UNH is being introduced to its first creative writing club. The club meets every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and is hosted and founded by English students Melissa Hurlburt, Stephanie Mazejka and Sarahanne Kent.
“We’re so close to being a recognized organization.We have our constitution and we’ve created a draft of our Wildcat Link page; we just have to meet with Nate Hastings one more time to finish the recognition process,” Hurlburt said.
Before gaining recognition from the university, students are required to meet twice with Nate Hastings, the coordinator of student organizations and leadership at OSIL, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, located in the MUB. The first meeting is meant to draw up a draft of the club “constitution” and the second is for confirmation.
“The Writing Club is indeed one meeting away from becoming recognized…I think it’s really exciting that this group is coming together to get students interested in the craft of writing,” Hastings said.
The first meeting was thematic of the election season as votes were cast for club names. After much brainstorming, “Wildcat Wordsmiths” was the label eventually decided upon.
The club is essentially a place to practice writing freely, among fellow passionate writers. The atmosphere is meant to encourage imagination and creativity through writing.
“Our primary goal is to create a community of writers on campus. As a writer, it’s really important to have people who can give you feedback, and who you can bounce ideas off of – it’s our goal to provide a community within which we can do this,” Hurlburt said.
“Our other main goal is to provide a structured creative space for students who might not otherwise have time to write during the week. We’ll be providing writing prompts to facilitate this. Of course, members don’t need to use our writing prompts – they can take this time to work on whatever they’d like. We just want to provide a time and a space for people to be able to write,” Hurlburt said.
Before each meeting, one of the hosts prints off some pictures to use as prompts, which are then randomly distributed to those in attendance. “We spend twenty minutes writing based on the pictures, and then for the last twenty minutes we shared our work and gave each other feedback,” Hurlburt said.
Last week the writing club started using a shared notebook, in which each club member contributes his or her own voice to an ongoing story. “We’re all going to take turns writing…So one member had it last week and started the story, and the person who gets it this week continues the story in whichever direction they want, etc.,” Hurlburt said.
The club also has tentative plans to visit the Currier Museum in Manchester to see a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio. However, the trip “is still very much in the planning stages. It all depends on the timing of the school’s recognition and if it works for everyone’s conflicting schedules,” Hurlburt said.
Hurlburt and the other co-founders are pleased to see a steady turnout for their writing community. “We’ve had pretty consistent attendance and interest in the club, which is encouraging. We’ve also recruited a few new people,” Hurlburt said.
“I loved it. It is great to sit in a room with fellow writers, exploring our creativity through cool prompts and discussion. It’s a really great environment for everyone from novice writers to aspiring authors. I hope that we can create an environment where everyone can feel open to sharing their creative passion,” Kent said.