Summer at Rivers
Academic, Athletic, and Arts Programs at The Rivers School

Experiential Writing

Experiential Writing (Online)


Experiential Writing (Online)

June 19-August 2, 2018, 7:00-8:30 pm (Tuesdays & Thursdays only)
Open to students entering grades 11-12 (grade 10 with instructor's permission)
Course Credit:  1 Trimester English


In this advanced writing-intensive course, students produce personal, creative, and journalistic pieces based on experience and observation. Weekly assignments ask students to engage in experiences in their communities—for example, cooking a meal with family members, visiting a hospital waiting room, or taking an extended ride on public transportation—and then to develop short essays inspired by those experiences. 

Supplementary reading assignments, including Dave Eggers’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, provide students with models of success for such pieces. In weekly workshops, students share and discuss their writing with their classmates. 

By the end of the course, students produce a portfolio of revised work based on peer and teacher feedback. Ultimately, the course helps students develop attention to detail in their observations, respond creatively to experiences in the world, and continue their growth as writers.


Mac Caplan, instructor

Mr. Caplan has taught Upper School English since 2005 and currently serves as department chair. He also advises upperclassmen, coaches JV girls' soccer, and coordinates the senior speech program. He previously served on the Leadership Committee and chaperoned the New Orleans Service Trip. He received the Mida van Zuylen Dunn Award for Teaching in 2011. Mac is a graduate of Yale University and the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Outside of school, he is a competitive squash player, avid golfer, and voracious reader.


Details & Eligibility

▸ Online Course
▸ June 19-August 2, 2018, 7:00-8:30 pm
▸ Students entering grades 11-12
▸ Credit: 1 Trimester English

2018 Tuition: $875
Financial aid is available (June 1 deadline)

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