Course of Study


Students on a rainy hike in Boulder

 Course of Study

For all students, here is the track for the core assignments/ projects for each year in the program:

A. First Year Curriculum—Regardless of grade level, all new students will complete a curriculum that surveys myriad components of creative writing, including an overview of most major forms/genres.  Students of this level will not complete contracts.  First year students will receive a separate list of topics for exploration.

B. Contracts (2nd year)—The year after the first year curriculum is completed, students will spend one year focusing solely on personal contracts, which allow for completely individualized assignments and personal artistic/literary development.  Students at this level will complete four 9 Week Contracts (no umbrella)

CW Contract Form

Contract Sheet–all levels

C. First Umbrella—Writer’s Bible (3rd or 4th year) –Four 9 Week Contracts + Umbrella Project (Writing responses to/development of The Writer’s Bible

D. Second UmbrellaLongform Writing Project (3rd, 4th or 5th year)  This level will engage in a series of short workshops and assignments which aid in the writing of a novella or other full-length work.  Additionally, each of the contracts will focus on writing the novel.

E. Third Umbrella—Modeled Writing

When a reader can appreciate the components that go into good writing, they then gain perhaps the most important tool they have as a writer:  the ability to edit and revise their own work– word by word, sentence by sentence.  The goal of this project is to improve your abilities as a close reader and writer.

F. Senior Seminar Curriculum—Seniors have a separate curriculum focusing on several large projects that reflect their growth as writers and time at DSA.

In addition to the requirements listed above, students will complete additional poem and story assignments that are introduced by CW teachers and guest artists.  Other whole class assignments include: author appreciation assignments, responses to teacher, guest artist and peer writing exercises, explications, critiques & multi-genre projects.