By Nico G.
Rebecca wrote a wonderful post about the lack of creative writing in schools. While it is true that some private schools and well-funded public schools choose to not emphasize creative writing and to not celebrate their student writers, most public schools don't have a choice in the matter for two reasons: they don't have the funding to set up substantial writing programs from the city and state, and creative writing is not part of the school's required curriculum. Therefore, there is little creative writing in these schools. It is not always a purposeful decision to deprive students as much as it is out of the school's reach to offer this to their students.
Furthermore, some schools simply don't have teachers capable of helping students with their creative writing and cannot afford to hire anyone. Understandably, the English teachers at these schools try as best they can to teach students what they need to know for the gobs of standardized testing students must endure. If creative writing were ever to emerge as a major leg of public education, changes would have to be made on a state level, to make sure schools are required to emphasize it. Otherwise, it will not be done in a substantial way.
Sadly, caught in the middle are students already introduced to and/or interested in creative writing. To these kids, I urge lots of reading, and even more writing. If your school does not offer you the opportunity to creatively express yourself, and you do not have access to a program such as WritopiaLab, consult your English teacher privately, and discuss your predicament with them, or you can do what many writers have done throughout history and teach yourself how to craft stories with the help of already published works. Just because you're deprived of a creative writing program doesn't mean you're deprived of sharing your voice with the world.