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Brand new Writer’s Guild aims to fill gap in club diversity

Creative writing club appeals to experienced and novice writers

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For Dan McKeon and his friends, there was something missing in the roster sheet of UB’s clubs.

Among the plethora of on-campus organizations, McKeon did not see one that catered to those who want to write fiction. So he and his friends decided to create a club of their own.

McKeon, a junior English major, said that the Writer’s Guild is a new club where English and non-English majors can creatively write outside the scope of an actual class.

“We wanted to provide [workshops] outside of the classroom,” he said. “[It is] for those who maybe didn’t want to take classes but still creatively write.”

Besides workshops, aspiring and experienced writers can bring in their work to be critiqued by their peers.

Isabelle Cañeda, a double computer science and business administration major, said that the Guild has, given her “an outlet to be creative and improve without being an English major.”

Normally, those who would want to expand their creative prose would have to take classes for the Creative Writing Certificate headed by Professor Dimitri Anastasopoulos.

“Our creative writing faculty teaches how to write poetry and fiction in classrooms as a mechanism, or platform, to encourage writing in our student's lives,” said Christina Milletti, an English professor, in an email.

Milletti said she has helped McKeon establish the Writer’s Guild and is excited to see non-English majors interested in the club.

“I'm thrilled that our students have taken the initiative to set up a weekly workshop among themselves,” Milletti said. “Lots of young students and new writers showed up [to the meeting.”

Cañeda said the Writer’s Guild will give her an opportunity to express her creativity.

“I’ve always written lyrics and short stories, but because of my [major] I don’t get as many people to critique my work,” Cañeda said. “[The Writer’s Guild] would give me an outlet to be creative and improve.”

The Guild is open to all majors and writers of varying experience to help them craft their more fictional work. McKeon said that the club has experienced “a good turnout” so far.

“Half of the people who showed up to the meeting had taken creative writing classes before and the other half were totally new to it – they wanted to try something new,” McKeon said.

But he said the Guild had a rough start.

“Technically we tried to start it last spring, but it spilled over into the next semester. There was a literature club here before, but they disbanded this semester so we’re actually filling in a niche,” he said.

Members of the Writer’s Guild are looking forward to working with each other and exploring their talents.

“We have a good chemistry going on,” Cañeda said. “And if we [have] more writers come in seeking an honest critique, we as a group will be able to better develop our skills.”

Editor’s note: Dan McKeon was an editor for the Spectrum in the spring of 2015

Delmarie Lewis is a contributing writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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