In the basement of Lalumière, every Wednesday evening, a small group of students meets. It’s an unlikely group: English, nursing, and engineering students, students who probably would never have crossed paths if they hadn’t shared a singular passion: writing.
“It’s definitely one of my favorite things about the club… because engineering is so lacking on the writing side, or anything that comes close to it,” said Sophomore Joseph Sizemore. Noticing that he had missed the creative curriculum of high school English classes, Sizemore was thrilled to find a place in Writing Society. Everyone is invited to come and share their original work – from poetry and novels to screenplays and raps – met by an audience of listening and encouraging writers.
Although there is some structure, Writing Society meetings are rather flexible and relaxed, guided by the students and their work. Each week, an email is sent with a writing submitted by a club member. Everyone reads it, then comes to this week’s meeting prepared to discuss and give their opinion. Once the thoughts are shared, a few writing prompts are chosen and everyone writes.
Colleen Lynch, a sophomore student at the College of Communication and treasurer of the Writing Society, said of the weekly meetings. “But it always becomes (strangely) calm when we start to write.”
Afterwards, students are encouraged to share their responses to the prompts if they feel comfortable. The meetings are full of discussion, laughter, paperwork and food.
The size of the club varies from week to week. In a rather laid back and relaxed environment, people tend to come to meetings when they can. Typically around 10-16 people can be expected in a meeting. The small group size and the sharing nature of the writing form an intimate and tight-knit environment where people can bond and make friends.
“People come together very quickly,” said Erin Hamilton, a sophomore student at the College of Health Sciences and vice president of the Writing Society. “Since the writing is very personal and you share it with each other, everyone gets to know each other very quickly. “
This year, returning members said they were encouraged by the interest from the freshmen they had seen and hoped to continue to see the club’s growth.
Members of the Writing Society come from all colleges.
Although this is 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. By reading and listening to each other’s writings each week, members of the Writing Society learn to recognize personal styles and trends in each other’s plays.
“One thing a teacher told me a long time ago about creative writing is, for example, that you know the saying that all the best lies have a kernel of truth? Lauren Perry, a sophomore at 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, at some point.”
There is a strong personal element to writing, and having the courage to share your work with a group of people can only strengthen the bonds of the organization, Hamilton said.