Putting pen to paper: Club facilitates creative writing
Will Ferguson/ Daily Wildcat
Cameron Stanley, creative writing and political science major, Kristina Santiago, creative writing major, and Chelsea Glochener, an anthropology major, practice fiction writing as part of the Tucson Fiction Project. The photo was taken at the Slonaker House on the UA campus on November 14, 2011.
What started as group of friends meeting to talk about writing projects last January is an official club this semester.
The Tucson Fiction Project is a club recognized by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona that aims to help students get feedback and advice on creative projects done outside of the classroom. The idea started when one of the founders, Michael Weingartner, a junior studying molecular and cellular biology, creative writing and evolutionary biology, noticed some of his friends had an interest in writing.
“When it began it was just a creative writing workshop,” Weingartner said. “That way, people didn’t necessarily have to bring in a finished product so we could make a collaborative writing environment, and that went really well.”
Since then, the club has worked on a number of short stories and creative projects including writing and directing three short plays this month and preparing to host a poetry slam in the spring.
“It’s helped me to think more about the serious purpose behind writing rather than just to write and tell a neat story,” said Chelsea Glockner, an anthropology junior and member of the club.
Glockner said she joined as a way to add writing to her schedule without having to add additional English classes.
“I had stuff that I was writing but I couldn’t take a creative writing class because of my workload,” Glockner said. “So it was a really great opportunity for other writers to read my work and have time we could set aside for collaborative efforts.”
The focus of the club this semester has changed from just writing to figuring out different mediums to present their work. Members realized they wanted to find a way to present most of the writing they finished in meetings to the UA community, Weingartner said.
“We used to have writers, now we have actors, filmmakers, musicians and graphic artists coming together,” Weingartner said.
The club meets every Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the Slonaker House on Second Street, where it usually workshops a story presented by a member of the group. So far, the club has seen an increase in participation, working with about 15 to 20 club members a week.
“It’s been nice,” said Logan Smith, a media arts junior and one of the founders of the club. “We’re still trying to figure out all of the kinks and working at different people’s paces and what they want to accomplish.”
One of the goals the club wants to accomplish in the future is becoming more accessible to the Tucson community and to expand its efforts in promoting writing and expression to nearby schools.
“We’re really looking to perhaps get a groove so that our productions and portfolios will be shown to the community itself,” Glockner said. “By doing that we think we can get a lot of high school students involved in the creative arts.”
The club is open to all students interested in writing and all creative mediums.