By Vanessa Willis, Staff Writer—
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offers a variety of clubs which let like-minded students and professors rally around a particular subject. The newly reformed Creative Writing Club promises to do the same for aspiring and accomplished writers alike.
UTC had a Creative Writing Club in the past, so when the opportunity to reinstate the organization arose this semester, Dr. Alex Quinlan was happy to be involved. According to him, the club is currently trying to get the word out about the organization.
“So far for us it has been a community-building effort,” Quinlan said. “We have been trying to get the word out to as many people around campus that there is a community of students, faculty, and even staff who are passionate about creative writing.”
The goal of the club is to create a supportive, creative environment where students can feel comfortable sharing their work or finding inspiration. The club has already attracted students from a variety of majors and backgrounds. According to English professor Catherine Meeks, everyone is welcome to join.
Quinlan said that this club has the potential to reignite the spark of enthusiasm students once felt toward writing creatively by offering them a community that supports their work.
“I hear from many of my own students that they used to love writing when they were younger, but lost the spark and joy in it over the years.” said Quinlan, “We think the club will be a great way for many people to rediscover—or explore for the first time—the fun that can come from writing in a low-stakes, supportive environment.”
UTC junior Angelica Urquizo decided to join the Creative Writing Club because of this welcoming environment. She hopes that being involved with other writers will help her become more comfortable with sharing her writing.
“I hope to gain more confidence in sharing my poetry since I’ve been extremely private with it and a little nervous to have that vulnerability put out there but this group seems full of people who just embrace creativity and authenticity,” Urquizo said.
She said that this community of writers is an asset to UTC because it is open to everyone regardless of their experience. As an Environmental Science major, she knows that not everyone who enjoys writing has a major related to the topic. The creating club hosts a space for all writers from all backgrounds to collaborate.
“A lot of people are multi-faceted,” Urquizo said. “Writing is something that is personal and not so much related to a major, in my opinion,” said Uriquizo. “I think a lot of students would enjoy the opportunity to exercise that hobby or interest of theirs in a safe place of construction and understanding.”
Creative writing major Falisha Graham hopes that the club will offer a new community of people with whom she can share her work and receive feedback.
“I was drawn in with the idea of having fellow writers read and give feedback,” Graham said. “Many family and friends read some of my work. I need someone outside of the normal.”
Graham also said that the club is useful for students with varying levels of writing experience.
“It will be helpful even to those who are just learning or even simply exploring the ideas of creative writing,” she said.
To get involved with the Creative Writing Club, students can attend their meetings on the first and third Thursday of each month. For more information, contact Catherineemail@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.