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Writing on Beach


Learn what young writers have to say about the importance of creative writing programs. 

Results from anonymous surveys administered summer 2022

Overall, participants agreed that participating in La Plume helped them learned more about the technical, imaginative, and creative aspects of the writing process


Why Engage in Creative Writing?

Creative writing fosters a sense of independence and connection with your emotions and the way you portray them on a page, and gives you the platform to share your work with other people who recognize the beauty of writing.

Not only does it bring joy to the writers themselves by giving them the ability to express their feelings, it can also inspire others to read it to write and help them get through tough times in life as readers.

It allows one to express ideas.

Creative writing is important because it builds connections between readers and writers, teaches us empathy and shows us that we are not alone.

Creative writing is art, and art is integral to human expression. 

It's a safe and fun outlet for self expression with the potential to positively impact others.

Humans are storytelling creatures, it's in our nature, we all tell stories. Through creative writing we discover new and better ways to tell stories to nurture the future generations.

It’s a very efficient outlet for ideas and emotions you just can’t sleep without sharing.

It allows our imagination to run free.

Creative writing can be an outlet for bottled emotions. It can also be a place where you can explore ideas that can not be explored in our world.

Creative writing can also help to develop other areas in writing, such as academic writing, essays, etc.

It encourages creativity, and inspires others to create.

It’s an excellent means of fostering empathy and introducing people to different perspectives.

To express important, powerful concepts in understandable ways.

For me it is a medium of self expression, so I feel most myself when writing stories or journaling. I also get to hear a broad array of voices through reading widely. This expands my worldview, but also my vocabulary and understanding of grammar.

I believe that every career in life ties back to creative writing. Even in STEM fields, creativity is very prevalent when experimenting.

I believe it is important because it takes the formal-ness of English away, and lets everyone enjoy the beauties of the language. . . it also provides a great coping mechanism and teaches better empathetic and expressive communication skills.

It can be a means of evoking social change or just a creative outlet—essentially, it can be anything you want it to be.

Mostly because it lets writers put thoughts together in ways that not only tell readers what they think, but also make them feel and maybe see through different perspectives – which writers can potentially create.

I believe creative writing is important because allows for the most basic form of expression: communication. Through the various genres, styles, and forms of literature, there is truly a way for everyone to find meaning and value with paper and pencil. ​

Connecting with others, connecting with yourself, important for bringing awareness/information to all sorts of topics—from different jobs to climate change, human rights, etc. It’s also the most accessible art form which means there aren’t as many obstacles to doing it. That’s crucial because it means if you wanna do it, you can.

For me, creative writing is a really helpful way of expressing my emotions in a healthy manner.

I believe that creative writing is important to give a voice to those who have historically been denied one, and to act as a radical and revolutionary way of connecting to people. For me personally, creative writing is a way to create a world that you can briefly live in.

Creative writing is important because it allows for the expression and dissemination of creativity and new ideas as well as development of the individual.

It comes from your imagination and that’s sometimes much more powerful than reality.

Because it validates writing as an art form.

Creative writing is important because it allows writers to hone in on their dreams and feelings, and be able to create these worlds, ideas and feelings for other readers and writers to be inspired by.

I believe creative writing is important because it reveals truths about ourselves—as individuals, communities, and societies—that cannot be expressed otherwise.

I believe creative writing is important because it allows us to find out more about ourselves in the process. Creative writing is a difficult craft because you are pursuing something that doesn't exist yet. . . you have to think a lot about what you like, who you are, and what matters to you to come up with what you can write about. It's a daunting, but very rewarding process.

From a survey of young writers, aged 15-20

39% plan to major in English or creative writing in college

68% have submitted their writing to journals or magazines

81% plan to take creative writing classes in college

89% have participated in 1 or more writing programs 

On average, participants
strongly agreed that participating in writing programs. . . 


