The on-campus literary magazine, Inklings, hosted their annual write-in event that occurs every fall semester on Saturday November 3. The purpose of the event is to help prepare literary work for their magazine submission deadline in the spring of 2019. Students can submit pieces of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction up until March 13th. During the write-in, students are able to foster a community where they can write together, as well as talk and revise their writing for publication.
The event spanned from 10AM to 9PM, and although that may sound like a long period of time, that is what gave the event its name. It allows for writers on campus to have a time set aside for their writing life within the midst of their busy college lifestyle. Even if writers cannot stay the whole time, the main purpose of the event was to be able to give writers a space to focus and concentrate on their writing lives. The write-in took place in HHC 106. The room was decorated with string lights, and there were blankets and pillows dispersed so that writers could get cozy as they wrote. Snacks and tea were also provided. Attendees were encouraged to bring their work and mugs for a cozy day of writing uninterrupted.
However, everyone needs a little break every once and awhile, especially if you plan on writing for hours on end. That’s why the Inklings team decided to incorporate arts and crafts into the event, so attendees who were experiencing some writer’s block could take a much needed mental break. In the back of the classroom, there were several tables set up with supplies such as card stock, paint, markers, and magazines. Writers were encouraged to make art reflecting a character from their favorite novel or one of their own characters. One could even make a piece of art reflecting the entirety of a poem if they chose.
Later in the day, Ruby Baker, the Editor in Chief, led some writing prompts. There were two fiction prompts, one poetry prompt and one non-fiction essay prompt. The two fiction prompts were based on ‘the fae’ or fairies, and fairy tales in a different context. Writers were challenged to create a piece of fiction in ten minutes based those topics through random draw. For example, when fairy tales in a different context was selected, everyone would have to come up to the front to randomly draw a note card. Whatever was inside the note card was your topic. When I opened my own note card it read, “the little match girl is now a phantom luring people to their deaths”. I then had to write a story based on that little prompt. Then for the poetry prompt, everyone was encouraged to pick a number from one to 22. Based on the number that was picked, the selector would receive a prompt that was based on a phrase. For example, I received the phrase, “Words that you were never meant to hear.” I then had to write a poem based on that phrase. For the creative non-fiction prompt, we were simply asked to explore a family tradition that occurs around the holidays.
After an intermission involving pizza, writers had rotating critique sessions with each other that allowed them to get feedback for their work, whether it be poetry, fiction, or creative-nonfiction. This allowed for writers to work with each other on a more personal level. Everyone was encouraged to give feedback on craft elements that could be improved and on elements that worked very well. This was a great way to end the event on a positive and interactive note.
Overall, the event was very successful and not only fostered a community of writers, but created a space where writers of all kinds were welcome to participate and indulge themselves in the craft of writing creatively.