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Writer’s club offers feedback and sanctuary for writers

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Last year was the start of the JSC Writer’s Club, a student-run club dedicated to honing the skill of writing.

The initial goal of the club’s founding members was to create a space outside of classes for students to workshop their writing.

The members also aim to have the club become a stable institution at the college.

“That’s really been the goal the whole time, just to provide that space for people,” said Joseph Kifner, the club’s current president and one of its founding members.

“I think it’s really important for the college to have that,” said Emma Testerman, the club’s vice president. “I just hope it sticks.”

Club activities include peer reviewing and critiquing student work, often fiction and poetry. Other activities include watching and sharing spoken word poetry as well as creating collaborative works through exercises such as collaborative poems and the occasional mad-lib.

“Another goal is to start hosting student readings. That’s a goal I’d like to see happen, to introduce and encourage a bigger emphasis on the vocal and performative aspects of writing,” said Kifner.

For JSC junior and club member Emily Mixon, Writer’s Club is about more than just writing — it’s about friendship and learning to gain confidence as a writer.

“I get a chance to see what my friends are capable of and see that everyone has their specialty. So, if I need certain feedback, I know who’s my best person to ask if I don’t want to just throw it out there to everyone at once,” Mixon said. “And it’s also cool because I see these people who I always think of as better writers than me, and I see that they have similar insecurities that I do about their own writing, and it makes me feel like a little less of a crappy writer.”

The inspiration for the club was based loosely on the film “Dead Poet’s Society,” which is what a few of the founding members were really hoping to use as the name; however, copyright complications arose.

Despite this, the club is, for the most part, built on the idea of comradery that its members have built through their shared appreciation for writing.

“I want to be a good writer someday and I was hoping that I could get better here. Also, I have friends here, so it’s extra good,” said Mixon.

The club functions as a work space for JSC students to learn more about writing and brush up on basic writing tools and terminology, as well as the etiquette of writing workshops.

“We also discuss tropes, criticism, what’s good criticism and what isn’t,” said Testerman. “And just discussing, I guess, the struggles of the writer, how to get prepared for that sort of thing, ideas for writing. And, using resources outside of college, to kind of help us on our own.”

Writer’s Club is recommended by its members to anyone who is interested in writing or who has an appreciation for writing in general.

All are welcome to attend.

The club meets every Monday at 6 p.m. in WLLC 210, also known as the Ellsworth Room.

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Writer’s club offers feedback and sanctuary for writers