Acclivity: A Creative Writing Club


Image courtesy of Acclivity

An Acclivity poster, featuring Wesley from the movie “The Princess Bride.”

Emily Whitney, Staff Writer

Acclivity is a creative writing club at State High with a laid-back and accepting atmosphere. It’s one of the smaller and lesser-known clubs at State High, but it has a strong community. Acclivity meets every Thursday from 3:55-4:45 in the open classroom in D0, and is a place for freedom and creativity, especially when students feel their free time is crowded with other responsibilities.

“During the week, if you’re into creative writing, you don’t always have time to do that,” senior and Acclivity Vice President Elliot Rose said. “If you want to just come here and have a quiet and safe space to write what you want to write, even if it is only for about 50 minutes a week, that’s still super valuable.” 

Acclivity is also the home of State High’s literary magazine. They allow submissions of art and writing, and this year, hope to make physical copies of the magazine. Any student, even those not in Acclivity, can submit pieces, but the club offers a space to work on submissions.

“I think it provides a good place for people to work on their projects independently, but also have kind of a community of support around them if they want to get help on something,” senior and Acclivity Treasurer Stella Gregor shared. At Acclivity, members can request peer reviews which allow other club members to look over their writing and offer help.

However, some aren’t interested in submitting to the magazine or even writing, and just showing up to meetings is encouraged as well. 

“Some people just come to hang out,” freshman and Acclivity Secretary Massimo Ragonese said. “I’ve seen people just come, read, do homework, and it’s just an open space for people to be who they want to be, regardless of whether or not they’re going to write.”

Because Acclivity isn’t strictly organized, there’s a laidback and calm atmosphere that you can’t find anywhere else. 

“It is very unstructured,” Rose said, “and I think that’s a strength.”

Acclivity literally means “an upward slope,” which is symbolic of the club’s goal of encouraging small strides leading towards your writing goals and improving students’ writing skills. 

“I’ll admit, it’s a little bit of a confusing name for a writing club,” Rose said. “But I think as we get the word out and more and more people learn about the club, it’s serviceable to reach the people it needs to reach.”

Among Acclivity’s growing members are their club officers. Anne Bolton is a junior and the president of Acclivity. As president, Bolton does most of the organization for the club, such as providing writing prompts and overall leadership. She also enjoys baking as well as writing.

“I really like having a plan, having a prompt, having resources there for people if they want to use them, but with no obligations—they can come and go as they please,” Bolton said. 

Bolton shared that the Acclivity Advisor, freshman English Teacher Mr. McConkey, often remarks that Acclivity is “the group’s club.” Acclivity leadership likes to gain input from the general membership when deciding how to run the club. They take suggestions from the group and run surveys to find out what students want to see at Acclivity.

“We all kind of pitch in ideas, things we want to see, activities we want to do,” Bolton said. “One thing we’re trying to plan are little mini-lessons about things people are having difficulty with in their writing, so we can help them with those things.”

Elliot Rose is a senior and vice president of Acclivity. As vice president, Rose’s job is to offer help to anyone who needs it. He was especially important coming out of the pandemic when many clubs were short on members and helped get the club running again.

Massimo Ragonese is a freshman and the secretary of Acclivity. His job is to keep a record of everyone who comes.

“I just find [writing] to be a very interesting thing, I think it’s a cool way for people to express themselves and I think that it’s a good medium for people who like the concept of reading,” Ragonese said. 

Stella Gregor is a senior and the treasurer of Acclivity. She’s currently writing five fantasy novels.

“I’m in charge of the money, which means that once we start setting up this literary magazine we’re creating, I’ll be in charge of figuring out the costs and how to pay for them, the printing of it, and things like that,” Gregor said. 

Acclivity has a wide range of members and warmly welcomes anyone who attends meetings. 

“Acclivity really showcases that there [are] a lot of people who like to write, and it doesn’t have to be one type of person,” Rose said. “But I think the key to it all is that we all have a shared interest and because of that, there’s a mutual respect and kindness there, and it creates a really unique atmosphere that’s hard to match.”

Occasionally, the club does group activities, such as optional writing workshops/discussions and games. A favorite at Acclivity is the sentence game, where each person starts a story by writing a sentence, and passes it to the next person who adds a sentence, and so on. This can create fun stories that they may have never thought to write on their own—some of which will be included in the magazine.

“We’re all just appreciating each other’s creativity or the funny twist we thought of,” Gregor said. “We have some beloved club characters that we always put in. Someone always mentions the fiery fire, for instance, as a character that is usually riding around on a motorbike and is the element fire, which is always an excellent fun thing to have skating through our stories.” 

Anyone looking to join Acclivity can come to the next Thursday meeting. Those interested in submitting a piece to the magazine can do so on the Acclivity website. The group is aiming to finalize the literary magazine in late March/early April, and it will be available to read in public spaces like the library and classrooms, as well as online. Even for students who don’t write for fun already, Acclivity lets them give it a try.

“If you have any interest at all in writing, having a place to explore that, you might discover you love it,” Rose said.