Creative writing club kickoff

Rachel Whatley, Staff Writer

   Last week, ten to fifteen students gathered in the SGA office to discuss what many of them have a passion for: writing. That meeting marked the beginning of SNU’s new creative writing club. Susie Shellenberger, editor of teen magazine Sisterhood and published author, was there to talk about her work and offer bits of wisdom to the aspiring writers. Her advice included statements like, “Make a list of everything that is the color red [to get past writing block],” “Good writers are also good editors,” “Don’t ‘marry’ your work” and “More is not always better.”

   Hannah Bean, freshman graphic design major, will be leading the club. She has been writing since she was eight years old, and her influences include authors like Tolkien and Lewis as well as H.G. Wells and Isaac Asimov. Not surprisingly, she especially enjoys writing in the fantasy, paranormal and science fiction genres. “I got more serious about actually pursuing my stories about four years ago when I was a freshman in high school,” she said.

  Having been part of a creative writing club over the summers in her hometown, Bean benefitted from being around other writers. “I found that having a community of writers to bounce ideas off of and to critique my writing helped to strengthen my style. It also really motivated me to write more consistently and more often.” Her hope is that the SNU creative writing club will also “create a community of writers that will help each other.”

   Bean is not quite sure what the meetings will focus on, for the club has yet to discuss it. She said, “My original idea for the club was to have everyone bring their stories, poetry or even ideas for stories that they were working on each week, and then the group would give them feedback on the writing.” In a sense, the creative writing club would become a critique group, complete with the benefits (and sometimes hard, honest truth) of feedback.

   Because not everybody has a work in progress or may not know where they want to start, Bean said, “We might go more in the direction of doing writing prompts each week and then going over everyone’s work.” She is leaning toward having the members hone in on short stories or novellas, but due to the student-centric view of the club, poetry and other forms might be discussed as well.

   A time and day are still yet to be confirmed for the club. Students are welcome to contact Bean at hbean@mail.snu.edu even if they missed the initial meeting but still want to join.

It is open to all students, after all, so even if someone has the slightest interest in writing, they can still be a part of the creative writing club. Even if a student is fascinated with the concept of creative writing but has never put pen to paper other than for schoolwork, they, also, are welcome. There is no pressure to become the next Tolkien, Hemingway or Twain.

What do you think?