Collis & Creative Writing “Fall” for the UBC Festival

Saturday, October 29, 2022 - By: Deborah Z, Alex ‘23

On October 19, at 10:30 am, Mr Paul Collis and his visionary Writing 12 students embarked on their scenic trip to Vancouver’s Granville Island. The day consisted of journaling exercises, writing games, tiresome sitting - and endless creativity!

Writing 12 at Brentwood is an exclusive class for a select 10 students who are passionate about writing. As a self-study course, students possess the freedom and responsibility of submitting monthly assignments and journal entries on their own time. “This class allows me to explore the intellectual creativity that I don’t get to experience in other classes. It allows me to fulfill this academic void created by the stress of grades and performance, but in this class you kind of get this freedom to write whatever you want, whenever you want. And even if it is bad writing, it is still considered good” Abby D, Allard ‘23 shares.

During the trip, the beautiful, crisp autumn air embraced and inspired us to open our minds to the many possibilities of journaling exercises. One of the activities consisted of a one-minute rotation game and required us to come up with one sentence that accompanies the previous sentences formed by the last students. By the end of the rotation, each journal had a unique and engrossing story.

Once on Granville Island, students had some free time to roam around and indulge in some retail therapy - soon after was the long-anticipated writing festival.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) hosted a Creative Writing Workshop to showcase what their creative writing program has to offer. A total of five professors spoke and shared short, interactive activities with the audience. One of the Profs shared her thoughts on the importance of writing: “Creative writing is to write with all the unearned confidence you had when you first started as that teenage kid who fell in love with stories and writing” expressed Browyn Tate, Poetry 101. After the workshop, the students gained a deeper understanding of how professional writers accumulate and develop their ideas into literary masterpieces.

“Virginia Woolf says that, ‘To be fully creative, a writer needs a room of one's own.’ Now, she was talking about not just a physical space but also the time and the freedom to think and create. Writing 12 fits in the timetable because it is not confined to a classroom and gives students that liberating space to create” said Mr Collis, Head of English and Writing 12 sage.

A huge thank you to the UBC Writing Festival for hosting such a spectacular event that entertainingly educated the Writing 12 students - and thank you to Mr Collis for allowing us to attend. The opportunity to experience this festival will truly  impact my writing career.

Deborah Z, Alex ‘23

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