Writing club encourages expression

Are you a poet but didn’t know it? Students seeking to better their writing skills, meet new friends and share their work are encouraged to join the College Poets and Writers club. The club meets from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. every Wednesday in AH 2E1.

Club sponsor Chris Verschage said anyone is welcome to show up.

“It basically provides a friendly format to where people can come in and talk about writing, the busi- ness of writing, what they’re involved in as far as their own fiction, poetry, screenwriting and what their goals are as far as what they want to do with writing.”

President Mariah Rivera said the club strives to provide a safe atmosphere where members will feel comfortable sharing their work.

“Some people don’t like to come to these things because they feel like they aren’t going to fit in or will have their work slammed,” she said. “We’re not going to judge you for things. We don’t hurt people or their works.

“We are friendly people and we have a lot of fun in here.”

Rivera said members of the club will have access to an online forum where they can further share their work or find recordings of the meeting if they are unable to attend.

Rivera said the club often has a prompt they will write about for 10 minutes. Then members can, but are not required to share what they wrote. Rivera said she also will let members know about any contests going on they can participate it.

“A lot of us hope for growth, to become better, and for positive and constructive feedback,”she said.“We want people to become better and more comfortable in their shoes as a writer.”

Vice president Karson Taylor said the club challenges her as a writer.

“I’m a freestyle poet and I’m trying really hard to write other things,” Taylor said. “It gets me out of my comfort zone which I appreciate because it helps me grow as a writer.”

Verschage, an English professor, said while writing does have guidelines, it is not always cut and dry.

“If you [give] a little child … a piece of paper and a crayon, when they get done coloring and you ask them what they were writing, they will sit there for a half an hour telling you everything that’s in there. To you it looks like a bunch of scribbles but to them they were expressing themselves.

“To me that’s what writing is; expressing who we are: our thoughts, the way we feel and the way we look at life. Writing should be a natural expression ….’”

Verschage said he hopes people will realize writing isn’t as intimidating as some may think.

“With writing, you actually get to be the creator,” he said. “You get to be the one who lays it out, you get to be the one that chooses how it looks, how it sounds and what it says.”

For more information, contact Verschage at cverschage@occc.edu or 405-682-1611, ext. 7140.

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