Creative Writing Daily Breakdown

June 15th – June 19th, 2020

You’re graduating this week. Today, in fact! I’m proud of all of you getting through this class, and your K-12 education. It’s a huge deal and you’ll probably know that sometime in your 30’s.

I have the final assignment. It’s a small reflection based on a publishing piece. I can only show you the way, but you have to push yourself to get the stuff out there. I’ve talked to a lot of you about what makes you individual – what makes you a good writer in a certain area.

Here’s the assignment:

Publishing Mini Unit

All that’s actually needed for me to see is your reflection on how this experience went. There are three questions on the document.

I’ll be here all week, on teams all week. Those of you that need to turn in the portfolios, please do so ASAP. We don’t have time for interviews, but get the portfolio in. That’s the biggest priority.

I have a few students who I need to talk to this week that have rescheduled their portfolios from last week. Touch base with me individually. Let’s set up times.

Last week!

June 8th – June 12th, 2020

Monday and Friday

I was going to fill out the final publishing project today, but after a few chats, I felt as though this is the last leg for the portfolios so I am going to hold off (it’s all ready to go!) until next week so we’ll all be in the same boat together.

What you’ve took from this class is a big chunk of work you’ve polished so far and what you can look forward to. The publishing unit is just that extra flare – that learning outcome that needs to be fulfilled and you can complete it – using my instructions – in a day. Because of the quarantine and your looming graduation, I think that the less you need to worry about right now, the better.

So Here’s the portfolios for this week: I need a couple of you for Friday, so it’s 2/2/2/.

We’ll do 9:30 / 9:45AM  each person so no more than 15 minutes each. Those of you that have had interviews with me so far know that I like to talk. I will try not to as much.

M 8th June:

– Nyssa

– Leah 

– Kennedy


W 10th June: 



-Paige P


F 12th June: 

June 1st – June 5th, 2020

Monday & Friday

We’re starting the in class stuff today. I would like for you to be a little patient while I make this transition. There won’t be much change. Everything will still be online. The people who come to class will just be getting extra help if they need it – a place to work on assignments that can have real time responses.

We will be getting to the real meat of the portfolios this week so I will spare you the burden of the journals. Like last week, all you need to work on are your portfolios.

This is from the schedule: (Please give me 2 days to look over your portfolios. Upload them to teams or Email me.)


-Maebel 9:30 – 9:40

– Janna 9:40 – 9:50

-Paige W 9:50 – 10:00


-Olivia 9:30 – 9:40

– Izzy 9:40 – 9:50

-Ashlyn 9:50 – 10:00


– Julie 9:30 – 9:40

– Renata 9:40 – 9:50

– Paige P 9:50 – 10:00


May 20th – 22nd, 2020


Here’s an essay I’d like for you to read for the class:

Here’s the PDF:

Writer’s Market 2019 – Robert Lee Brewer


(Fiction applies to this as well, despite the ‘article’ and copy focus)

Answer the following as specifically as possible:

  1. What is your target demographic?
  2. Find three sources in the Writer’s Market that fit this demographic.
  3. What work from your portfolio will fit this demographic?

This week, I would like for you to get familiarized with the Writer’s Market – pretty much your bible for getting your stuff out there. We also purchased an ‘agent’ finder book from the same publisher. Sadly this is in the library and I can’t find an online copy. It’s OK since you’re not at that level yet. It is however, something to consider.

We will meet on Wednesday at 9:15AM so I can show you around the world of the Writer’s Market – how to make the most out of the content.

Get those Portfolios ready for your interviews. I have Sloane this week.

I will look at your content and then give you the interview questions when we meet.

May 11th – May 15th, 2020



This is our reading for the week – I’m keeping it Stephen King.

Answer these questions by the end of the day on Friday:

  1. What are the tools I have in my toolbox?
  2. What did I take away from this reading to help me in my editing process?

We’re finishing up the editing assignment today. Please hand it in for tonight. We’ll meet for a little while to have the plan going forward for the portfolio work this week. Nyssa has already posted some opportunities for the class. I like this collaborative help and will start a page where you can post some publishing  / contest opportunities.


Choose another piece to clean up. I will have given you feedback on your 1st revision by today. No video meeting. I will be available to help.


