Short Course in Writing
(Offered in 2017-18)

Taught by Andrew O'Brien

Taught by Andrew O'Brien

  • shorter than a full tutorial, provides a great introduction to New Hope for younger students
  • student can move into Middle School Literature, Writing upon completion
  • engage a number of writing tools, including journaling, workshopping, and free writing

Course Description

This short course is in part designed to prepare the younger middle schooler for the writing assignments in the year-long MIddle School Literature and Writing courses. Students practice strong sentence writing and paragraphing and will gain a general understanding of what makes a piece coherent and well-structured. To this end, the instructor will stress continuity in story writing and will explore winning techniques for crafting coherent essays.

An interview is required, and sample writing materials should be submitted before acceptance into the course. 

This mini-course is designed to help students discover the joy of putting pen to paper. To that end, students and tutor will work with a number of tools designed to help writers become more comfortable and proficient with the written word, including daily journals, freewriting, workshopping, and practicing forms from essays to sonnets. They will also work together to create a community where students can share their work and learn from each other in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and safety. By the end of the course, we hope that students will not only feel more at ease with all types of writing, but will also have made steps toward learning about:

Their own individual writing processes, including the habits and methods which help them get started and keep going

  • Their unique voices and styles
  • Thesis statements and topic sentences
  • The five paragraph essay
  • Incorporating research into an original work
  • Exploring memoir
  • Creating short fiction
  • Writing poetry
  • Analyzing and learning from others’ writings

Above all, we hope that this course will help demystify the writing process and leave participants excited and confident in the face of the challenges and insights waiting in a blank piece of paper.