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Creative Writing

The Creative Writing department at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts offers a comprehensive curriculum of classes in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and drama. The program provides young writers with the opportunity to study the styles and voices of contemporary writers in various genres, develop their own literary talents, and facilitate their command of the writer’s craft. The program will nurture and challenge students in developing the writing and workshop skills necessary to further their voices and foster success in the future – whether pursuing writing, literature, or an unrelated field.

Within this program, students will:

  • Read critically and analytically through a writer’s perspective
  • Utilize form and craft in order to enhance function and communication of various perspectives
  • Write for a specified or intended audience with coherence and clarity
  • Communicate ideas and understanding through the vocabulary of the craft
  • Critique peer writing using constructive criticism
  • Engage in thorough revision of all final pieces
  • Meet individually and in group settings with the instructor in order to gain insight into the writing process and further hone style and technique
  • Prepare a presentation of work for a school-wide or public venue

The Creative Writing audition is a multi-step process beginning with the submission of a writing portfolio. Students will move on to receive an interview and will be asked to complete an on-site writing assignment.

Program of Studies

Grade 9

  • Beginning Foundations of Creative Writing
  • Workshop 1
  • Reading Like a Writer Seminar 1
  • Writer’s Ensemble

Grade 10

  • Advanced Foundations of Creative Writing
  • Workshop 2
  • Reading Like a Writer Seminar 2
  • Writer’s Ensemble

Grade 11

  • Form and Technique
  • Workshop 3
  • Reading Like a Writer Seminar 3

Writer’s Ensemble

Grade 12

  • Senior Seminar
  • Writing for Publication/Portfolio
  • Senior Workshop
  • Reading Like a Writer Seminar 4
  • Writer’s Ensemble


Katie McNew

Katie McNew is the Lead Creative Writing teacher at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. While this is her third year with the department, she has taught in Washington County for the past nine years, joining Barbara Ingram after six years at North Hagerstown High School. McNew attended the International Writers’ Conference in Galway, Ireland in 2003 and graduated magna cum laude from Duquesne University in 2004 with a double major in English and Communication with a Writing emphasis. She is a 2012 graduate of The Johns Hopkins University where she received her M.A in Writing with a Poetry emphasis. She has been published in, Crack the Spine, 20Something Magazine, and OutsideIn Magazine.

Rebecca Fishow

Ms. Rebecca Fishow has an extensive background in creative writing and journalism. Her fiction, essays, interviews and illustrations have appeared in Joyland, The Believer Logger, Necessary Fiction, Jellyfish Review, Matrix, and other publications. She has taught English and writing composition at Syracuse University, as well as at Concordia University in Montreal.  She is a contributing editor at Cosmonauts Avenue, and has  been a staff writer for newspapers in New Hampshire and New York. Ms. Fishow received her Masters of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, where she was awarded the Joyce Carol Oates Award in nonfiction.