What’s going on in the writing world on campus?

What’s going on in the writing world on campus?

Nicole Yeager, Special Features Editor

On a campus like ours — one full of niche communities and groups — it is likely that not everyone knows about the various clubs and organizations that cater to specific “worlds.” For underclassmen and upperclassmen alike, it can be hard to find these certain clubs and organizations — especially in times like now, when connecting is even harder than usual. One community in particular is the Writing World. This community goes beyond English professors and students majoring in English; it encompasses every individual who contributes, in some way, to the sense of literary citizenship here on campus. 

The Stadler Center

The Writing World mainly revolves around the Stadler Center. This institution is housed in Bucknell Hall, a quaint brick building located on Loomis Street across from the Grove. Ever since its establishment in 1988 – by alumnus Jack Stadler ’40, his wife Ralynn and Professor of English John Wheatcroft ’49 – the center has continued to grow and foster the literary community on campus. According to their website, “the Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts seeks to foster in a wide and varied audience an appreciation for the diversity and richness of contemporary poetry and other literary arts.” 

Their staff is made up of what is called a “steering committee;” at the moment, this includes Director Chet’la Sebree, Program Manager Andrew Ciotola, Creative Writing Program Director Chris Camuto, Acting Editor Joe Scapellato, Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets Director K.A. Hays and Professor of English Elena Machado. 

On campus, the Stadler Center hosts various events and programs. The oldest programs are the Writer-in-Residence and Poet-in-Residence programs, which run in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. They also invite various established and esteemed writers to visit the University, often holding readings and Q&A sessions in their honor. Additionally, the Stadler Center has launched a student open-mic program—hosted in partnership with the Creative Writing Club. 

“Stadler Center programs serve not only the Bucknell community, but also the national community of poets and writers that comprises the American literary scene. Like other university-based centers, we help to connect the campus to the wider world,” Ciotola said.

The Stadler Center is also home to West Branch literary magazine. The magazine publishes an issue each semester, featuring work from newly established writers from across the nation and beyond. The current masthead consists of Acting Editor Scapellato, Managing Editor and Book Review Editor Ciotola, Stadler Associate Editors Jennifer Loyd and Laura Villareal, Associate Fiction Editor Lindsey Drager, Associate Nonfiction Editor Hasanthika Sirisena and Editor-at-Large Shara Lessley.

Most notable, West Branch offers an engaging internship program for undergraduate students each semester; interns are considered a part of the magazine’s masthead and gain first-hand experience. This semester, the West Branch Interns are Andrei Bucaloiu ’22 and Nicole Yeager ’22. Applications for the Fall 2021 internship are now being accepted; all information can be found on the website and any questions can be directed to Ciotola. 

If you aren’t already familiar with the Stadler Center’s presence on campus, be sure to check out their website to view audio recordings of some past readings and learn more about their programs. On Thursday, March 11, the Stadler Center held their first event of the semester: a poetry reading from Diana Khoi Nguyen. Upcoming events include: a fiction reading and Q&A session with Angie Cruz on Mar. 23 at 7 p.m. and March 25 at noon as well as another student open-mic on Apr. 1 at 7 p.m. If you’re interested in signing up for any of these events, check out the Stadler Center website or reach out to Sebree.

The Writing Center

One great student resource and welcoming writing community on campus is the Writing Center. Typically located in Carnegie Library – but currently functioning entirely via Zoom – this resource provides support and guidance for all writers in the entire University community including students, professors, faculty and staff. Their mission is to “offer individualized support to help improve your writing” and they “encourage writing as a process of creating and communicating knowledge.” 

The Writing Center staff consists of Director Deirdre O’Connor, Coordinator Jo Reish, five faculty consultants–Peg Cronin, Loren Gustafson, Sabrina Kirby, Megan Mulligan, and O’Connor–and (currently) 29 peer writing consultants. Each consultant conducts one-hour sessions with writers, in which they facilitate discussion and conversation about the writer’s work in order to help clarify ideas and all content. 

“One of my favorite things about working at the Writing Center is the subject range we get to engage with. Students can bring in any type of paper or written assignment from science to math to english to history. During my time as a PWC, I’ve gotten to work with some really cool papers on unique concepts—allowing me a glimpse into some classes here on campus I don’t get to take,” peer writing consultant Bel Carden ’22 said.

Writers can schedule a consulting session by calling during weekdays or booking online through TutorTrac; the link to book online can be found on the Writing Center’s website. All sessions are being conducted remotely via Zoom (or other platforms if necessary) at the moment. Check out their website for any more information!

On Wednesday, Mar. 10, the Writing Center hosted a panel discussion via Zoom titled “Pandemic U: A conversation with peer writing consultants.” The idea for this endeavor stemmed from the Writing Center’s weekly Zoom meetings where peer writing consultants and faculty talk about their work as well as their personal lives, especially in pandemic times. This discussion was organized by O’Connor, as well as the 10 peer writing consultants involved. 

If you were unable to attend this first panel discussion, or otherwise missed it, there will be another one held on Tuesday, Mar. 16. The information and Zoom link will be available through the message center; please contact O’Connor with any questions. 

The Creative Writing Club & confetti head

One newly-established student-run organization on campus is the Creative Writing Club. This club grew out of a final project in Scapellato’s class: “The Writing World;” a group of students recognized the need for a “literary hub” on campus for all individuals who have a passion for writing, at least to some degree. Since its first few members and meetings, the club has seen promising growth since last year. The executive team is: President Yeager, Vice President Tabitha Chilton ’22, Treasurer Magui Torres ’22 and Events Manager Kalie Yuen ’22. 

“As vice president, what I love most about the club is that, while our executive team does a lot of behind the scenes planning, each and every member is able to contribute as much or as little as they want and get the most that they can out of the club for their own personal growth as a writer,” Chilton said.

The club now has over 15 members and meets once a week on Tuesday afternoons. They hold freewrites and workshops within their tight-knit group, and are hoping to have bigger events going forward. 

“With the warmer weather coming, we are hoping to have a literary festival later this semester. We will have food, book giveaways and an open-mic at the festival. We hope it’ll solidify our presence on campus and get more people involved,” Yuen said.

A more recent upcoming event that the club will be hosting is an open-mic in the next week; be sure to look out for more information about this event! If you are interested in learning more about the Creative Writing Club, reach out to Yeager.

Stemming from the Creative Writing Club is the student-run literary magazine for all undergraduate writing and artwork: confetti head. Since it was first created in 2018, to take the place of the formerly disbanded magazine Fire & Ice, this magazine has been resurrected and rebranded this semester.

The masthead of confetti head is now made up of Editor-in-Chief Yeager; Head Editors Chilton, Hailey Robinson ’22, Josh Holm ’22, Michael Smith ’22, Shelby May ’23 and Sabrina Barner ’23; and PR/Marketing Manager Olivia Scotti ’22. 

confetti head accepts poetry, fiction and non-fiction submissions as well as visual artwork submissions from all undergraduate students at the University. Submissions are now open; be sure to check out their website and submit your work!

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