For the first time since 2016, an official Creative Writing Club has been reinstated at Ohio Wesleyan with the help and work of Ivan Vore, 24’ a transfer student majoring in Microbiology and minoring in English, as well as the club's faculty advisor Professor Amy Butcher.
When Vore began the recruitment process in January he was skeptical about the response and interest he would receive from other students but contrary to his expectations, interest has been high. After three days of tabling in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center twenty-two students had signed up for the mailing list, far exceeding what is required to officiate a campus club, and all leadership roles had been filled.
Since then, Vore’s passion and dedication to the Creative Writing Club has grown exponentially. “My ambition with this club is to connect and build confident writers by inspiring them to share work which may have never seen the light of day, and refine it with the help and trust of their coequals,” says Vore.
The club will largely function as a writing workshop space where students can share their work and receive feedback from peers. “It will also serve to connect writers of similar interests to engage in collaboration, whether it is in constructive criticism, or in creating work together,” says Vore.
“The ultimate purpose of the Creative Writing Club is to provide a sacred space for writers to share their work in a judgment-free environment,” he adds.
Many genres of creative writing are welcome to the club, especially fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Very few types of writing are not fit for the club but those include scientific, governmental, and journalistic.
Vore plans to utilize meetings to expand and receive feedback on his heroic fantasy epic inspired by the works of Tolkien, Rothfuss, and cultural influences from the Mediterranean to Southeast Asia.
Sophomore Zoology major Daniel Marks is also inspired by Tolkein and plans to use the club as a space to work on his Dungeons & Dragons world-building. Freshman Savannah Brantley, who is double majoring in Creative Writing and History, looks forward to getting feedback and revision on a few different collections of her poetry and spending time expanding her short story and novel writing. Having existing writing or a concrete idea about what you want to work on in the club is of course not necessary for attendance and participation. Jenna Nahhas, a sophomore Creative Writing major who serves as Club Treasurer, isn’t currently working on anything in particular but instead is anticipating the inspiration she might acquire from reading other students’ writing and some practice in cultivating a disciplined writing practice.
“You don't have to be a dedicated writer by any means to join the club! If you want to read others' writings and enjoy giving thoughtful feedback, that is priceless. I joined my first writing club back in middle school, and that experience, getting to be around people my age who were passionate about writing, is a huge contributing factor in my decision to major in creative writing.” says Nahhas.
She also added that she wants to meet other creative writers on campus, whether they are majors in the field or hobby writers.
Vore, as most writers can likely attest to, recognizes the vulnerability that often accompanies creative writing and the solitary nature of the practice. As the club president, Vore values this new space as somewhere for students to practice finding ease in sharing their work with others, and to provide perspectives, constructive criticism, and honest feedback.
The club will begin by meeting every Saturday and will add a second weekly meet date if club members and attendees so desire. If you’d like to learn more about the club or join the club mailing list you can contact Ivan at email@example.com, join the OWU Creative Writing Club Discord channel, or GroupMe.