Campus spotlight: The Writer’s Circle

By Matthew Litchfield, Contributing Writer

The Writing and Reading Center is not just for people who want to improve their academic work.

On Thursdays from 3-4 p.m. students from across the disciplines get together to participate in the Writers’ Circle.

Advertised as a small, comfortable setting to share students’ creative endeavors, the program is designed to fill the gap between peer tutoring and traditional writing workshops.

It’s a kind of peer-driven workshop that aims to help students reach their own goals.

Brianna Arruda, a senior Biology major and philosophy minor in the BA/MAT program, is one of the co-coordinators of the program. For her, the Writers’ Circle “is a place for not just writers, but creators of all kinds.”

Anyone who’s taken English 101 should know that writing is everywhere; from poetry to video games, visual artists to musicians, anyone who’s interested in creating original content has a place at the table. In fact, students have already brought in all of these types of work.

But for a while there was no Writers’ Circle. Started some years ago by a former WRC tutor, the program was revived in the spring by Arruda and her partner in crime, Rachel Wicks. “Brianna Arruda and I learned about the opportunity to bring the Circle back,” Wicks said, “and [we] decided to take it.”

Wicks describes the last ten months as something of a revival. They had a full house at their first meeting of the year, which was a huge surprise for them.

“Last year’s first few meetings only consisted of a few people, but this year we had ten people right off the bat so it’s fantastic feeling like we’re really growing!”

They attribute a large part of their success this year to their presence at the Corsair Fair. While they didn’t have a table, they handed out an entire stack of flyers. “We’re used to more people coming in as the semester progresses, so it seems like we might end up with a pretty big group this year, which makes me very happy,” Arruda commented.

This year, Arruda and Wicks are trying to continue some of their favorite traditions from the spring.

Consequences, a game where the players choose two characters, a setting, and a consequence for the two characters’ interaction.

For Danielle Stevens, a returning writer from the spring, these kinds of games keep people engaged and create a sense of community. On Consequences, Stevens says that it “just gets randomer and funnier as you pass it from person to person.”

Stevens’s reaction is right in line with the atmosphere Arruda and Wicks hope to create, saying that “it’s always such a friendly and inspirational environment when we’re together!”

Right now, Stevens is gearing up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. She’s brought a lot of her own work into the Writers’ Circle, but Wicks points out that no one is required to bring their own work.

According to Wicks: “A lot of people think that they need to have something already written in order to attend. This is not the case. We do have people who already have hundreds upon hundreds of pages written but we also have people who are new to creative writing in general.”

Arruda and Wicks have a lot of new material in the works as well. On October 27, during their normal meeting, they plan to have a Halloween themed meeting with games, snacks, and a spooky themed writing exercise.

The Writers’ Circle’s second semester is certainly shaping up to be a busy one.

If you’re interested in working on your creative writing, drop by the Writing and Reading Center at Liberal Arts 219 any Thursday from 3-4 p.m.

Photo Courtesy: Kelsey Turner


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