If you love writing but are sick of essays, then the Department of English and Film Studies’ new Bi-Weekly Creative Writing Group may be the place for you.
The EFS Bi-Weekly Creative Writing Group offers undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty the chance to write and receive feedback on their creative writing projects. The group will hold sessions each Thursday from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in Humanities Centre 2-38 throughout the 2018/2019 school year, except during exam weeks. The sessions will alternate between workshopping sessions, in which participants will share their work and receive feedback, and writing sessions, in which the room will be open as a quiet writing space. Conrad Scott, the group’s coordinator, says it will provide writing opportunities to students who may not otherwise be able to keep up their creative work.
“Those that aren’t finding time outside of their schoolwork [to write creatively now] have a space and a time to sit down and do those things, and also a community to work with and to bounce ideas off of,” Scott says.
Scott, a poet and fiction writer, is currently a PhD candidate and instructor at the U of A. Waterline Immersion, his first book of poetry, is set to launch next fall with Frontenac House’s Quartet 2019. Currently, he is working on a speculative dystopian fiction series. According to Scott, starting the Creative Writing Group was EFS professor Robert Brazeau’s idea. Scott hopes participants will bring the work they produce in the writing sessions to the workshopping sessions.
“[It’s a way for people] to get some feedback and to think through that first bit of writing they’ve done and how they might move on from there,” Scott says.
Scott hopes this group will motivate writers to try to publish their work, no matter their present level of experience. In fact, he thinks this diversity of experience will promote mutual collaboration and exchange of ideas between participants. Students and professors alike will be equally able to share their ideas.
“[People] get to offer their perspectives on the world in a unique way that others might not think of,” Scott says.
Scott intends to adapt the sessions to the needs and desires of the people who attend. He communicates with the group by email, keeping them up to date on plans and things to come. Already there appears to be a wide variety of writing from participants, ranging from poetry and novels to creative non-fiction. What unites these participants is their passion to write and to communicate their creativity with people who appreciate it as much as them.
“If someone’s looking to break out of their typical ‘take seven classes and do homework and work on co-op projects and et cetera’ sort of routine, and think about the world in a different way, [they should come to the group],” Scott says. “I think people who are thinking about those things are drawn to do such creative projects like creative writing.”