Learning About Creative Writing 1

Andrew Kleissler, Reporter

Creative Writing 1 is a class for students who want to explore their creativity in writing and literature. It will give you a nice walkthrough the basics of writing and help you find what kind of writer you want to be. Mr. O’Halloran teaches both Creative Writing 1 and Creative Writing 2.

Barron Perspective: How long have you worked in Woodbridge High School?
Mr. O’Halloran: This is my 10th year teaching at Woodbridge High School.

BP: How long have you been teaching Creative Writing?
MO: I’ve taught at least one section of Creative Writing since I was hired. I think I wound up with an all-elective schedule my third year teaching.

BP: Are there other classes that you teach or have taught at this school?
MO: I teach, or have taught, 9th grade S and R Track English; 9th grade ASI English, 10th grade R Track English, Creative Writing 1 and 2; Introduction to Journalism; Multimedia Journalism; and Broadcast Journalism.

BP: Are there any prerequisites required to take Creative Writing 1?
MO: Yes. Students must have passed 9th grade English. So, the course is available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

BP: What will students learn in this class?
MO: It’s a survey course, so we touch on a wide range of topics. But, generally, through the writing process, students hone and develop their writing ability through various exercises, prompts, and forms. We do different poetic forms, short stories, and we dabble with playwriting.

BP: During which semester is this class usually offered?
MO: It depends how it fits in the master schedule. The last few years, it’s been offered in both the fall and the spring semesters, but this year, I have two sections in the spring.

BP: How long has this class been offered at the high school?
MO: As far as I know, forever. When I was a student at WHS, Mr. Switek was my Creative Writing teacher, and that was 18 years ago.

BP: What will students learn in this class?
MO: I always try to enforce the writing process. If you want to be a good writer, you need to work through the process, and you need to understand that writing needs to be worked at. Your first draft is never your last.

BP: Why should students take this course?
MO: I truly think it helps students learn how to write better, and helps them think about a more pragmatic approach to handling a written assignment.

BP: What students would gain the most from this course?
MO: I think, if you’re serious about writing, and about growing as a writer, then you should take it. If you don’t enjoy reading or writing, this may not be the place for you.

BP: How will this class benefit students now and in the future?
MO: As I said, it helps students develop their writing skills, which is huge for college or careers.

BP: What do you enjoy about teaching this course?
MO: This is going to sound so cheesy, but it’s the truth. Teaching Creative Writing at Woodbridge High School was literally my dream job, and I’ve had the pleasure to do it for a decade. I went to school for this. I’ve always loved writing fiction and poetry, and exploring the human condition. Teaching students how to get better at this is meaningful and fun for me.

Students with questions about Creative Writing 1 can contact Mr. O’Halloran by email at [email protected]