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Creative Writing Essentials

Unleash Human Creativity in an AI-Driven World

Recommended for: 8+ graders (advanced 7th graders welcome) 


Course Schedule:

Spring Qtr: Jan./Feb. - April | Summer Qtr: June/July - Aug.

Fall Qtr: Sept. - Nov. | Winter Qtr: Nov. - Jan.

In-Class Instruction Time 10 hours 

Course Overview

The rise of AI offers exciting possibilities, yet it also sparks worries about its effect on human employment. Our mission is to equip every student, from eager to hesitant writers, with a creative command of human language. We strive to nurture their imaginative abilities, positioning them to thrive as irreplaceable innovators in an AI-driven world. 

This course offers a comprehensive exploration of the art of creative writing. It is tailored to help students discover and nurture a unique writing voice, refine their skills, and embark on a journey of artistic growth. Students will delve into the discovery of the foundations of style, fostering originality in their work. By the end of this course, students will have the skills and confidence to craft compelling narratives. 


Students can anticipate 1-2 hours of weekly homework, including readings and writing projects. Throughout the course, the mentor offers essential oral feedback on writing and written feedback at the end of each multi-phase project. 

Mentor: Dr. Kemick


Dr. Kemick is an award-winning poet, journalist, and fiction writer. His new nonfiction book, I Am Herod, takes readers backstage and undercover at one of the world’s largest religious events. He is also the author of Caribou Run, a collection of poetry.


Dr. Kemich has published widely in all three genres, and his work has been included in anthologies in North America and Europe. He is the recipient of multiple awards including two National Magazine Awards.

Ph.D. in Creative Writing
Award-winning poet, journalist, and fiction writer

Dr. Kemick shares his own story: his obsession with his meticulously crafted miniature Christmas village. 

Lesson Plan

  1. Introduction​

  2. Finding Your Voice

  3. Structure and Organization

  4. Show, Don't Tell

  5. Developing Personal Narratives

  6. Exploring Themes and Topics

  7. Revision and Editing

  8. Building Emotional Resonance

  9. Crafting a Memorable Opening

  10. Sharing Your Work


"I enjoyed the much more in-depth and challenging discussion about the subjects. It was unbelievably helpful and really opened my eyes to what I could write. As for the instructor, I have never had an instructor or English teacher as compassionate, patient, knowledgeable, and articulate as Dr. Kemick. He has definitely played a big role in my writing journey, and has brought forth so many new ideas and thought processes to the table."


“I enjoyed the discussions and the questions that he asked us to answer and because I was doing it with my friends it made it more fun to talk and collaborate. The assignments that were assigned were very different than what I'm used to, but I really enjoyed them because they were creative writing. Our instructor Mr. Kemick is really nice and honestly makes you feel welcome to talk and he was fun to listen to. He makes us answer questions so we can teach each other.”


"​I did enjoy the course; I really liked how flexible it was and how the instructor would adjust the syllabus based on our personal needs and always asked for our opinions on homework assignments and reading material. The instructor’s greatest strengths were the questions he asked us during class to lead us into further understanding and interpreting a certain story or article, since it really forced us to think deeper and process what we were reading, and it also taught us that in the future, we can ask those questions to ourselves to help digest a piece of writing. I also particularly liked how he would give us very straight-to-the-point feedback, both good and bad, to help us realize our shortcomings and help us improve for next time."

"I really enjoyed the deep and thoughtful conversations that we had on the different books.  This class really was an eye opener into the world of classical literature and I liked the variety of books that we were able to read and discuss.  Dr. Kemick is phenomenal at encouraging conversation and deep thinking."


"The course material was new and the instructor made the sessions engaging. I liked the small class size and how the instructor called on people instead of making us volunteer. This forced me to do my homework on time so I wouldn't embarrass myself. The assigned/recommended reading list on the syllabus was interesting and I will probably find myself going back to finish reading all of them."

"I really enjoyed the course in general. The teacher made me look forward to the classes each week, and on top of that, I learned a ton of new information. I think the course was pretty much perfect, and I do not have any suggestions for how to improve it."


"I enjoyed this course. Dr. Kemick was very straightforward in letting me know what he wanted. His methods are clear, concise, and easy to understand. In my opinion, his lack of sugarcoating is one of his strengths. His lessons were beneficial for letting me write more descriptive essays"

"I think this course did help my writing skills. The instructor is super chill and really smart. In his analysis, he's able to pick apart the small details of one's writing and see their main point/big picture. His advice really helped my writing skills"

"Mr. Kenwick is a very experienced instructor. He is good at engaging his students to participate in class discussion and delivering the lecture in a way which won’t make his audience feel bored. My daughter enjoyed attending his class."

"I enjoyed the readings he chose to share with us and the helpful tips he gave. I think the strength of the instructor is asking questions about the text that allow us to interpret the text better."

"I enjoyed the part where the instructor would go over our homework in class and give feedback. The instructor was very clear which made it easy to understand."

"I like the questions the instructor asked to help the understanding of the readings. The readings are fun and interesting. The instructor is thoughtful and open to different ideas."


"Richard was approachable, friendly, and enthusiastic, which made me want to come to class. I learned a lot from him." 


"Richard was very approachable and very helpful. He explained everything with great detail, and he made the class very fun and entertaining."


"Richard’s enthusiasm and humor approach to the course made it entertaining while also making it easy to learn."


"Richard has a very unique way of explaining things which have proved to be very helpful." 



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