In the basement of Lalumiere, every Wednesday night, a small group of students gathers. It’s an unlikely bunch: English, nursing, and engineering majors, students that would likely never have crossed paths had they not shared a singular passion: writing.
“That’s definitely one of my favorite things about the club…because engineering is so lacking on the writing side, or anything close to that” Sophomore Joseph Sizemore said. Having noticed that he missed the creative curriculum of high school English classes, Sizemore was thrilled to find a place in Writing Society. Everyone is welcome to come and share their original work- from poetry to novels to screenplays to raps- met by a listening, encouraging audience of fellow writers.
While there is some structure, Writing Society meetings are rather flexible and laid back, guided by the students and their work. Each week, an email is sent out with a piece of writing submitted by a club member. Everyone reads it, then comes to that week’s meeting prepared to discuss and give feedback. After thoughts are shared, a few writing prompts are chosen, and everyone just writes.
Colleen Lynch, a sophomore in the College of Communication and treasurer of Writing Society said about the weekly meetings.“But then it always gets (eerily) quiet when we start writing.”
Afterward, students are encouraged to share their responses to the prompts if they feel comfortable. Meetings are full of talking, laughter, writing and food.
The size of the club varies depending on the week. With a rather laid-back, relaxed environment, people tend to come to meetings when they can. In general, around 10-16 people can be expected at a meeting. The smaller group size and nature of sharing writing forms an intimate, tight-knit environment where people can bond and friendships are made.
“People get close very quickly,” Erin Hamilton, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences and vice president of Writing Society, said. “Since writing is very personal, and you’re sharing it with each other, everyone kind of gets to know each other very fast.”
This year, the returning members said that they are encouraged by the amount of freshmen interest they have seen and hope to continue to see growth in the club.
Members of Writing Society come from across all colleges.
Despite being a diverse group with a wide variety of interests, everyone is brought together by a common passion for creativity and writing. Everyone’s different experiences bring different perspectives to their writing, helping them each develop individual styles. Through reading and listening to each other’s writing every week, Writing Society members learn to recognize the personal styles and tendencies in each other’s pieces.
“One thing a teacher told me a long time ago about creative writing is, like, you know the saying that all the best lies have a core of truth?” Lauren Perry, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, said. “It’s kind of like that with writing, like all the best stories or poems have an aspect of you, or a personal experience, in it at some point.”
Writing has a strong personal element to it, and having the courage to share your work with a group of people can only make the organization bond more, Hamilton said.