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Classroom Happenings: The Write Stuff

The Steward School
Putting words into motion
Once a week, Upper School students in Steward’s Creative Writing Club gather to do what writers do: think, react, write, reflect. 

As they tap out their thoughts on laptops (or jot them down in journals), magical things can happen. Ideas take shape. Sparks form stories. Poetry bursts into life on the page. Led by Hayden Ashworth ’23, and under the mentorship of faculty sponsor and Upper School English Teacher Stephanie Arnold, the Creative Writing Club is a group of dedicated writers who are extra-excited these days, as they will publish a printed collection of their works in the coming weeks.

Ms. Arnold, who noted that the cover art for the collection will be created by Henley Voeks ’24, said, “This is the first time we have published a literary journal at Steward for quite some time, and we are excited to design a place to feature students’ creative work.”

From Writers to Published Authors 

The club recently held a fiction and poetry contest, open to all Upper School students, with English Department faculty awarding prizes to the top creative works. Beth Cram ’24 won first prize for her short story “Eurydice,” and Theo Patterson ’22 won first prize for his poem “Pink.” These pieces and many others will be included in the published collection. 

Beth’s inspiration for “Eurydice,” a retelling of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, sprang from a lifelong interest in Greek mythology. 

“I’ve always taken to tragedies,” she said, “and when it comes to writing, I love how you can twist the same story or structure into new messages and voices.”

Theo explained that his poem centers around a struggle with the color pink.

“I came up with it driving to school, and the sunrise was this really beautiful pink,” said Theo. “It was glowing and soft, and just the type of light you know won’t last more than a few minutes. I’d had a rough morning, and the sky brought me a lot of joy, but I had this feeling of not being able to explain that to anyone.” Theo is drawn to poetry in part because readers can interpret it in many different ways. 

“People apply their own experiences to [the poetry] they read, and I like that someone can look at something I’ve written and understand it completely differently than how I understood it when I wrote it,” Theo explained. 

As president of the Creative Writing Club, Hayden is struck by his fellow writers’ ability to reflect their thoughts in unique and often subtle ways.  

“Everyone is passionate about writing … but more so about each other's writing than their own,” he said. “They constantly want to know how to improve and are always working on something new.”

A Club for Every Interest

Upper School students can choose from offerings such as the Diversity Club, Equestrian Club, Knitting Club, Model UN, Pottery Club, Robotics Club, Running Club, Spanish Club, and Stewardship Club. Most are offered on a rotating schedule throughout the year. Middle School Spartans can choose from a wide variety of school-sponsored clubs and organizations as well. Options include the Philanthropic Tea and Hot Beverage Society; the Cat Club; the Harry Potter Club; science clubs; an outdoor fitness club; and more. 


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The Steward School
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Richmond, VA 23238

phone: (804) 740-3394
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