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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 5  |  January 15, 2021

LBHS Creative Writing class publishes literary journal, The New Wave


In spite of the challenges faced by students and teachers during the last few months, English teacher Dawn Hunnicutt’s Creative Writing class at Laguna Beach High School just published its literary journal, The New Wave. (To read, click here.)

As readers may remember from a February article in Stu News, the creative writing class was developed by Hunnicutt and based on college courses. It was offered to juniors and seniors for the first time this past year. The creative writing curriculum is meant to foster writing in a creative and meaningful way, through exploration and experimentation and the use of mentor texts.

Hunnicutt says, “Amidst a school closure and many obstacles, we were able to curate pieces for our journal, The New Wave, the first literary journal for LBHS in recent years. Everything was from an earlier semester, so the COVID crisis and recent events surrounding BLM are not spoken of, but we are proud of the work we did, and so we were able to honor our writers in a unique way.”

LBHS creative group

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Dawn Hunnicutt

Class in February before shutdown

LBHS’s The New Wave Literary Journal is a wonderful collection of work that all parents – actually, all adults – should read. The poems provide rare insights into the thoughts, fears, and dreams of teens living in these topsy-turvy times. 

The pieces range across a wide range of topics, from ocean pollution to cancer to the challenges of young love, as well as more light-hearted topics, from the joys of sleeping in, to the pleasures of playing baseball, to the wonder of music.

Above all, the works in this collection are sincere, beautifully written, and candid. The journal offers a deep dive into the writers’ innermost thoughts.

A number of the young writers are clearly philosophers, several with a whimsical bent. 

LBHS creative journal

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

Debut of “The New Wave”

Take these first four lines from Harry Stewart’s poem:

When people tell me they know something

Like the back of their hands

I wonder

Just how well I know my hand

The warmth and humor in Sophia Seidensticker’s philosophical “Pinky Poem” is a delight – here are first four lines:

I jammed my pinky in basketball

And since then it has been quite sore

I began to wonder, after all

What are pinkies for?

Sophia goes on to contemplate the possible uses of the pinky – including, importantly, hooking pinkies with her lover while walking on the beach – and concludes with these lines:

While I may not need it for jump ball

And it feels to me more like décor

Touch is important, I do recall

So that’s what I guess pinkies are for.

Among the most enjoyable entries are the odes to items as disparate as the outdoors, one’s bed, “my pencil,” the color brown, and even edamame beans.

This is an exceptional literary journal that is also beautifully illustrated and presented. It’s a testament to the excellent creative writing program developed by teacher Dawn Hunnicutt and will forever remind the writers of their high school ups and downs.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

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