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Creative Writing

The Creative Writing department at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts offers a comprehensive curriculum of classes in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and drama. The program provides young writers with the opportunity to study the styles and voices of contemporary writers in various genres, develop their own literary talents, and facilitate their command of the writer’s craft. The program will nurture and challenge students in developing the writing and workshop skills necessary to further their voices and foster success in the future – whether pursuing writing, literature, or an unrelated field.

Within this program, students will:

  • Read critically and analytically through a writer’s perspective
  • Utilize form and craft in order to enhance function and communication of various perspectives
  • Write for a specified or intended audience with coherence and clarity
  • Communicate ideas and understanding through the vocabulary of the craft
  • Critique peer writing using constructive criticism
  • Engage in thorough revision of all final pieces
  • Meet individually and in group settings with the instructor in order to gain insight into the writing process and further hone style and technique
  • Prepare a presentation of work for a school-wide or public venue

The Creative Writing audition is a multi-step process beginning with the submission of a writing portfolio. Students will move on to receive an interview and will be asked to complete an on-site writing assignment.

Program of Studies

Grade 9

Creative Nonfiction 1/Poetry 1
Fiction 1/Drama 1
Writer’s Ensemble 

Grade 10

Creative Nonfiction 2/Poetry 2
Fiction 2/Drama 2
Writer’s Ensemble

Grade 11

Creative Nonfiction 3/Poetry 3
Fiction 3/Drama 3
Writer’s Ensemble

Grade 12

Senior Seminar
Creative Nonfiction 4/Poetry 4
Fiction 4/Drama 4
Writer’s Ensemble



Caitlin Lee-Hendricks


Caitlin Lee-Hendricks is a 2017 graduate from Barbara Ingram, and a 2021 graduate from the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park. Earning two B.A.s during her time at Maryland—one in Gender Studies and one in English—Caitlin is currently looking to apply for her M.Ed. in Education. She has several years of teaching experience at the University of Maryland, instructing predominantly poetry workshops. Caitlin has placed for the Jiménez-Porter Prize from 2018-2020, and was a recipient for the Henrietta Spiegel Creative Writing Award in 2021. You can find her work in Stylus and 50 Haikus, as well as forthcoming in Scapegoat Review.


Deb Irwin


Growing up in Roanoke, Virginia, Deb Irwin embraced the world of literature and writing from an early age. Being the daughter of college professors, she was surrounded by books and encouraged to read and write as much as she wanted. Her childhood was spent on a hammock in her backyard, lost in a book or scribbling away in her journal.

 After earning her undergraduate degree in English at Roanoke College, where she published in the college literary journal, Deb continued her education by pursuing a master's degree at Radford University. During her time as a graduate student, she started instruction of composition of Freshman English, which sparked her passion for teaching.

 Over the years, Deb has taught college writing and survey literature courses in Kentucky and North Carolina. Following her husband's government position transfers, she moved to North Dakota, where she served as an Instructional Strategist, and Northern Virginia, where she taught middle school before becoming an Instructional Technology Coach. Prior to Barbara Ingram, Deb taught English 11, AP Literature, Dual Enrollment College English, and was the yearbook advisor at a high school in California.

 At Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, Deb is excited to teach creative writing, a position that has inspired her to start writing again along with her students, and English. With her extensive experience Deb is passionate about guiding creative writing students as they explore their creativity and develop their skills as writers.