Writer’s Forum begins meetings next week
48 years ago Stephen Payne Comments Off on Writer’s Forum begins meetings next week
Why is it important that people continue to write given all the great literature that has already been produced?
Dr. Paul Child quoted Samuel Johnson, “Men don’t need to be informed; they need to reminded.”
The SHSU Writer’s Forum begins its regular meetings next week, and all writers are invited to come.
The Writer’s Forum is a weekly writing workshop comprised mostly of SHSU students, but is open to all Huntsville residents. Participants are invited to share poetry, prose fiction of all genres, essays and any other type of written work.
Child, an associate professor of English, sponsors the organization.
“I though it was important that there would be an open and democratic forum for exchanging ideas on writing,” said Child.
Child founded the organization in 1994 after a student approached him asking if there were any writing organizations on campus. He discovered that there had been one once before but it had since gone defunct, and he created the new Forum as a group to discuss the art and aesthetics of writing.
There are no officers in the Forum, and Child considers his own position as sponsor as merely a nominal one.
“My job is to coordinate and encourage writers who are involved in the process of writing,” said Child.
Child also said the comments he hears from writers can be more astute than his own, since he tends to reply in a style more in keeping with the technical aspects of writing.
Sophomore Sherry Blyshak worked formerly in the field of hotel management before returning to school to hone her writing skills. She said the actual storytelling aspect of writing is what drew her to literature, and that SHSU has been a good environment to for fostering ideas.
“As a nontraditional student, I have had an amazing amount of encouragement to be as creative as I want to be,” she said. Graduate student Tammy Walker said compared to other writing programs she has been in, students do not have to contend for attention in the Forum.
“The environment is noncompetitive,” she said. “Here it’s very laid-back, with constructive comments on each others papers.
Senior Kim McCullough writes both poetry and fiction, and appreciates the pure democratic feel of the Forum.
“There’s no hierarchy here,” she said.
McCullough said she finds that literary support the group gives to be the most important thing about the Forum.
Junior Tim Reza enjoys both the emotional intake and outtake of writing, and finds the format of the Forum to be very productive.
“It justifies my existence,” he joked.
Junior Angel Ramirez writes poetry tending to relate to real life experiences. He was first inspired to write after reading “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros, and tends to give his poems a Hispanic feel. Ramirez, a Houston native, said that the small town feel of Huntsville gives him leisure to think creatively.
“I think Sam Houston has a lot to offer. You have the opportunity to think here,” he said.
Ramirez also said that the Forum provides positive reinforcement, and the writers all assist one another.
“Everyone’s here to help,” he said. “Who better to help you than your peers?”
Child said that while many fiction writers have been in the Forum, poetry tends to be the most popular form of expression that members use.
“It may speak more to the temperament of the writers who have participated in the Forum over the years,” he said.
Apart from the weekly meetings, the Forum also hosts an annual public reading. Writers are invited to recite their poems, short stories or other works in front of a group of their peers. The reading is usually held late in the spring semester.
The Forum also releases “Third Story Presents,” an annual publication that showcases the writings of SHSU students and staff. Stories must be submitted to Child for approval. The literary zine is released around April or May.
The Writer’s Forum meets Mondays at 4:30 p.m. in room 352 of the Evans Building.