time. While some people prefer fiction and others prefer poetry, an interest in writing can transform into future goals and dreams.
“I write because it’s fun and it’s a great way to get ideas I have in my head on paper,” Yorktown High School freshman Sydney Inserra said.
People of all ages write for fun in their free time. Writing can be a form of expression or it could just be a hobby that you do in your spare time.
“I like it because to me it kind of feels like a puzzle in my brain, where I am trying to fit together different words,” said Emma Berver, editor-in-chief of Penman, the school’s library magazine.
A favorite type of writing can vary from person to person.
“I’m definitely a fiction sort of person, mostly realistic fiction, historical fiction,” freshman Rachel Dickerson said.
Writing preferences can also change. Inserra used to write more fiction, but her favorite type of writing right now is poetry. Similarly, style and creative process can also vary.
“I’d say that whenever I write like fantasy, it tends to be more action-packed, it has to be very planned and structured,” Dickerson said. “I tend to have an idea in my head and just write a page or two just to get my idea forward. Then I might go in and plan out what my character might be.”
At the school, students looking to be a part of a community with an interest in writing have several opportunities.
Penman is the school’s literary magazine. They hold competitions and collect submissions of student writing and artwork. The staff works to produce a magazine for the end of the year, which is distributed with the yearbook.
“Penman has switched to being totally virtual. So our club has been meeting every other week on asynchronous Monday on Teams,” Berver said. “But it also changes how we do student outreach, we use an email list a lot more. And we’ve made an Instagram.”
Penman provides lots of creative opportunities such as writing, photography, art, film, and more. With contests each month, the submission process allows for a variety of submissions and creative outlets.
“My favorite part is reading all of the student submissions, because every year I am always really impressed by them, and they are all a great source of inspiration for me,” Berver said.
“I would recommend [Penman] to anyone who enjoys…creative writing and….different types of writing and who also enjoy design,” Dickerson said. “It’s a great chance to hear what other people at W-L have been writing and art-making.”
There is also a creative writing club at the school along with numerous contests and other writing opportunities outside of the school. Places like Wattpad are an option for posting any work. There are also competitions which can lead to scholarships and awards in order for students to take their work a step further.
Established by the New York Public Library, the Young Lion Fiction Awards, has a prize of $10,000 each year to a writer 35 years or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories. Other contests like 53 Word Story Contest have the requirement to have no more or less than 53 words in your story. They have contests that run every month, with their deadlines being on 15th of every month.
Creative writing is one of those skills that improves over time. Reading from a variety of authors and learning about different writing styles and techniques is said to help as well. Regardless of the reasons why students write, it is up to them on how they decide the story should go.
“Just do it. It’s probably going to be really bad when you look back on it, but like you should just try it,” Inserra said. “If it’s something that you enjoy, you will at least look back on it and laugh.”
Interested in creative writing competitions?
https://donate.nypl.org/event/2020-young-lions-fiction-award/e258957 – Young Lion
https://www.press53.com/53word-story-contest – 53 Word story