THS Writing Club Encourages Thought-Provoking Creativity

In 11th-grade English class, Joy Won and her classmates read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and watched the film. Joy was taken by the first time that the character Daisy was introduced – angelic and dreamy with curtains billowing around her. From that imagery, she was inspired to write a poem about the other characters’ emotions regarding her presence in the room.

Joy’s original poem appeared in Tuckahoe High School’s “Images,” a literary and art journal that is developed by the creative writing and art clubs. It is published annually and features student-made work.

“Creative writing is an emotional outlet for me,” she said. “I don’t feel any pressure to do it. With Common Core and regular classes, it is nice to have an outlet where you can write what you feel and not be as structured.”

Joy and her friend Claire McMahon, both seniors, joined “Images” in ninth grade. They both agreed that the club has increased their creativity and helped them become published authors.

“It challenges me,” Claire said. “I write what comes into my head. It pushes me to be creative. Sometimes we choose a prompt – like ‘She walked in the door and couldn’t believe her eyes…’ – and then put our own spin on it. It makes your mind work.”

Throughout the year, about 20 students in grades 9 through 12 participate in the club. It is spearheaded by teacher Suzanne D’Arco. In addition to writing, the students comment on one another’s work and discuss how to get their work printed in publications outside of school, she said.

“They are all very talented writers,” said Ms. D’Arco, who has been running the club for over 15 years. “They have free rein to write about what they want. We often meet at lunch and work together. Some of our kids are athletes or they take AP courses, so if we held the club afterschool, they may not be able to attend. This ensures inclusion for everyone who wants to participate.”