The creative writing club meets every other Tuesday after school from 2:30-3:30.
Lisa Searls is one of the sponsors for the club this year. She sponsored the club back before they got rid of the club with her sister who went to a different school to become a librarian.
“We had it years ago but we just ran out of time and could not keep it going at that point…I decided it was more than I could take on at the time to run this by myself. So that was why we didn’t have it at some point,” said Searls.
Last year in 2016 Lee’s Summit West High School brought the creative writing class back, but the class is only open to Juniors and Seniors.
“I have Freshman in my English class that are very talented writers. Freshman, Sophomores, they don’t have an avenue to be able to express themselves through their writing,” Searls said. “There’s Titan Scroll but that’s a whole different field of writing. I definitely wanted to find a way for students to be able to write creatively and have a showcase their talents.”
The creative writing club will focus on all different kinds of writing and writing styles so that it can pertain to anyone.
“We’re going to meet and publish a variety of stories, poems, just anything to do with writing, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs. At the end of the year we’re going to actually literally publish a book of all of our collective works. So the members are all working together to create their very finest pieces to contribute,” said Searls.
The club is going to have their art directors work with art classes to pair up artwork to go with the stories that the members create.
“That will allow more students to be able to see their works published and see them in a different way. We’re really hoping to have as many kids involved in this as possible,” said Searls. “It also gives the students a place to belong in a secure environment where they feel like they can take risks, academic risks and share what they’re capable of doing.”
At the end of the year the creative writing club will publish full of students work in the club and students in the creative writing class that want to contribute as well. All of the work will go though a proof reading process to make sure it is appropriate.
The club tries to incorporate everyone that wants to join and they work around sports and other activities.
“Even students that are not in the club if there’s something going on that they feel is appropriate and can’t make it to the club there are other avenues. I’m working with a couple of students ones in Tennis and can’t make it to the club right now but will further into the year,” Searls said.
The club has an eighty percent attendance policy because they will be taking field trips later on in the year. One of the field trips will be the creative writing members going to John Knox Village and reading to the residents.
Junior Emily Wheeler decided to get involved in the creative writing class this year and is now a part of the club as well. During that meeting she was chosen by creative writing members to be the Editor for the club. She hopes this will teach her to be a good leader and help her grow as a writer.
“Personally I think writing is a way of self expression and I think everyone has something to say so everyone should be able to say that,” said Wheeler.
Wheeler believes that writing can convey different emotions for the readers.
“You can read writing and it’s entertaining and not only that but we’re working with the art department too. It can be entertaining, informative, persuasive and writing is a real strong way to get the word out about anything.”
Wheeler writes a lot of scripts and is thinking about starting a youtube channel to get her writings published. The club will let her share her writings while also getting to talk with other writers.
Sophomore Jessica Haldane has been writing for five years and she is one of the Copy Editors for the club.
“I’ve always loved creative writing and I’m kind of best friends with the teacher. So she told me last year before the club was even opened again that she was going to be reopening it and that she wanted me to be a part of it,” said Haldane.
Haldane has a goal to finish her novel by the end of the year. By being in this club she hopes publishers will know who she is and what to work with her.
“Having my own writing out there. I don’t have a lot of my own writing really out there in the public yet and that this club will kind of get it out there for me and it will help people to see it and hopefully they will become interested in my writing and then I will be looked after by publishers.”
The school does not supply the creative writing club with any funding.
“I do feel that it is a very important club. Besides the creative writing club there’s a creative writing class which you have to be a Junior to get into. This gives students who are Freshman and Sophomores a chance to get into the creative writing and to really explore their options in it before they hit the year they actually have to take the class. Which is typically a pretty hard class,” said Haldane.
Searls wants the students to take something away from this experience by the end of the year.
“I hope they take away a sense of pride and they challenge themselves to be the best writers they can possibly be. Expand their thinking processes, expand how they write and what they write. This will better prepare them for college in the long run. It will also give them interpersonal skills…To give them a chance to express themselves in a way that sports doesn’t,” said Searls.