Your portfolio should be in working order by now. Please hand in two things:

  1. 2nd revision piece
  2. Journal entry on your toolbox
  3. Sign up for portfolio interviews on this document:

May 4th – May 7th, 2020


This is a shortened week. It doesn’t seem like much because we’ve done a lot of work over the past three months and it’s hard to remember what’s passed. But you’ve all come up with a mean body of work that we now have to clean up.

This is the portfolio final again:

Creative Writing Portfolio Final

There’s two things I’d like for you to do this week that will float into next week as well.

  1. The first is a piece by Stephen King. It’s in this file:

On Writing – Stephen King

The PDF pages should be 176 – 186

The actual chapters should be 15 & 16.

Talk to me about the “Three Franks” in a journal entry due on Wednesday May 6th at the end of the day. When you read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.


2. Today I am going to give you a checklist and you are going to choose a piece from your portfolio that you will have already freshened somewhat.

Here is the checklist – from

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A. Complete the checklist and give me the old copy (Pre-proof-read) and the new copy (post-proof read)

B. Write a 300 word paragraph reflection at the bottom of the revised story / poem on your editing process. (Going through the checklist / reading aloud / finding inconsistencies etc.)

This will be due on Monday, May 11th at the end of the day.

Rough Editing Checklist Guidelines

April 27th – May 1st, 2020


I’m not going to do the journal this week since I’d like for you to focus on the non-fiction narrative. The journals will start again next week with Stephen King On Writing – publishing focus.

Here is the peer review edit. Pick someone that you can trust to get through the assignment. Complete the questions on the document and then hand it in to the assignments folder by Wednesday. I’d like to see that you can get something from these questions so that your second draft for the portfolio can be the last draft!

Here is the document:

We can have a video chat to get the week going well. Quick check up – 10 mins or so at the beginning of class.

Peer Review CW2020


This is only a work block. I will be here for any questions or if any one would like to chat, then I have a way in which I can make small group meetings. Make sure to have the Peer review done by today in the assignments folder.


A few of you are wondering where to go next. I have written up our next unit, which is the final portfolio. I have cut out the novella because of recent events and have decided to really focus on publishing. I’d like to be able to talk to a few published writers in a few years from this class!

Here is the final Portfolio assignment so that you can be ready for the publishing research and application project that might take a little bit of time. No dates yet – I will post them when you take a look at what the final portfolio entails.

Creative Writing Portfolio Final

April 20th – 24th, 2020


  1. Journal entry A 3 part series that’s Monday, Wednesday and Friday – Here’s the link for #1: Broccoli Please only turn in all three in one document on Friday after the final journal entry.
  2. Questions answered. I’ll meet with you on video chat. Let’s go over the questions together.
  3. Here is the final narrative assignment: Narrative Non-Fiction Final


  1. Journal Entry 2: Radio Station KFKD
  2. What are you reading? Posting.
  3. Look at elevator pitches (Briefly chat online)


  1. Journal Entry #3: Jealousy
  2. Look at peer review sheets for Monday (I will post on that day)
  3. Outlines due – Let me know if you want me to look at them.


April 15th, 2020

1. Quick journal write (Natalie Goldberg)
2. Narrative non-fiction mini assignment #2 “Purple-prose” (video chat)
Pg 101-105 in Mazzeo (2012) PDF.
Assignment: You are to write a quick piece on a ‘day in the life’ quarantine – straight facts, no embellishments. Post it.
Someone else will take your piece and add their own “Purple-Prose” to it.  – This is what writers call prose that is ornate and overwritten. It is language that calls attention to itself as language. The reader sees a writer who is more interested in the writing than in the story.
 3. Introduction to the endgame of narrative non-fiction with a wonderful piece by Sedaris & the art of autobiography.

April 3rd, 2020

Hi all. We will meet on Monday – just be logged in to teams so that we can collaborate for a little bit on what to do moving forward.

So here is the meeting date:

Monday, April 6th @ 9:00AM. We won’t go longer than 30 minutes, I’m thinking.

March 30th, 2020

I hope you had a good break, despite the circumstances.

I am excited to read and give you feedback on your poetry assignments.

This remote class for the unforeseeable future will be a breeze for you creative writing students. I will try and get some more information and will try and get a collaboration space together.

I hoped you enjoyed yesterday and got a different perspective on spoken word and poetry.

Today, we have the following people for a 10 minute discussion:

Gio K.




You have this whole last day class to write your poems.

