Summer Academy Workshop Explores Concise and Creative Writing

The new Summer Academy Writing Workshop, led by George School English teacher Chris King, gave students the chance to read and write in a completely new way. The three-week course allowed students to dive into different aspects of creative writing, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Each week, students generated their own writing piece based on the week’s theme. Every Thursday, students participated in a class workshop to gain feedback from Chris and their peers. Then, students used that feedback to complete an updated version over the weekend. Throughout the drafting process, students gained both verbal and written feedback, ultimately leading to a final product of which they could be proud.

For the first week, students focused on the principles of fiction, where they learned the basic elements and read examples in class. Their first assignment was to write a piece of flash fiction, a 1500-word essay designed to teach the skill of concise writing.

During the second week, students explored creative nonfiction. Building on the concise writing learned in the previous week, students wrote a brevity essay, consisting of only 750 words this time. This assignment challenged students to write about themselves, further developing their personal voice and story.

In the third and final week, Chris worked with the students to master the art of poetry. This week served as a conclusion to concise writing, this time with sensory elements. Students expanded their knowledge and composed stories to build their informed creativity and personal integrity.

“Chris gives you good feedback and is understanding,” said Nolan Otoo ’25, an incoming freshman at George School in the fall. He shared that although he does not normally like poetry, Chris’ class helped him appreciate it more. With Chris’ encouragement, Nolan wrote an original poem about basketball, one of his favorite activities.

Students even got the chance to talk to two published poets in class. Chris welcomed poets Kevin Pitts and Val Casola to join his creative writing class virtually to talk about their career and writing experience. Kevin Pitts has been published in America Magazine, and Val is an established content writer. Both guests granted students the opportunity to personally work with individuals who have success in the field.

When discussing the achievements of his class, Chris gives all the credit to his students. “Any success they have is due to their hard work and dedication.”

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