Arts & EventsHighlights

Break out the red pen, writers guilds are here

Good news for all you poets and fiction writers out there: Studentrun writers guilds are alive and well on the Puget Sound campus! Active since 2006 (and perhaps even longer), the club, led by president Ian Greenfield, is split into four distinct guilds: two for poetry and two for fiction. With a total membership of 15-20 students, participants meet in small groups each week to engage in free writing and to help each other edit their works.

Greenfield’s group, which meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Wheelock 202, focuses specifically on the genre of fantasy fiction. “Occasionally I lead writing sessions which entail just sitting and writing for two hours straight, since it’s hard for students to find that sort of writing time otherwise,” Greenfield said.

Another short fiction workshop run by Ryan Elliott meets later during the week. Nick Schwarzenberger and Kyle Nunes run the poetry groups,  with Nunes’s guild meeting on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in the Trimble Forum.

Alex Greene, a senior who has dropped in on Nunes’s guild several time, said he enjoyed the structure of the group and found the other members’ critiques and comments on his poetry to be helpful. “I’ve been writing poetry for a long time, but you can always benefit from having a new set of eyes take a look at your work,” he said.

Alternatively, Nick Schwarzenberger’s guild meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Wheelock 202. Half of Schwarzenberger’s meetings are dedicated to “generative writing exercises” and the other half to editing. “Lately [we’ve] been focusing the writing exercises on expanding people’s stylistic vocabulary and encouraging people to write in ways that are unfamiliar to them,” Schwarzenberger said.

It’s true that free time can be scarce for the always-busy Puget Sound student, and these guilds provide a forum where students can focus on their craft in a social and supportive setting.

“Writing is a challenging hobby to nurture during college, and we’re here to help,” Greenfield said.

If you feel the urge to edit that giant stack of angst-ridden poems or short stories written during your freshman year, I recommend stopping by one of Puget Sound’s writer’s guilds and having other students take a crack at it. Anyone who’s been a part of a workshop or guild themselves can vouch that you’ll always be pleasantly surprised.