So You Have to Teach Creative Writing?

Join SCGSAH faculty members Alan Rossi, Scott Gould, and Emily Cinquemani for a FREE Teacher Retreat, specializing in the teaching of Creative Writing. Focusing on topics from South Carolina’s ELA standards, this professional learning opportunity is led by an award-winning faculty of published writers who bring experience in reaching middle school and high school students. 

Participants will learn fundamentals of personal essay and memoir writing, essentials for character development in fiction writing, and vivid imagery in poetry. Each workshop will focus on craft elements that make up good writing and will feature take home prompts and exercises for students. Teachers will come away with new ways to bring important aspects of creative writing to their classroom - including new readings and ready-to-go assignments for students. 

We should also note: this will be a fun, engaging time. See you soon!


Mining Memory for Specific Details

This workshop on the personal essay and memoir, taught by creative nonfiction instructor Scott Gould, will focus on using our own memories to create works of art. But how is that done? The writer can’t use any old memory, but has to learn to pick the right ones with the best details. Let's discover the right ones together!

Creating Three-Dimensional Characters in Short Stories

In this workshop with fiction instructor Alan Rossi, we’ll take a look at several ways to create what is known as round, or fully developed characters. There are many techniques to do this, but we’ll focus on meaningful action, description with vivid and memorable details, and character motivation. We’ll look at several examples, and then create our own work based on a prompt that would be helpful for professional or young writers alike.

Using Sensory Details to Create Vivid Descriptions in Poetry

In this course with poetry instructor Emily Cinquemani, we'll take a look at how and why poets use imagery that appeals to the five senses to create vivid scenes that engage their reader's imagination. Then, we will complete an interactive writing exercise aimed to help students generate imagery and language that is unique, engaging, and precise.

Straight From the Students

What better way to learn about student motivations than to hear from the students themselves? During this session, we'll join SCGSAH Creative Writing students for class and learn how young writers at the Governor's School develop Creative Writing skills through a diverse curriculum, peer critique, and guided work sessions. 


This retreat is FREE to South Carolina teachers. The content of this workshop is designed specifically for Creative Writing teachers, English teachers, or other teachers with Creative Writing in their curriculum. All workshop materials, meals, and hotel accommodations are included with registration. Professional development credit certificates are also provided.

*As an extra incentive for teachers, SCGSAH will also cover the cost of a substitute on Friday, November 3rd so participants can use professional or personal days another time!


November 2-3, 2023 

View the Schedule

This is a tentative schedule.

Thursday Evening
     -Arrive/Check-In at hotel (dinner voucher provided)
     -Optional: SCGSAH Musical Theatre Performance: Boundless (tickets are free but required in advance)

     - Workshops with SCGSAH Faculty (breakfast and lunch provided)


Workshops will take place on the Governor's School campus.


Registration for this event is now full. To join the waitlist click here.

About Alan Rossi

Alan Rossi’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Granta, the Missouri Review, Conjunctions, New England Review, Agni, and Ninth Letter, among others. His novella, Did You Really Just Say That To Me?, was awarded the third annual New England Review Award for Emerging Writers, and he was the New England Review/Bread Loaf Scholar for 2017. He is also the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and an O. Henry Prize. His first novel, Mountain Road, Late at Night, was published by Picador in 2020. His second novel, Our Last Year, will be published in the fall of 2022. He lives in South Carolina with his wife, two children, and various cats. He has been teaching at the Governor's School since 2014.

About Scott Gould

Scott Gould’s books include the novels Whereabouts (Koehler Books) and The Hammerhead Chronicles (UNG Press); a story collection, Strangers to Temptation (Hub City Press); and a memoir, Things That Crash, Things That Fly (Vine Leaves Press). A second collection of stories, Idiot Men, will be published in Fall 2023, by Vine Leaves Press. His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Black Warrior Review, New Madrid Journal, New Ohio Review, Crazyhorse, BULL, Garden & Gun, Pangyrus, New Stories from the South, and others. Gould is a past recipient of the Larry Brown Short Story Award and an IPPY Gold Medal in fiction, and he is a two-time winner of the S.C. Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Prose.

Gould teaches creative nonfiction in the Creative Writing Department and has served the Governor's School since 2004.

About Emily Cinquemani

Emily Cinquemani’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Southern Indiana Review, 32 Poems, Nashville Review, Cherry Tree, and Meridian. She joined the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in 2021 after teaching in the English Department at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing with a poetry concentration.  While at UNC Greensboro, she also worked as a poetry editor for The Greensboro Review. She currently serves as a poetry editor for The Adroit Journal and is an alumna of Elon  University.

About the Governor's School's Outreach Programs

As a part of the Governor’s School’s mission to serve as a resource to teachers across the state, the Office of Outreach provides professional learning opportunities to enrich arts education in South Carolina. Learn more.