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Clubs Features

Foundation for New Creative Writing Club is Built

Of the new clubs and organizations getting started this year, a new creative writing club is emerging amongst them. The goal: to allow anyone the space to work and share any of their creative writing, regardless of their major. 

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

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

The idea for the club was sparked from a fiction workshop class Newman was in during the Spring 2022 semester. 

“A lot of students in that 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 of that class, Amy Letter, mentioned it again.”

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

A preliminary meeting was held on Sept. 2 for those who had expressed interest in the club. At the meeting everyone put together a club charter, made an outline and shared ideas of what they wanted the club to be and finally voted on making 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 as students would like to see happen in our department in the coming years,” Letter said.

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

“I hope it builds community within the writing community that exists at Drake,” Newman said. “There’s a lot of writing community I feel in the SJMC between things like the TD, Drake Mag, DPR and DUiN. There are a lot of good publications here at Drake people can write for, but there really isn’t much for people on the creative side.”

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

“I’m not sure what I expected, but I was very excited about the work 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 is a struggle at times, with Professor Letter hoping this club can be a place for all writers to come together. 

Publishing works also isn’t out of the question and they are hoping to come up with a plan for that. 

“We’ll have to see what comes of the club and where we go, but I’d be hoping to do maybe monthly or semester updates, like ‘this is what our writers did this month,’” Newman said. 

At the preliminary meeting, members were made aware of a potential publication opportunity through Outrageous Fortune, an online literary magazine created by a group of undergraduate students at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia. Anyone who’s interested has until March 17 to submit whatever writing they’ve been working on to be featured in their spring issue.

The next meeting of the club will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 in Howard 309, and anyone is welcome to attend. At this meeting they will vote on an executive committee and anyone who’s interested can also feel free to share any creative work or ideas they’ve 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 about. There will be no required attendance and is more of a come and go as you please. 

“Writing combines imagination and critical thinking with emotional engagement and just plain fun,” Letter said. “It’s among 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, reach out to Meghan Newman at meghan.newman@drake.edu or Amy Letter or amy.letter@drake.edu

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