The foundation for a new creative writing club is built

Among the new clubs and organizations starting this year, a new creative writing club is emerging among them. The goal: to give everyone the space to work and share any of their creative writings, whatever their specialization.

Although this club is not yet an official on-campus organization, an email was sent on August 31 to all students in the English department to gauge their interest.

“There was a lot of interest with 45 responses to this form. I think it’s something people want to see on campus,” said Meghan Newman, a writing major, who runs the club.

The idea for the club grew out of a fictional workshop Newman was in during the spring 2022 semester.

“A lot of students in this class wanted to see a creative writing club here at Drake University. It was something we all talked about,” Newman said. “And this semester, the professor in this class, Amy Letter, mentioned it again.”

Newman asked Professor Letter if anyone had ever organized something and when Letter said no, Newman took the initiative to start it.

A preliminary meeting was held on September 2 for those who had expressed interest in the club. At the meeting, everyone drew up a club charter, did an overview and shared ideas of what they wanted the club to be, and ultimately voted to make Professor Amy Letter the faculty advisor. Letter has been teaching creative writing at Drake since 2011.

“The students and I were talking about the structure of the writing major and what they would like to see happen in our department in the coming years,” Letter said.

Letter and Newman both wanted to see more camaraderie among students outside of the classroom, especially with students who wanted to write for fun and weren’t doing it for a major.

“I hope it creates a community within the writing community that exists at Drake,” Newman said. “There’s a lot of writing community that I feel in the SJMC between things like TD, Drake Mag, DPR and DUiN. There are a lot of good publications here at Drake that people can write for, but there’s no There really isn’t much for creatives.

This club is meant to be a safe space for all students, regardless of major or writing skill. It’s a place where they can come together and work on whatever they want.

“I don’t know what I expected, but I was very excited about the work that Meghan had done, and I knew at least some students would be too,” Letter said. “I was so happy to see the strong response.”

Creative writing can be fun, but sometimes it’s a struggle, with Professor Letter hoping this club can be a meeting place for all writers.

Publishing works is also not out of the question and they hope to come up with a plan for that.

“We’ll have to see what happens to the club and where we go, but I’m hoping to do maybe monthly or half-yearly updates, like ‘this is what our writers did this month,'” Newman said.

During the preliminary meeting, members were notified of a publication opportunity through Outrageous Fortune, an online literary magazine created by a group of undergraduate students at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia. Anyone interested has until March 17 to submit writing they’ve been working on for inclusion in its spring issue.

The next club meeting will be at 7 p.m. on September 13 at Howard 309, and everyone is welcome to attend. At this meeting they will vote for an executive committee and anyone interested can also feel free to share any creative work or ideas they have been working on.

Beyond that, they hope to hold large group meetings on Tuesdays once or twice a month with smaller events or workshops scattered around. There will be no attendance required and rather it will be a matter of coming and going as you please.

“The writing combines imagination and critical thinking with emotional engagement and just plain fun,” Letter said. “It’s one of the most human things we do, and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have something important to say.”

If students want more information or have any questions, contact Meghan Newman at [email protected] or Letter from Amy or [email protected].