On Sept. 24, the newly established Creative Writing Club and the Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts hosted an Open-Mic Night over Zoom where students share their own creative writing. Creative writing faculty members encouraged their students to sign up to present or watch the event.
Andy Ciotola, the program manager of the Stadler Center for Poetry and managing editor of West Branch magazine, and Chet’la Sebree, assistant professor of English and director of the Stadler Center, assisted the Creative Writing Club in hosting the event. Sebree opened up the event by thanking all who attended and introducing the executive board of the club, President Nicole Yeager ’22, Vice President Tabitha Chilton ’22, Secretary Madison Cooper ’21 and Treasurer Magui Torres Loredo ’22.
Speakers Chilton, Torres Loredo, Yeager, Tara Joshi ’24, Ciara Davis ’22, Sterling Deary ’22, Kathleen Fedzer ’22, Tierra Jones ’22 and Lindsey Zawistowski ’21 were each allotted five minutes to read their creative pieces. Creative writing faculty, students and other staff members were all attentive audience members.
The Creative Writing Club was inspired by Assistant Professor of English Joe Scapellato’s course, The Writing World. The course introduces students to the various career paths in literature, journalism and media and encourages student participation in writing communities on campus. Students are tasked with designing a project that enriches the campus literary community. The Spring 2020 class decided to create a writing club that would become a “hub” on campus for all literary communities. They hoped that the club would be an open and inviting community where students are encouraged to explore their passion for creative writing and push each other to grow as writers.
“For the longest time, I’ve been so jealous of other majors that have a tight-knit group of people in all their classes that form a community of people that are passionate about the same subject. This club is our solution to the absence of that which can be felt by students who love writing. The club offers a way for students who are passionate about writing to build a community and engage with others, whether that be workshopping each other’s drafts, discussing literary events or writing together. Finally, there’s a way for students who love writing to get together and talk about writing, learn about writing and, of course, write,” Chilton said.
“The Creative Writing Club opened up a space for me to share a part of myself that I wasn’t comfortable sharing before. The open-mic experience showed me that that are many students who want to give voice to social issues going on in this country through poetry and other forms of writing, and it reassured me that I want to be a part of this small movement that will lead toward a greater cause,” added Magui Torres ’22.
The goals of the Creative Writing Club are to host free-write sessions, writing workshops, Stadler Center reading discussions and open-mic nights. Being a new club on campus, events such as Open-Mic Night are helping to bring exposure to the club. Additionally, the club is currently in the process of merging with confetti head, the student-run literary magazine on campus.
“It was a great opportunity to get some exposure for the Creative Writing Club and, thanks to the Stadler Center and the amazing students that read aloud, it was a great experience that represented the club well. I also read aloud, which I was even more nervous about because my poetry is not exactly PG-13, but afterward, some of my classmates that had attended the first club meeting and some who hadn’t messaged me privately in zoom classes to tell me they liked my poems! This is exactly the kind of thing that we want to accomplish from the club — creating a community of writers that support each other! I was overjoyed,” Chilton said about the Open-Mic Night.
If you are interested in joining the Creative Writing Club or learning more, contact Nicole Yeager: [email protected]