Getting creative with the creative writing class

Avery Hamlin, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Edmond Memorial High School’s creative writing class has had a very successful year. The class, instructed by Kelly Bristow, spends their hour together studying different forms of writing/poetry, practicing with various writing prompts and working on their individual creative process. 

“Students are given a prompt most days- either a journal entry or we discuss how to write a certain type of poem, and then work on those,” Bristow said. “There is very little homework, and the class is given time to write and do revisions.”

Every year Bristow requires her students to submit their work to two contests: a literary art magazine called Broken Barriers, and the other called the R. Darryl Fisher contest.

“I get so excited [when I see students’ places at the R. Darryl Fisher contest]. I tell students that this is the big money category. The first place winner won $250, but even if you are an honorable mention, you get $25,” Bristow said. “They will have the festival on April 4th to honor those who placed where the students can go to different sessions that teach different types of writing.”

For the Broken Barriers creative writing contest, students must submit their work that they wrote throughout the year and the reward is being published in the magazine. This contest is not just for creative writing students, but for the whole school to enter for a chance to be published. The writers entering are also granted the chance to work with artists to match their writing theme to another student’s drawing theme. Junior Kayla Mcarthy will be publishing a heartwarming poem about a personal experience she had through the pandemic.

“For one of my poems, I was inspired by a friendship that I had through quarantine. We were really close friends for a while, and I had romantic feelings for them when they did not reciprocate. I had previously lived in California, where I met them, and in Sept. 2020 I found out I was moving,” Mccarthy said. “Things fell apart after that. They were hurtful and rude, and I eventually had to end the friendship. I wrote the poem as a commemoration of letting go and remembering.”

Junior Ellie Marks has been experimenting creatively through her writings for as long as she can remember. This class, with the daily prompts, has allowed her to shape and grow her natural talents. One of her many works placed as an honorable mention for the R. Darryl Fisher contest. This poem is called “The Kitchen Maid and The Sleeping Beauty;” an LGBTQ+ twist on the classic tale of “Sleeping Beauty” where the “prince” is a kitchen maid who is best friends with princess Aurora before she falls asleep.

“Both of my parents used to be journalists, so writing has always run in the family. It has always been a thing in my life that I like creating,” Marks said. “I have always loved to read, write and even draw miniature crayon movies when I was little.”

Out of 800 poems submitted from around the state, 13 Memorial students placed in the R. Darryl Fisher contest. Morphie Pflaum won 1st Place for her poem “Life Letters,” and two other students won Honorable Mentions: Jacy Pruitt and Rachel Van Osdol. Be on the lookout for this year’s edition of the Broken Barriers literary magazine to read these talented young writers’ work. 

Contact Avery Hamlin at [email protected]