  • positively influenced their development as a writer

  • increased their confidence as a writer

  • made them feel more excited about writing

  • enabled them to receive feedback from other writers

  • helped them feel more excited about writing

  • helped motivate them to reach their writing goals

  • helped them learn more about the creative and technical aspects of writing

What do writing programs provide?

Access to resources and guidance from more experienced writers that would not have been available to me otherwise.

Being able to meet other people who loved writing and were good at it and being able to read the writing of other talented writers my age.

Mostly community. As someone who had been writing mostly on their own before, writing programs were the main place I found other people who wrote – getting more feedback, getting to see other people’s writing and other things mostly followed on from that.

I enjoyed the educational aspect, such as analyzing a piece of work together as a class.

Mentorship and technical explanations. 

Being around other writers, learning to be confident in my work.

Building relationships
with other writers!

Community & Mentorship

I was forced to write creatively on a deadline, which made the process a lot less intimidating. I had structure, and it was a lot easier to get motivated in that setting.

Peer feedback during workshops.

Having a strong community allows for other to be encouraged in their writing career. It can expand their love for it, as well as create relationships that may be beneficial in their future career.

I really enjoyed the connection with mentors that writing programs provided me with. I also enjoyed meeting many similar talented writers who felt the same fervent passion for writing.

The mentorship of my first instructor was one of the most valuable and affirming experiences of my life. The feedback I got all around was invaluable both times.

Community with other writers, small groups that allow for more in depth discussions and feedback, and accessibility and flexible framework.

Mentorship opportunities and feedback.

I think community is the most valuable component... these writing programs allowed me to find peers with similar interests and learn from their writing and experiences.

Mentorship opportunities and specific feedback because having experienced professionals guide me helped improve my writing tremendously.

Working one on one with published authors.

The most valuable component of writing programs is often times the students themselves. Everyone in attendance wants to be there and wants to improve. These two facts make a world of difference when it comes to participation and the quality of peer-feedback. Similarly, because everyone involved in the program is talented and often knowledgeable about creative writing, they provide invaluable support systems for each other, often for years to come.


Why participate? 

I had an idea for a story that was on my mind for years, but I never had the motivation to put my thoughts on paper. I thought that by entering in a competition, I would finally be able to get the motivation to do it.

Because my kids lived to tell stories.

I decided to participate in La Plume because my 7th grade Language Arts teacher encouraged me to submit a story after she saw how dedicated and passionate I was about creative writing in her class.

What was learned?

That creative writing is a hard process that takes effort. They also learned that their adults and mentors available to them and who will support them.

I learned how to organize and elaborate my story, to make it more complex. The 4,000 word minimum encouraged me to expand on my ideas, and it completely transformed by story, since appeared to be finished when it reached 1,000 words.

By participating in La Plume for four consecutive years, I have learned that the first draft is not final, and even at the very end of the writing process, there is always room for development and improvement.

I found the most valuable component of La Plume to be the workshops and feedbacks, which provided support for me to grow as a writer, pushed me to explore new genres, push myself beyond my boundaries and learn so much!

I learned that it’s not just writing a story, you have to revise, rewrite, and not leave it to the last moment.

How did participating in La Plume influence
students' relationship with creative writing?

Participating in La Plume has positively impacted my relationship with creative writing. It has not only helped me perfect this art, but has allowed me to appreciate it more and more as I explore the possible ways a story can flow.

I have never been fond of creative writing, but I loved other forms of art, such as drawing. I also liked reading other people's short stories. During the last three years that I participated in La Plume, my opinion on writing my own stories has changed, and I feel more exited about writing. La Plume gave me a reason and motivation to write, and I learned that drawing and writing are similar. Also, winning the grand prize really motivated me to create another story the following year, as I saw that other people enjoyed my writing.

​I have matured as a writer by changing the method in which I tell my stories and trying new styles or literature. It also helped me realize that not everything I write needs to be shared with others, and sometimes, writing can be my own private expression of overwhelming emotion.​

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