Interested in writing, receiving feedback, and getting published? If so, the Creative Writers Guild provides a perfect outlet. The organization meets regularly on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. in Chryst 210. Typically, the meetings last an hour.
This is not a major restricted club. A standout, freshman Olivia Patrick, just started coming to the meetings this semester. Patrick returns every week and she is not English major. “I write all the time… [The Creative Writers Guild] provides me with a more concrete reason to write,” said Patrick.
Everyone is welcome to join, even if they are not the best writers. Enjoying writing is the only must. “What brings everyone together is writing,” says senior Rose Chiango, vice president of the club.
Hesitant people considering joining should not let nerves discourage them. The meetings are set up to make others feel comfortable. Encouragement to share, not pressure, drives the meetings.
The meetings alternate between reading and writing sessions. Reading sessions require members to bring multiple copies of their work to hand out or a single copy to read aloud. First, members break up into small groups for the first thirty minutes. This allows the more hesitant people to feel relaxed with sharing their work.
People share poems, songs, short stories, characterizations, comics, and essays. Then members assemble in a big group for the last thirty minutes of the meeting. Those who are more confident can share their work with the big group.
Every other meeting stresses the writing process more than sharing and listening. Writing sessions focus on members completing writing prompts and writing based games within the duration of the club meeting.
One of the purposes of the Creative Writing Guild is to improve members’ writing skills and confidence in their writing. Also, it is meant to be a forum to receive feedback and criticism on work.
Another purpose of the club is to create a relaxed social atmosphere. “If [members] want to come just to listen, they can,” says Chiango. People interested can come for the social aspect, if they want accepting people to talk to.
To supplement the meetings, the club also holds special events. A tentative upcoming event is a poetry reading in March at Javaville. An exact date and time is to be announced. Listeners and readers alike are welcome to show up at this informal event.
“Poetry Aloud” is another event the club is involved with. It will be taking place on April 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ware Center. The event is co-hosted with Franklin & Marshall and coordinates with First Friday festivities. There will be a room reserved on the third floor overlooking the city. It is a more formal gathering; writers have to sign up for time slots. Also, there will be a judged poetry slam contest.
Every writer dreams of being published. Take a step closer to that dream with the Creative Writers Guild. “We put a focus on publishing [people’s writing],” explained senior Tyler Barton, president of the club.
One of the ways the club publishes people’s writing is by collecting stories for the student run annual literary journal. “The George Street Carnival” is a collaboration of short stories, poems, and photos published and distributed by the organization. Although “The George Street Carnival” does not need any submissions for this upcoming edition, the club will be accepting submissions next October.
The spring 2013 issue of “The George Street Carnival” comes out April 8. There will be 400 copies available and handed out on campus.
Until then, join the Creative Writers Guild and discover people who share a love of writing. “If you ever felt anything, whether you enjoy reading or writing [literature], come because we may be able to help you understand it,” says Patrick.
The club is always looking for new members. “We need new blood,” encourages Barton. Consider joining the club if a laid back place to write, read, and share work is what you are looking for.