Literary Arts Program


With the goal of improving literacy, youth are taught to express themselves in positive ways through poetry, short stories, plays, song lyrics, essays, spoken word and news articles. We have an extensive library of screenplays and books that are shared with interested students and used as teaching tools.

Students are also invited to attend poetry readings and to share public presentations of their work, in addition to promoting their literary work on the Create Now website.

Our Screenwriting workshop can be a stand-alone program where youth learn all the techniques to write a short screenplay. This workshop can be combined with our Theatre workshop or Video Production so that students can see their screenplay come to life.

The Creative Writing workshop allows students to contribute stories, poems or any other form of written content that is then published in an anthology as a hard-cover book that each youth receives as a lasting souvenir. Having their writing published has a tremendous impact on youth and it builds their confidence, as well as peer respect. Students’ writing is also published on the Create Now website, and shared through our social media sites.

Featured Workshop: Exploring Life Through Writing

Create Now has partnered with Children’s Institute, Inc. for many years, providing them with wonderful programs in writing, theatre and art, plus tickets to cultural events like Cirque du Soleil, Ford Amphitheatre and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. As a result, they hired our organization to provide their youth with a summer writing course in 2011. We collaborated to customize our literary arts program to meet the needs of the children they serve. It was decided to offer them the chance to create their own magazine, which highlights their personal stories.

Justine Cogan is a professional screenwriter and journalist who also teaches writing to high school and middle school students at an after-school enrichment program. She was selected to mentor the youth at CII and the kids in her workshop have really enjoyed her classes. She puts them together on different teams to get them to open up and brainstorm ideas, which helps break the ice for timid youth. As a result, some of the kids are already coming out of their shells.

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Featured Workshop: Creative Writing at Aviva

Inga Hansen is an Executive Editor/Associate Publisher of MedEsthetics magazine. She was the Managing editor of DAYSPA magazine and is also a freelance writer. Some of her clients include CelebLife, Massage magazine and Men’s Fitness. In 2010-2012, Inga mentored a group of teenage foster girls in a Creative Writing workshop at Aviva Family and Children’s Services in Hollywood. This is her story.

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Read about some of our previous Featured Workshops, Activities, and Events

Creative Writing at Phoenix House – 2010
The Girls of Camp Scott and Me – 2010
Baby Talk – 2010
The First OUTing – 2010
Write in Our Own Backyard – 2009
Creative Writing at Optimist Youth Home – 2007-2010