PLEASE feel free to walk around the school and write wherever you’d like. If you get asked, just say you’re writing poetry for Mr. Purdy’s class. They’ll probably roll their eyes, but then leave you alone. Check back with me at the end of class.

March 12th, 2020

We have our special guest Terri today. So we can get the chairs in a circle and talk poetry.

After that, the four people I have to talk to are as follows:

Christina F.

-Isabella B


-Maria B.

Please keep working on that portfolio. I hope you’re doing well with it. Let me know if you need some help with certain poems.

March 11th, 2020

I will read a little out of this book here:

Mary Oliver – A Poetry Handbook (1994, Harcourt Brace & Company)

This above book is on the front line when it comes to poetry. I love its size and simplicity.

BYOB today.

We have three people who I will be meeting. Sine there are ten minutes less, I will still be starting at 9:40AM and you will be working on the poetry portfolios.

I will answer any questions you have regarding these portfolios.

March 10th, 2020

There’s a poem that always haunts me:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Now it’s your turn:
After that,
Think about this below article in groups and then share with the class or just with me as we go around.
Answer the questions:
1. what is poetry?
2. Why write Poetry?
This is the updated list of people to see.

March 9th, 2020

This is our poetry week. There is a website I would like for you to get to know.

Instead of journals, I would like for you to find and familiarize yourself with a poem, then read it for the class after you read it to your peers a little for practice. Since this is a quick immersion into poetry, I’ll try and switch between instruction and student research.

The Ann Lamott Book is a good reading for over the break. I will share some of it if I have time. I’ll share a little today, Wednesday and Friday. You can finish the rest over the break if you would like a little more insight into the craft of poetry and revisions.

Sign UP Sheet

While I have 4 ten minute short story interviews from 940 to 1020, I would like for you to explore those 10 different poem types. It is basic, but good to start. Then after you write your first poem, you can call yourself a poet.

for BYOB on Wednesday, try and find poetry books. Some of you have already. This week will be total immersion into the craft.

March 6th, 2020

Journal Entry: Specific

Poetry Packages:


Short story writing checklists.







March 5th, 2020

Journal entry for today —

Tomorrow, I will hand out hard copies (and on the one not) of a poetry package that I will go in detail over on Monday. Trust me, this isn’t pointless busywork – poetry is such a huge part of making your writing go from good to better with detail.

I have seen



Sam 1

I need to see today in this order:

Sam 2





March 4th, 2020

Journal entry for today —

I have seen



I need to see (today) in this order:


The Sams



The rest of you can keep working on those short stories. We will be looking at poetry on Friday. I will keep talking to you about your stories / portfolio as this progresses.

March 3rd, 2020

Journal entry for today: —

I am dying to know how everything was yesterday. I will be starting the revisions with you today. I will be doing five a day. Read / revise / talk. I would like for you to keep working on the expansion of your ideas as I get through the texts one by one.

This might seem like a lot of work, but I feel like it’s worth it to check with you on your individual journey.

We will start the non-fiction unit on Friday after you’ve gotten some feedback from me. You will be revising your stories during this time.  When you feel like they’re ready for finalization, put them in the portfolio. Don’t put drafts in the portfolio.

March 2nd, 2020

Welcome to class. Keep the writing up with the journals that you can write for 10 minutes. The topic you can read is “Make Statements and Answer Questions” (Pg. 152)

The questions you should think about while reading the work of others are:

  1. What do I like about the characters? Dislike?
  2. What’s the best part in here? What hooked me?
  3. What do I wish would have happened?
  4. What can I change to make the writing (Syntax, vocabulary, grammar) better?

Probably with text of this length, you’ll probably only get through about three with feedback. Situate yourselves in comfortable places and write and talk. Keep it low key. I’m excited to hear from you tomorrow as we will go through the texts one by one together. I will tell you what I liked, what I didn’t and what you can improve on. This way might be slow, but I think it’s worth it. We’ll start tomorrow with whomever has finished their second draft after today’s peer review.

February 27th, 2020


Let me try and get through the rest of the short story writers today. By Monday have a good first draft sorted out. You’ll be reading the work of others.

February 25th, 2020

“Living Twice”

Those of you I’ve talked to, I am happy that you know your way through the assignment. I have decided that on Monday of next week, the short stories (1st draft) should be finished. We will do a small group activity with the work on this day.

