Creative Writing Now Offered as NYA’s Seventh Diploma with Distinction

Yarmouth, Maine, December 21, 2022: North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) students with a passion for writing can now pursue a Diploma with Distinction in Creative Writing, the seventh distinction offered by the Academy. The new creative writing distinction is designed for students who demonstrate experience as creative writers (poetry and/or fiction). The program will allow them to pursue a course of study in which they consolidate and extend their writing practice. In addition to studying the art and process of creative writing, students will be expected to write frequently and assemble a substantial portfolio of original work. Students will also explore the important connection between writer and audience. They will publish at least a portion of their writing in print or online and present their work to the public in both formal and informal settings. Throughout this process, students will be encouraged to seek writing advice from a professional writer in their chosen area of focus and consult regularly with a creative writing advisor, a faculty member at NYA.

“The distinction will allow interested students to dig deep into their areas of interest, to connect with published writers, and to take steps towards getting their writing published. The entire English department is excited to offer this diploma, and we look forward to seeing the program develop in the future,” said NYA English Department Chair, Ross Markonish.

NYA Creative Writing and Poetry Teacher, Dr. Sagaree Sengupta, was one of the architects of the new distinction. “The idea of the creative writing distinction is to make the best of the courses the school has to offer,” said Sengupta. “We want a performative aspect because that is key for connecting with your audience even when you are published. The distinction deliberately allows for individual variations of genre and publication venues—the internet can be very much part of the young writer’s working world.”

Program Description:

Students apply for the program distinction, and applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. The course of study is tailored to fit diverse student interests, styles, and strengths, but all candidates must address the following components:

1. Demonstrated interest in and dedication to creative writing, both in and out of the classroom.

2. Demonstrated breadth of literary reading in the student’s area of focus. This requirement can be met through independent work or specific course work, pending approval by the faculty creative writing advisor.

3. Ability to produce an accomplished and ample body of written work, as determined by appropriate faculty and faculty creative writing advisor

4. Exceptional achievement* in creative writing courses at NYA, including a seminar and/or independent study in their area of interest.

5. Communication with a writing mentor outside of NYA to help create and edit a body of work, while regularly consulting with their faculty creative writing advisor on campus.

6. Submission of work for publication in print or digital form (e.g. online publications, literary magazine, personal blog, etc.).

7. Participation in a public reading or other event in which the writer shares their work with an audience.

Students are asked to submit applications by October 15 in their junior year.

Students who successfully earn NYA’s Diploma with Distinction in Creative Writing will receive this distinction along with their NYA diploma, and it will be recognized on official transcripts.

NYA also offers Diplomas with Distinctions in S.T.E.M., (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math), Global Citizenship, Music: Performance-Entrepreneurship-

Community, Visual Arts, Social Advocacy, Outdoor & Environmental Leadership, and now Creative Writing.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to postgraduate students with an enrollment of 375 students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character, and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or and visit our website at

*Exceptional achievement will be defined and evaluated by the appropriate faculty creative writing advisor.