Creative Writing

Talia Fidler, Visual Arts ’22. Uncovered. 2020, Illustration.

A student performing at an Asian American Showcase assembly

A Day in the Life

The Creative Writing Conservatory integrates the ChiArts Core Values into rigorous study of the foundations of creative writing and the development of individual voice and polished work. The first two years of the program will consist of training in the elements of Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction. The third and fourth year of the program will consist of advanced studies in Poetry and Fiction, and will also include production classes and professional development courses. The goal is to provide a high level of instruction and experiences that prepare students for further study at the college level or entrance into the profession.

18 Pre-Professional & Donor-Funded Courses Offered

8 Dedicated Faculty Members

32 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Received*

100% College Acceptance & Attendance*

Creative Writing Alumni Stories
Alumni Inti Navia

Inti Navia

Columbia College Chicago
Bachelor’s in Journalism
Alumni Damayanti Wallace

Damayanti Wallace

New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Bachelor in Collaborative Arts
Pursuing writing fellowships in Hollywood
A group of creative writing students posing in front of a storefront window showcasing their collective zine installation

What Do Scholar-Artists Gain?

  1. A portfolio of polished pieces in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The portfolio will include a book-length manuscript in the student’s area of concentration.
  2. A solid foundation in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction including both writing and a deep and wide knowledge of texts. This foundation will make the students competitive candidates for post-secondary Creative Writing programs.
  3. Significant practice in critically thinking about their own work and the work of others. Scholar-artists learn to offer targeted and thoughtful feedback that aims to support a writer’s intentions and guide a writer towards their best work.
  4. Experience editing and publishing a literary magazine and/or writing and publishing a digital newspaper.
A creative writing student performing in front of a crowd at ChiArts Writes Volume 7

Performances & Arts Partnerships

ChiArts’ Creative Writing Conservatory hosts 10+ public performances, receptions, and cross-conservatory productions each year. The conservatory produces classroom work, the student-run literary and art magazine Levitate, the ChiArts school newspaper Double Space, the conservatory-wide publication ChiArts Writes, and scholar-artists also publish in literary reviews, poetry collections, and online publications. Creative Writing intertwines the curriculum with the literary community of Chicago by inviting local authors as guest speakers, and participating in events such as the Rooted & Radical Spoken Word Festival sponsored by Young Chicago Authors, and Northwestern Medill’s Scholastic Press Association of Chicago’s Annual Student Journalism Conference (SPAC). In 2023, ChiArts’ school newspaper Double Space won “Superior Achievement of a New Publication” at SPAC.

Expert Leadership

Headshot of Kenyatta Rogers

Kenyatta Rogers is a founding ChiArts Creative Writing teacher. He has been instrumental to the growth and development of the conservatory since 2013 as the founding poetry teacher and Creative Writing Conservatory Administrative Assistant. In 2022, Mr. Rogers was promoted to Conservatory Head. He is an exceptional poet and a well-respected colleague and leader both within ChiArts and in the poetry community.

Mr. Rogers is a Cave Canem Fellow and has been awarded scholarships from the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. He has also been nominated multiple times for both Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. His work has been previously published in Poetry Magazine, Jubilat, Vinyl, Bat City Review, The Volta, PANK, and MAKE Magazine among others. He is a lead teacher for the Poetry Foundation’s Summer Poetry Teachers’ Institute and Chautauqua Institution’s Young Writer Institute, and is a co-host of the Sunday Reading Series with Simone Muench.

A student performs her creative writing at the Hispanic Heritage showcase

You make it possible

With your help, the ChiArts Foundation will raise more than $3 million this year to fully fund ChiArts’ five arts conservatories and provide a safe and supportive environment for scholar-artists to flourish during and beyond high school.