I will be talking to each of you individually about your short stories today. Hopefully we can get the majority of class finished.

February 24th, 2020

“Baking a Cake”

Monday journals are always the best – time to get back to the week through writing.

I will be doing little one on one with all of you.  I’ll choose the best part of your pitch and we’ll go from there.

Like I’ve said earlier, this creative writing class is your excuse to explore your own ideas. If there is something you don’t agree with when it comes to my ideas, it’s completely okay. I’m just a guy that’s seen too many movies, watched too many cartoons, played to many RPG games and read too many books.

February 21st, 2020

Journal today:

“Power of detail”

Today you come up with your own elevator pitch – so you have 30 seconds to a minute to sell a plot idea. Here is a template to get you thinking. You have about 15 minutes to write it down so you can be prepared to share it.

I will record these ideas and then will distribute the page on the One Note.

By Monday, you will commit to one idea, write the detail for it in a paradigm template then choose a part of that paradigm to write your short story for next Thursday.

Then have a great weekend!

February 20th, 2020

Journal today:

“Original Detail”

Today we’ll do a whip around the classroom and see how one plot can have many inciting incidents that follow. Then we’ll do another one in which you’ll do quickly, but I don’t want to spent too much time on.

Make an elevator pitch for tomorrow – serious or funny. I want to make a document that I will share with the class at the end of tomorrow.

Remember: An elevator pitch is a 30 second to one minute overarching plot with a hook that makes the listener say: I want more. You ever seen a trailer that you go: Damn that looks good? Have you ever seen a trailer where you did a Pfffffllllttt? What’s the difference?

February 19th, 2020

BYOB today – I forgot to tell you in class yesterday, but for those of you who have remembered, I will honor your excerpts. I have a small one that I have saved – and I’ll show you how words can take you everywhere in journals.

Journals: “Obsessions”

Let’s go over your 3 act structure for the girl / guy Paris thing. Tomorrow, I’ll give you another one. Please ask me questions about this structure.

February 18th, 2020

“Writing is not a McDonalds Hamburger” is our journal entry for today.

I will give a lecture on the basics of plot structure and knowing your character. I didn’t feel like making a PPT because they bore me so I have my notes here. Bonus if you can read them.

feb 18 cw notes 2##

feb 18 cw notes 1##

By the end of the lecture, you should know what a paradigm structure is. As a few of you know, I’m all about structure, having you follow the structure, then breaking the rules.

This lecture is for three types of writing: Short Stories, Novels and (originally) screenplays.

Just so that you can get your head around it, I have an activity that will continue through the end of the week, so that you will have this structure memorized.

paradigm  –  This is the TEMPLATE

paradigm-exercise2 – This is EXERCISE 1

newparadigmexercise3 – This is EXERCISE 2


February 13th, 2020

“Man Eats Car” is the title of our journal entries today.

This weekend, I get to take home your flash fictions and read a few from the five. I am excited to see what you’ve come up with after our conversations. Please put them in Flash Fiction Drafts on the One Note so it will be much easier for me to scan through them.

You have the rest of class to finish these pieces.

February 12th, 2020

“We are not Poem” is the title of our journal entries today. Time is going fast. to put things into perspective, this is journal entry 10, meaning that you have 5 left after today.

BYOB today. I hope you have some good words to share and appreciate with the class.

If we get through everyone, and the discussion is spent, then we’ll continue with our flash fiction interviews and then tomorrow hand them in  – uploaded to your one note under:

Flash Fiction Drafts

February 11th, 2020

“Tap Water Table” is our chapter for today. Please respond to this in your journals.

We will continue with the flash fiction interviews today.

I have been trying my best to get this one note started, but as some of you know, I am not very good at new things. Who really is? I added you all as teachers yesterday. I do not want this. So I will be working on this a little more, then I will send you all another link today. Thank you for your patience.

If I get this up and running, then we can move all of our files to this one note.

BYOB tomorrow. We’ll start our short story unit next Tuesday. The flash fiction will be due at the END OF CLASS THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13th. One day extra!

February 10, 2020

“Trouble with Edit” is the journal of the day. Since it’s Monday, let’s go for about 20 minutes.

I was going to give you a lecture on short stories, but I think that is unfair if you’re already working hard on your five flash fictions and I have quite a few more students to talk to regarding their first fictions.

