The ECA writers learn to create work in a range of literary genres, including poetry, fiction, memoir, humor, and playwriting. Because serious writers are serious readers, students also learn how to read as writers do – gaining an understanding not only of what literary works mean but of how they were made. Literature studied in the department is primarily contemporary and representative of diverse cultures.

Classes are taught by professional writers recognized in their fields. They support students in their undertaking of the creative process, from first draft to final polished product.  Students also benefit from the feedback of fellow students in the context of ongoing writers’ workshops.






Visiting Writers to the Creative Writing Department include:

•       Sharon Olds: winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and a National Book Critics Circle Award; professor of poetry at New York University.
•       Phillip Lopate: Director of the MFA program in nonfiction at Columbia University; editor, The Art of the Personal Essay; author of eight acclaimed essay collections. 
•       Caryl Phillips: internationally recognized writer of fiction, nonfiction, and plays. Honors include the 1987 Martin Luther King Memorial Prize; presently Professor of English, Yale University.
•       JoAnn Beard: author of an essay collection and a novel; memoir included in Best Essays of the Century; teaches in the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence University.
•       Alice Mattison: winner of New York Times Editors’ Choice and Notable Book awards for her fiction; teaches fiction in the Bennington MFA Program.
•       Janet Burroway: her textbook, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft is the most widely used fiction writing text in America. 
•       Marilyn Nelson: three-time finalist for the National Book Award; Coretta Scott King award for A Wreath for Emmett Till; former CT Poet Laureate.
•       Spalding Gray: (1941-2004): writer and performer of groundbreaking monologues on stage and film; met privately with ECA writers (which he recorded as potential material for future monologues) to communicate his enthusiasm for their work, and to share his belief in the transformative power of art.

To apply for Admission to the Creative Writing Department, please visit the Application Process Page and click the button below to find the requirements for your Creative Writing Review.

Creative Writing Course Descriptions 2014-15

Highlights of the 2014-15 Curriculum

Writing Prizes 2014-15 Creative Writing Department

ECA Creative Writing Review

Upcoming Events:

Reading by ECA Creative Writers, Thursday, January 26


6:00 p.m. call time for students

7:00-9:00 p.m. Reading

Doors open 6:55 p.m.


Please note: Travel Writing and Fiction classes will read in 2nd floor Arts Hall

Poetry and Memoir/Humor classes will read in 3rd floor Theatre Studio

Reception: 9:00-9:30

As a winner of a national writing prize in the Youngarts competition, Maya Lew was invited to attend a conference in New York that included special writing workshops. Salman Rushdie was one of the speakers. Maya is the young woman in the white t-shirt standing to the left of Rushdie.


Congratulations to Julia Joy, Jada Middleton, and Emmy Roday--statewide winners of the Thornton Wilder Writing Contest, and to Isaiah Kane, whose personal essay "Meditation" has just been published in New Haven Magazine. (name of magazine italicized).

The department looks forward to working with visiting writer Natalie Beach, ECA Creative Writing graduate, class of 2009-2010. Natalie will be speaking with our writers about the art of blogging, negotiating book contracts, and writing for television and film.  The comedian David Moon also will be visiting the department on May 18th, when Jesse Ludington will be reading her beautiful profile about this artist. David Moon will be speaking to the writers about the art of stand-up comedy.

Isaiah Kane featured in New Haven Magazine! 
Please click on the following link and go to page 15: 

Isaiah Kane in New Haven Magazine

Jesse Ludington
January, 2016
Profile of Jason Hiruo

Jason Hiruo sits at the head of the seminar-style table, glancing around the room. 13 teenagers stare back at him, 13 writers, yet he remains unfazed. A smile tugs on the corners of his mouth, lifts his eyes. Jason has an uplifting presence; he seems to carry light and optimism wherever he goes. Here, on the fourth floor of Educational Center for the Arts, the school which Jason is the director of, you can witness this firsthand. The students around the table lean forward in their seats, crane their necks to hear what he has to say. They don’t want to miss a word. Jason talks with his hands; small gestures punctuate his sentences, and his eyebrows raise, comically, as he makes a point. This is a man who has played music with Weezer, toured in Europe, and advised the UN on education methods in foreign countries. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at him. He appears plain, minimalistic, wearing a white dress shirt and sporting a completely bald head. Even as he tells of his journeys abroad and life-changing experiences, his words flow eloquently, his voice accentuated with incredible modesty.


Congratulations to ECA writers
Julia Joy and Maya Lew.
Both have been recognized as national
finalists in the Youngarts competition.
We congratulate them
on their professionalism,
tireless revisions,
and creative vision.

ECA congratulates Maya Lew, whose memoir, "22-Mile Graveyard--Moore, Oklahoma," has just been published in Best Teen Writing, 2015.  Maya was recently honored at a celebration hosted by the Department of Education in Washington, D. C. for her prizewinning memoir.

Writing Prizes

ACES Educational Center for the Arts

 Creative Writing Department, 2014-2015


Scholastic Writing Awards, National Medalists

Khadija Hussein, Gold Medal, Memoir;
Samantha Lewis, Gold Medal, Fiction;
Maya Lew, Silver Medal, Memoir.

Scholastic Writing Awards, Special Regional Honors

Shana Blatt was awarded our region’s Senior Essay Award for the
most accomplished work of memoir;
Jasmine Calhoun was chosen by the Worldwide Plays Festival to have her work
performed by professional actors off-Broadway;
Khadija Hussein was awarded the region’s American Voices Nomination for a work of memoir deemed the most outstanding work in any genre.  

Scholastic Writing Awards, Regional Recognition:

The ECA writers have been awarded a total of 60 prizes in our region’s Scholastic Writing Awards. Again this year, students in ECA’s Creative Writing Department garnered more prizes than students in any other
public, private, or arts school in our region.

Students awarded regional recognition:
Nicole Andreson, Ana Blanchett, Shana Blatt, Carly Bryant, Madi Csejka, Molly D’Andrea, Amanda D’Aniello, Maddie Dixon, Davon Edwards, Dan Galasso, Raymond Hagan, Khadija Hussain, Troix Jackson, Julia Joy, Boaz Kaffman, Isaiah Kane, Maya Lew, Samantha Lewis, Jesse Ludington, Reina Matsuura, Jada Middleton, Evan Ortiz, Josh Petro, Emmy Roday, and Carolyn Simpson.

Sunken Garden Poetry Festival: Fresh Voices Competition

Khadija Hussein has been named one of three statewide winners.

Connecticut Statewide Student Writers Award

Jesse Ludington looks forward to having her poetry published in
Connecticut Student Writers magazine

“High School Confidential”

Dymin Ellis’s memoir was published in this New Haven Magazine column.