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: Writing for Neglected Girls

WritingForNeglectedGirls_01Create Now has been providing our therapeutic arts programs to Aviva Center for over 15 years. They’re a group home in Hollywood with 36 teenage girls who have suffered horrendous physical and sexual abuse, and/or abandonment.

Due to an unstable home life, exposure to violence, and days filled with apathy or chaos, many of these girls are placed in a series of foster or group homes, which fail to meet their needs. When they arrive at Aviva, most are depressed, angry and feel hopeless. Many have suicidal thoughts or have attempted suicide.
Thanks to our volunteer Elayna Rice, six of these youth have found relief and a positive way to express themselves through our Creative Writing Workshop. Elayna remarked, “Working with the young women at Aviva was an absolute honor. They are bright and creative. I am amazed by their strength and their determination. I can’t wait to do it again.”

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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

Creative Writing for Aviva – 2010-2012
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