We will continue in this vein until I’m done. I would like a general consensus from the class on where you’re at with your project. Some modifications might need to be made on my schedule.

February 7th, 2020

Journal for today is “Fighting Tofu”  – one of my favorite chapters, even if it’s just for the title alone.

I will continue with the tutor and chat one on one of the flash fiction today. Keep those ideas going.

February 6th, 2020

Journal for the day is “Topics for Writing” – this is very good for the flow of this class right now.

Today, like I said earlier, is one of a ‘tutor style environment.’. I am going through your fictions now and one by one, I will tell you what I would like for you to expand on for the next. I will do this only once because of time constraints – but you’ll get the idea to work for yourself regarding the other three.

This will continue as planned throughout the end of the week.

Let’s go over Perks of Being a Wallflower first, then a little bit of Kinsella and a love poem to start this day right.

February 5th, 2020

BYOB day –

But first, we will start our day with a journal entry.

“Artistic Stability”

Also, after you’re finished sharing (I really love these days) then you can ask me some questions based on your flash fiction. Here are some FAQ’s:

When is my first flash fiction due?

You should have a finished and polished fiction by today.

How many do I have to do?

There will be five in total.

Can they be linked?

Absolutely. This is the foundation of your final short story so you can explore both perspective and diction in your flash fiction. This is your experimental phase.

When will they all be due?

Next Wednesday (11th). On Monday, however, I’m introducing the short story format and you’ll begin to find a connection between 2-4 of your short shorts.

February 4th, 2020

Today will be mostly based on your flash fictions. Once you’re finished one, get it peer reviewed. Get it checked and re-checked. It becomes real when someone else’s memory becomes your own and vice versa.

Here’s the journal of the day: “Composting”

PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN BOOK (BYOB) for tomorrow – find a passage and be prepared to share. I will do the same.

February 3rd, 2020

Every good writer should have dissociative personality disorder in some way. For a little break before the new normal, let’s get you a good pseudonym (Pen Name) and talk about what it means to have an alternate personality.

Here is the website:

Type in your full name and let the good times roll.

The journal entry today is based on Goldberg’s chapter: “Writing as Practice”.

The last part of today is working on your flash fiction pieces that are due tomorrow at the beginning of class to share with your peers. I will find technology that we can link together all of our work and collaborate.

January 31st, 2020

The journal entry #2 will be called “First Thoughts” and it it also in Natalie Goldberg’s book (or PDF in your case.)

I think that after we finish the journal entries for this piece, we can look at some examples of flash fiction to get your mind working – and you can start right away after we’ve done. Take note of the website as well. It is full of great ideas for aspiring writers such as yourselves.

7 Flash Fiction Stories That Are Worth (a Tiny Amount of) Your Time


January 30th, 2020

Today, we will work on two things.

This is your first journal entry – a response to Natalie Goldberg. She is the author of a book called Writing Down the Bones.

We will read the passage together as a class.

The first chapter is called “Beginner’s Mind.” You can find it in the PDF in the class materials.

We will read and respond to this – written of course, with shares from those that are willing to share.

Then I will teach you what flash fiction is. You will be doing five quick fiction writes in the next week that will lead (hopefully) to your first short story.

Flash Fiction Worksheet

Let’s do it.

January 29th, 2020

Great class yesterday. Now you have your credos – the promises to yourself about what it is you’re capable of.

I would like to share a few if we can.

This class is all about the analysis of other writers – what makes them tick/ why you choose these words as something special to you. Why is this assignment in this unit?

At first, you will share with those closest (physically) to you. Think about these three questions:

  1. why does this piece mean so much to you?
  2. What do you learn from the writing style?
  3. What does it mean to ‘create a moment’?

After this we will share as a group.

January 28th, 2020

Welcome to class. I am very excited to be here, and I hope you are too.

Fill out this for basic info:

We will go over the syllabus today. Hopefully we’ll have enough time to go over the great Natalie Goldberg’s introduction to writing.

Creative Writing 12 Syllabus

Get a Journal 📓📔  – or if you don’t want to write old school, then open a document that you can lock, so no prying eyes get to it. This is the backbone of the class.

Your first entry, something quite personal / dedicated more to the love of narrative non-fiction will be your personal credo, or promise.

The structure should look like this:

as a _____________, I will_______________________.


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