Literary Arts

Literary Arts

In Literary Arts courses, students write regularly, discuss and evaluate writing, learn literary concepts, and compile portfolios of their best writing. They explore techniques of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction,and other genres. Publication and performance, writers' workshops, and visiting authors are a regular part of VSAA Literary Arts Curriculum. From students in Explore we ask for interest; Style and Technique, intentional writing; and fromWorkshop, students’ commitment to writing as an art form. All courses above Explore Level are sequential and require the recommendation of the instructor.

  • Literary Arts Explore: (1 Semester)
    Course code: 11101
    Overview Statement: In Literary Arts Explore, students will be exposed to excerpts and short samples of literary texts which will enable them to create, analyze, and evaluate their own writing. Through a process of interpretation and reflection on personal experiences, ideas, and opinions, students will demonstrate fluency in a variety of genres and explore a range of literary techniques. They will draft, revise, edit, and present their writing, using a variety of literary forms, concrete and figurative language as used in poetry and prose, and basic conventions of English. They will evaluate their own writing, peer writing, and the writing process. Students will be encouraged and supported in the creative writing process.


  • Style And Technique (Full Year):
    Course code: 11121/11122
    Prerequisite: Literary Arts Explore and Teacher Recommendation
    Overview Statement: Students in Style and Technique will create literary texts in which they apply the constraints of
    form to a chosen theme and/or genre (poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction). Their work will demonstrate increasing intention, complexity, and depth of thought through a variety of points of view. They will demonstrate a solid command of conventions in figurative, concrete, and abstract language with attention to personal style. The expectation
    is quality sustained work for publication and performance, whether for school literary publications, showcases, or community venues. Students at this level will continue both their analysis of literature and literature discussion groups. They will objectively evaluate their own writing as well as peer and professional writing through a learned critique process in a workshop format. Note: This is a one to two year experience.


  • Workshop (Full Year):
    Course code: 11141/11142
    Prerequisite: Style and Technique and Teacher Recommendation
    Overview Statement: Students in Workshop will demonstrate their commitment to writing as an art form. Workshop students will continue to learn methods to manipulate language into original compositions in both poetry and prose. The work in class involves writing using a variety of stylistic techniques, participating in an intensive workshop editing model. Students will be expected to give informed and critical feedback on written work from their peers. Students will learn to read critically and thoughtfully address the intent, strengths and weaknesses of any piece under discussion. The expectation is quality sustained work for publication and performance, whether for literary publication, showcases, community venues, or outside publishing. Students will also work intensively with guest artists within a residency model. They will also continue both their analysis of historical and contemporary literature within literary discussion groups. All students are expected to read deeply and write passionately.


Jeri Swatosh

Jackie Sacks

Jody Adams