Creative Writing Club Enters Its Fifth Year

Members of the 2011-2012 Rough Writers pose at the wedding of Sarah Rivera and Scott Laue this July.

The Rough Writers, Southwestern’s creative writing club for students, finished last year strong with two Poetry Slams, a campus-wide Creative Writing Contest, and other events. Now it faces a unique challenge: finding new members. Six of the seven members graduated, leaving club president Tiffany Collier and sponsor Dr. Glen Robinson, professor of communication, to rebuild the group.

“My main goal right now is to get new people to join the club,” said Collier, a junior English major. “Word of mouth is a good start.  I plan on making posters and brochures. Also, Dr. [Renard] Doneskey asked me to talk to the freshmen composition classes.”

Rough Writer meeting activities vary slightly each week, according to Collier. Generally they spend about half of the meeting reviewing a member’s manuscript. The other half is spent involved in a writing exercise or game. What they do depends on what people bring to the meeting. “Occasionally we’ve been known to just sit and talk about our stories too,” said Collier.

The other part of meetings involves club activities, such as designing club T-shirts, Poetry Slams, the annual Creative Writing Contest for cash prizes, and National Novel Writing Month.

This summer the Rough Writers published their first book, titled The Scribbler’s Pen. It’s a combination of short stories and poetry from club members and contest participants over the past few years. Both Collier and Robinson have hopes to do a book every year.

“This is a first for the Rough Writers,” says Robinson. “We’ve never done anything like this before and I’m excited to be able to share some of the great writing that our students have contributed over the past year or two.” The book will be available for distribution in September.

“I’m going to encourage people to post on our forum this year so we can have more stories for another book,” said Collier. “That’s where we got most of our material.” The Rough Writers website can be found at

Collier also hopes to continue a relatively new tradition of using games, such as Apples to Apples, to create stories. Members have also spent time in joint documents writing stories as a group.

“It’s very interesting to write these kind of stories because they can go in very odd directions,” said Collier. “The set up of one story was that we’re in a bad part of town at midnight on a bus. The bus driver keels over, so what do we do? My character was a teenage punk who decides that she’s going to drive the bus. It was very funny, none of the other characters even cared that a teenage punk was driving them in a bus!”

This will mark the fifth year that Rough Writers have been on campus, according to Robinson. “It’s always been fun, because students who come to meetings are not only interested in sharing their writing and growing as writers, but enjoy making friends with others who enjoy it too.”

The Rough Writers meet from 5 to 6 p.m. every Thursday in the Library Classroom throughout the school year.

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