The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


Creative Writing Course Returns to Pali Curriculum


At the start of the Pali 2024-25 school year, students will have access to a new Creative Writing English class.

The Creative Writing class is an Honors English class that will be available for seniors only. If a senior aims to enroll in both Creative Writing and Advanced Placement (AP) Literature and Composition, they may choose their primary course, and then complete the other class as an elective if space permits. This class will expand Pali’s current 12th-grade course offerings, which include Honors English, Chicano Literature, Black Literature, The Literature of War, California Literature, AP English Literature and Composition and English Language Development.

According to Duke University, creative writing is a class in which students can develop their writing in genres such as fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. The genre works on a unique sense of writing with less rigidity than a traditional English class.

The new course will be taught by current AP Literature and sophomore English teacher Alaina Voccio. 

According to English Department Chair Randy Tenan-Snow, the class is only open to seniors since lower grades mainly focus on mastering required writing, comprehension and reading skills. 

Tenan-Snow said that Creative Writing originally was offered as a separate class at Pali, but was removed as teachers focused on traditional English 12 classes. 

“In the last seven years, we’ve been really working on focus classes, especially seniors,” Tenan-Snow said.

Voccio said that her interest in re-introducing a creative writing class at Pali was prompted by her interest and passion in the subject as a child.

“A [creative writing] class really sparked my interest because I thought about how we don’t offer that here at Pali,” Voccio said. “But it’s something that people really enjoy doing.” 

According to Voccio, the class will function as a highly collaborative environment in which students will receive constructive feedback from their peers. It will consist of workshops and assignments that will help to develop characterization, point of view and setting in students’ stories.

“Creative writing is very collaborative…. You have to be willing to share your work and take feedback from other people,” Voccio said.

“Going into writing groups, it’s scary, but I think [Voccio] can really provide a safe space,” Tenan-Snow added.

Junior Anthony Haladjian, a former student of Voccio who is currently taking AP English Language and Composition, said he plans to take the class next year. He is interested in taking the class so that he can express himself through writing. 

“I really [think] the class is going to be fun, exciting and different because in most English classes, you’re always doing essays,” he said. “You have to follow a specific guideline.”

For Haladjian, taking a Creative Writing class was always a goal, especially since he says he enjoys writing on his own time.

“Hopefully I can learn more about [creative writing] and revise my second book from what I learn from Ms. Voccio,” said Haladjian, who is a published children’s book author and is working on his second book.

According to Voccio, the new course will be centered around a student’s interest in developing their writing and creativity, either professionally or just for fun.

“I’m hoping that… the people who [sign up] really have a love for the subject and want a fun class,” Voccio said.

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About the Contributor
Lila Bigalow
Lila Bigalow, Staff Writer and Videographer
Lila Bigalow is a sophomore, first-year staff writer and videographer for Tideline. She was a writer for her middle school magazine, and she attended a journalism course at NYU this past summer. She is excited to expand her knowledge on journalism and is appreciative of the opportunity to do so. Through her writing, she hopes to inform students on relevant topics and offer a new perspective. In her free time, Lila enjoys dancing, reading, baking and running for the Pali track team.